1920s Trends Popular Things in the 1920s
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1920s Trends: Popular Things in the 20s

Stepping into a new decade of 2020, I am curious to look back at a century ago and get familiar with some popular things in the 20s. I have so many questions!

Who were the critical retailers across the globe? What kind of significant events and the appearance of famous things in the 20s, as well as the activities of well-known people, were anticipating the main trends of 1920?

So, let us discover critical themes that shaped the lifestyle and fashion of 1920. Please take a moment to look back at some of the events and sights from around the world a century ago.

The 1920s – this age was dominated by a considerable change. Women developed noticeable hemlines, reaching the predominantly mid-twenties flapper style shocking their men.

The age was also dominated by crime-packed entertainment, as well as prohibition and, of course, The American Dream. Ladies embraced the makeup and shorter hairstyles.

The flapper girl craved short sleek hair above the knee straight shift dress and the masculine figure shaping the 1920s trends.

Famous things in the 20s: Art and CultureLouis Armstrong and Duke Ellington

The 1920s was a jazz era, spearheaded by the famous Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, among others. Art Deco influenced the change in art as one of the most popular things in the 20s.

Architects like Frank Lloyd Wright Bauhaus designed company structure buildings with linear lines. The Art Deco influence gave rise to 1920s fashion, structured lines, pyramids, and square shapes.

Queen Elizabeth married the Duke of York on January 13th, 1923, in her straight and shapeless dress. The dress was designed by Madame Handley Seymour, who used to make dresses for Queen Mary.

The 1920s Trends: The ProhibitionAl Capone

This was a prohibition period. The US prohibited transporting, manufacturing, selling, importing, and exporting alcohol. Prohibition law was meant to alleviate the crime rate and reduce social problems. Prohibition failed as the crime was organized and therefore became the daily norm.

Underground speakeasies were invented to work illegally. There also arose bootlegging (smuggling) and organized crime. Al Capone was notorious for criminal activities dedicated to smuggling liquor and prostitution.

He, therefore, grew very famous and was seen in lavish attire.

The Flapper StyleThe Flapper Style 1920

The women’s fashion changed dominated by ‘boyish bob’ and the ‘Garonne frock’ fashion terms. While a classic flapper girl dressed in a short shapeless shift dress, short sleek hair, and had an exceedingly flat chest, the flapper rebelliously wore makeup, smoking, and exposed her limbs while dancing in jazz clubs.

Shapes and SilhouettesShapes and Silhouettes

Then spaghetti straps, a more sleek and sophisticated look, was adopted. They were to reveal the sexy topography intentionally. The chemise style dress was designed, and adorned for dancing to jazz. With the waist disappearing and the bust suppressed, a slim boyish figure was preferred. The air was shortened, curves eliminated, and lines simplified.

Menswear1920s Trends: Popular Things in the 20s

The 1920s menswear was classic. Suits were not meant only for the city but were popularized in rural areas by the idea of the American dream. The conservative case was popular at the onset of the 1920s.

It was famous for its jacket, tight waist, and narrow shoulders. For jazz enthusiasts, there was a jazz suit for them. Oxford Bags were a trend formed at Oxford University in England after a ban on knickerbockers and fours.

There was an emergence of wide-legged trousers to hide the knickerbockers underneath. Before the decade ended, short suit jackets were worn, long jackets becoming morning outfits while tailcoats for formal events.

Men later wore shorter tuxedo jackets leaving the old tailcoat regarded as fashioned. Fedora hats dominated the decade, designed for women, but the apparel became a male trend as gangsters were seen loving the accessory.

Accessories1920s fashion

Various accessories improved the 1920 look. These included the Egyptian style, beaded bags, feather boas, and embellished headbands. People liked the pearls.

At the onset of the decade, women are using pointed shoes, which gradually turn more rounded. In the mid-twenties, the Cuban style and Mary Jane’s shoe style dominate female fashion. These are regarded as high heels.

Hats were popular with women for more elegant looks. Initially, the hats were simple with brims, later on, the rimless cloche hat became the female fashion in the mid-twenties.

The hat was fitting for a short flat hairstyle due to its fitting design. The hat covered the eyes and this affected female posture as they tilted their heads to see.

 The Icons

Clara Bow
Clara Bow

The decade’s decline in silent movies led to ‘talking’ film stars. Clara Bow was the premiere flapper girl who represented the Twenties’ sexual styles. In the decade, Josephine Baker became the first African American film star, while the actor Marlene Dietrich became the highest-paid actress of the era.

The Designerspopular-things-in-the-20s

Coco Chanel

Chanel was one of the famous designers of the 1920 styles. Her design was focused on demonstrating elegance and sophistication and was one of the most popular things in the 20s. She promoted the styles associated with pearls and flappers. She designed the first little black dress, which was reinterpreted severally by other designers.

Jeanne Lanvinpopular things in the 20s

Lanvin’s style adopted the look of the time with the use of embellishment, complex trimmings, and exceptional embroideries. Her designs were mainly recognized through her skillful embroidery, a unique feature of 1920s fashion.

RetailThe 1920s Trends

Neiman Marcus

Initially, Neiman Marcus was a top-notch fashion retailer in 1907 in Texas. The shop improved by 1927, premiering the US’s first weekly retail fashion show. She expanded again in 1929 and started selling menswear as well, posing competition to other fashion stores.

Popular things in the 20s: Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue was founded in 1867. The company merged with Gimbel Brothers Inc to become Saks Fifth Avenue in 1924. The company’s twenties saw a rise in Saks Fifth Avenue, opening a new store in Southampton in 1928 and another in Chicago in 1929, followed by several others.

The 1920s Trends: Movies

Famous things in the 20s – movies inspired modern-day audiences. The 1987 Untouchable film was inspired by Al Capone, the prohibition era, and the classic gangsters.

Article by

Alla Levin

Hi, I’m Alla, a Seattle business and lifestyle content creator who can’t get enough of business innovations, arts, not ordinary people and adventures. My mission is to help you grow in your creativity, travel the world, and live life to the absolute fullest!

About Author

Alla Levin

Hi, I’m Alla, a Seattle business and lifestyle content creator who can’t get enough of business innovations, arts, not ordinary people and adventures. My mission is to help you grow in your creativity, travel the world, and live life to the absolute fullest!

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