20’s Hair and Hats…

When I think of the 20’s I think flapper fashion, cute short hair styles and even cuter hats! The 20’s have to be one of my favourite eras of fashion. They were seen as rebellious, women defiantly applied make-up in public and danced into the night, something that we take for granted every day/weekend.
The 20’s saw the 1st short hair cut, the Eton Crop was the most popular and was seen on designer Coco Chanel!

Marion Davies- Finger Waves


The 1920s was a period when milliners got their inspiration from nations all corners of the globe. Inspiration was taken from Egypt, China, Japan and Russia. Headdresses including turbans, toques, kokoshniks and tiaras were all reinvented by designers.
Both the couture houses of Molyneux and Lanvin had atelier shops attached to them so buyers were able to make a hat selection at the same time as buying a dress or suit to complete the outfit perfectly. Accessories were an important feature of fashion for women as well as men.  Caroline Reboux was a designer of hats in Paris who invented the Cloche Hat which sold like wildfire around the globe.


The last two images are my favourites; you would get admiring glances wearing either today. The penultimate image, the whole outfit is amazing and could easily wear it now; I love how the bracelets are worn over the sleeve.


Flashback to the 1920’s

The costume history image in our minds of a woman of the ‘Roaring Twenties’ is actually likely to be the image of a flapper. Flappers did not truly emerge until 1926.  Flapper fashion embraced all things and styles modern.  A fashionable flapper had short sleek hair, a shorter than average shapeless shift dress, a chest as flat as a board, wore make up and applied it in public, smoked with a long cigarette holder, exposed her limbs and epitomised the spirit of a reckless rebel who danced the nights away in the Jazz Age. I think this is quite funny that there were known as reckless rebels a term I would more associate with Punks.

People often mistakenly assume that all dresses, day and evening, were short in every year of the twenties and that flappers were the only fashion style of the twenties.  Dress and coat lengths were actually calf length and quite long for most of the decade.  Shortness is a popular misconception reinforced by the availability of moving film of the Charleston dance which shows very visible knees and legs on the dancing flappers.

After the first world war (1914-18 women’s fashion became more masculine. Female clothes became looser and more shapeless in fit. The bust was suppressed, the waist disappeared, the shoulders became broader and hair shorter and shorter.  Narrow boyish hips were preferred.  The silhouette emphasised a flattened chest and womanly curves were eliminated as the line became more simplified.

By 1920 the silhouette of Coco Channel’s clothing designs became to be the epitome of 20’s style.  The work of other famous designers beside hers seemed old fashioned. She promoted the styles we associate with flappers. She worked in neutral tones of beige, sand, cream, navy and black in soft fluid jersey fabrics cut with simple shapes that did not require corsetry or waist definition.  They were clothes made for comfort and ease in wear making them revolutionary and quite modern.  She was the Jean Muir or Donna Karan of her day and the originator of the LBD – that little black dress. 
Key features of the decade:
Calf length skirts and dresses
Masculine Silhouettes- flat chest
Loose fitting drop waist dresses with simple fluid shapes.
Short haircuts and women wore and applied make-up in public, something never done before.

Long cigarette holders

neutral tones of beige, sand, cream, navy and black in soft fluid jersey fabrics with an added bit of sparkle, usually beading.