From Hair to Wear in the 1920's.

Essay by sugrmag12High School, 12th gradeA+, November 2003

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From Hair to Wear in the 1920's

In the 1920's women wanted a voice, they wanted to be heard, however the only problem was that nobody wanted to listen. Women figured that people didn't have to listen to them, but it was pretty hard not see them, so women started dressing in an outrageous manner, and attracting a lot of attention. These women were called flappers; they wore shocking outfits, lots of make-up, cut their hair, and openly smoked and drank.

One of the greatest things about the flapper look was that it was attainable for all. It was cheap, weather you were rich or poor you could be in style. That's why it caught on so well. Young women shocked the old when they started wearing "short" skirts. As in short they mean a couple of inches below the knee. Now days girls wear skirts a couple of inches below the waist.

If they lived in Utah in the 20's they would have been arrested for indecent exposure, since Utah enacted a law stating that dresses could be no shorter than the knee

As the twenties progressed women's clothing started looking a lot manlier. Eventually dresses became a square or rectangle like shape, to hide curvy figures. It was very very unfashionable at the time to have large breasts. Some women went to the extent so far as to tape their breasts down, which later after the fad was over and they were left with only scars to remember it by deeply regretted the sacrifice of pain for beauty. Designers tried their hardest to design dresses that hid large breasts and shapely figures.

Thye often experimented with layering dresses to accomplish this. Another style was low waistlines, or no waistlines, this helped to make the woman look figureless.

Coco Chanel was a great fashion designer of the 20's. she worked with a lot of beige, sand, cream, navy, and black, the dresses she made were of a soft jersey fabric, made with simple shapes. The clothes she designed were made for comfort and ease which made them quite modern since they didn't require a corset or waist definition. She was the original designer of the little black dress.

Decorations were also popping up among womens fashion. Dresses of the 1920's, were covered with glitter, sequins, and embroidery vs dresses of earlier years which were plain with maybe a small decoration or even none at all.

Once dresses were made short feet and shoes were visible, so shoes soon became a very important fashion accessory. High heels grew to over two in high. And a very popular shoe called Mary Jane's appeared. Most fashionable women in the 20's owned a pair of Mary Jane's. They were actually such a good design that even today they're still a popular shoe. T-bar shoes were also very popular; those can also still be seen today. Often shoes were made with bows or buckles in order to make interesting fashion statements. Sequin or diamante trims were also quite the rage.

Make-up, which had been looked down upon in the past was becoming very popular. The words subtle or natural could not be used to describe the make-up of the 20's. The women caked it on. There was no more going to the bathroom to secretly apply lipstick, it was considered very fashionable to apply lipstick in public. Lips were painted in bright red tones. Every one wanted Clara Bow lips. Clara Bow was a very famous silent movies star commonly known as the "It Girl". The "It" referred to her sex appeal. Clara had cupid bow lips, which women tried to copy. During this decade, the twist-up lipstick first appeared. Before that there was a small lever that women had to push up with their fingernail in order to get the lipstick to come out. Women in the 20's were just as conscious about their eyebrows as girls are now. Women would pluck their eyebrows down to just a thin line, then draw over it with a thin black pencil. As for eyes the color green was very in, women would use sea green eye shadow and apply it up to the brows. Then they would make a thick black line of eyeliner underneath the eye. Women simply weren't trying to make their lashes look thicker, they used black grease stick liners or khol pencils to thickly line every inch of their eyelid. Everything Egyptian was popular during the 20's, thanks to the recent opening of the tomb of Tutankhamen.

Popular foundation colors were slightly lighter than the natural skin color. Then women would apply blush to the apples to the cheeks. However it wasn't called blush, it was called rouge, and women didn't rub it in, it was left in large circles on the cheeks. No woman would be complete without her nails done. Colors quickly went from frosty white to a dark maroon red

Many things were changing as far as hair also, for as long as people could remember women traditionally had long hair. Women of the 20's were sick of it; many young women traded their long hair for the ease of short hair. Many hair styles such as the bob, which was a short straight cut hair cut, caught on very quickly.

Hats were also very popular. No outfit was complete without something on your head. A popular style of hat was cloche hat, which was a hat that told everyone that you had short hair. It was very tight and affected body posture. Since foreheads weren't in at the time, the cloche hat covered the forehead and fell all the way down to the eyes. When young women walked they had to hold their head at a tilted back angle in order to see what was in front of them. Another popular headpiece was a headband with a large egret feather sticking out the back.

The twenties was a revoluntary time for women. Women accomplished a lot through fashion and their appearance. They forced people to pay attention to them and made a wild statement at the same time. Who knows where women would be today if it wasn't for the antics of the 1920's flapper.