Main Overview

The 1920s were full of new beginnings in style and fashion. Fashion reflected the way of life that was beginning. The hot styles were "one hour dresses" and bobbed hair. Shortly after World War I ended, a young dancer named Irene Castle glamorized the world with her new style of bobbed hair. The popular colors were bright green, red, blue, and dim pastels. In the late 1920s, a new "flapper look" surfaced and brought a new style of dress to the forefront. The 1920s planted a seed for the upcoming generation not only in morals, but style and elegance.



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Formal Wear

Evening wear of the 1920s was very different from everyday clothing. Despite popular belief women did not always wear fringed flapper dresses with feather boas and long beads. Evening dresses were worn below the knee and were made of luxurious fabrics such as silk. The dresses were often embellished with elaborate bead work. The dresses were designed to move while dancing. Some popular contributions to this were sashes, trains, and asymmetric hemlines. Women typically did not wear hats in the evenings, instead choosing fancy combs or scarves. Men typically wore suits and sport jackets. Some popular fabrics were wool, silk, and tweed. Pants were worn with cuffed bottoms and on the natural waistline. Pocket watches on chains were worn as accessories.



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Swim Wear

Swimsuits for women in the early 1920s were very unexposed. They wore one-piece bathing suits covering them from their knees to their necks. They rarely wore bright colored bathing suits and they wore stockings to cover their legs.They were made of a thick wool material and fit loosely around women's bodies. As they reached the end of the 1920s, the swim wear changed completely. Women wore bright colors exposing their legs even more and started wearing two-piece bathing suits. The bathing suits were slowly becoming more fashionable and became more fitting to womens bodies. Men wore one-piece swimsuits in the form of a tank top that fit snug around their hips and wrapped around their backs. The bottom half was made into the form of a skirt and the suit was also made of wool similar to the women's swim wear. They were not very fashionable and were kept very simple.


1920's SWIM WEAR

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Sportswear in the 1920s was not designed to make athletes excel in what they did. Golf wear for example was merely tailored blouses and skirts that are now worn for business type work. As stated on the Fashion-Era site trousers became acceptable fashion worn by tennis players by the 1920s. Tennis players wore long skirts and hats (restricted clothing) until 1910. In 1922 Suzanne Lenglen wore a short skirt minus the hat at Wimbledon. It wasn't until the 1930s that bare heads became acceptable for tennis players.


Sportswear 1920s

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Costume Jewelry was introduced during the Art Deco period between 1920 and 1939. Many women wore costume jewelry to make their outfits more exciting. Color was important in accessories: black and white were preferred, but bold colors stood out. Women wore long pendants, bangle bracelets, cocktail rings, and cigarette cases and holders. Showgirls wore spangles, feathers, and headdresses to attract attention. Men often wore pocket watches on chains.


Art Deco

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Men's Fashion

The male population of the Jazz era had a great sense of style and togetherness. The Sacque suit became very popular around this time. The most worn colors in suits were putty, peach, blue-gray, and cedar. Also, most men wore black pants, a tall coat, and a top hat. Tweed coats were a fashion must for the men of the 1920s. Tweed was made of rough, homemade wool. Gray, white, beige, and stripes were very popular colors. London, England was the most popular place men bought their clothes.


Gatsby Overview:

The Great Gatsby presents the wealth, morals, and styles of the 1920s. The main characters express their wealth through their senses of style. Style is used by most of the characters when they participate in Gatsby's parties. The parties are main events where men and women show off their class and millionaire status. Jay Gatsby wears elaborate suits and ties and Daisy Buchanan dresses to please in fashionable dresses. Tom Buchanan and George Wilson also show their classes by the type of clothes they wear: Tom in suits and ties and Wilson in less fashionable clothes. In the 1920s, many people wore costume jewelry and other exaggerated accessories which also show status. By the things the characters wear in the book, readers can get a feel of the type of people they are. An example of this is Gatsby's silver tie that shows he is rich but perhaps not fashionable. Fashion can show great wealth in the upper class or it can show lack of money in the lower class. Men's fashion was not as popular as the women’s, but the fashion of the 1920s contributed a lot to The Great Gatsby.


Prices from the 1920s: