1920s Dress Style- The Ultimate Guide To Vintage Dresses

1920's vintage dresses
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Shorter skirts and simple shapes are what made the 1920s vintage dresses. At the beginning of the 1920s, the world was still moving ahead from the first war. The culture, society, and fashion were highly influenced by the war. The silhouettes of the 1920s have been all rage and flapper. 1920s dresses still make the best Halloween outfits. Here is a full-fledged guide to what people in that decade looked like. 

1920’s Fashion Trends

Clothing could be seen as freedom for people. It was loose, straight, and slender, with a dropped waist and shorter hemlines. Feathers and pearl accessories added elegance to the dresses. Bobbed hair, dropped waist dress, cloche hats, Garcon’s silhouette, beads and jewelry, and silk stockings defined the major part of 1920s fashion. 

Evolution of the 1920s Silhouette

The 1920s did not follow the trend of the ‘S’ bend corset look of the Edwardian age. The modernist influenced trend was way natural, and everything was beautiful. Straight figures, flat chests, and boyish looks dominated the trend back then. It was the battle between modernism and feminism. Robe De Style by the French designers was all about the pinched waists and billowing skirts. The famous Garcon’s silhouette was popularized by the famous designer Jeanne Lanvin. It was a simple chemise dress and such outfits could be worn in both day and night events. 

1920s Vintage Dresses

1920 vintage dresses

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While fashion could be permanent, styles are short-lived. Modernism in fashion is a way to relive the trend style of an era but with a pinch of modernity. The dresses we wear to an event, considering the trend of the 1920s might not seem the same back in the era. Below are the actual ways dresses were worn. 

Day Dresses

In the daytime, dark stockings were normal, but in the evening, stockings that were one shade darker than your skin tone looked pleasant. Shorter skirts were indicative of the sexual revolution that permitted women to embrace their bodies. This would further help women to step out of society’s bounded rules. 

Formal Dresses

formal dresses


The formal wear of the 1920s drips sophistication and class. Unlike the evening party dresses, women would cover their arms. Since the flapper dress trend started in this era, women found it comfortable wearing it at formal events while the length would usually drop below the knee. Formal dresses and smaller lengths were not worn in good company.

The Flapper Trend

Flapper Trends

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What is the meaning of flapper? With the slew of modern clothes that look vintage, it is hard to find out what flapper exactly is. It refers to women in the 1920s who enjoyed bobbed hair, wore short skirts, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior. It is a straight fit and short hemline dress. 

Home Dress-Making

The electric sewing machine did make a difference in this era. With the revolution it has brought, women with moderate means started sewing at their places. The design gurus like Mary Brooks Picken would publish the techniques so the women could read them. It further helped them to grow on their own. 

Sports And Leisure

A sun-tanned appearance was highly appreciated back then as women lead an active lifestyle. Wearing a sleeveless tennis dress was quite prevalent in or out of the tennis court and a sailor-inspired “middy” style with menswear-inspired button-down blouses was all the hype. So much so that by the end of the era women started wearing it with pleated skirts.

Jewelry And Fashion Accessories Of The Era

Women of the 1920s began to break down the social barriers that stood against them. The accessories weren’t just hats and clutches, but extravagant cases of cigarette holders and feather boas. Instead of long straps, bags would have handles and the women would only wear pearl and feather jewelry. Art deco jewelry was normally embedded with gemstones and other precious stones and metals. 

Women’s Hats In The 1920s

Wearing a hat in the public was much like a dress code for women back then. A trend that a majority of women enjoyed was wearing a straw hat and the close-fitting, narrow-brimmed cloche hat was one of the most iconic women’s hats in the 1920s. Cloche hats were decorated with ribbons, embroidery, or with a bow sometimes. 

Women’s Hairstyles In The 1920s

Women had to do a hairstyle that can easily accommodate and complement these hats. At the dawn of this era, women could carry long hair that was curled around the neck with the rest of it tied in the bun. This decade witnessed women slaying the look in a bob cut with earlobe length locks styled in either curls or straight. 

1920’s Makeup

Makeup in the 1920s was characterized by their use to create a specific look: lips painted in the shape of a Cupid's bow, kohl-rimmed eyes, and bright cheeks brushed with bright red blush. The rest of the face was kept simple. Natural complexion with rosy cheeks. The only highlight in the name of makeup was big, luscious lips with bright cheeks. 

1920’s Lingerie And Stockings

This era was called the roaring twenties for a reason. People were more exuberant and they had the freedom to do anything. Lingerie was lighter - women transitioned from the layers upon layers of petticoats, corsets, and very constrictive underwear of the early 1900s to light single slips and bras. On the other hand, stockings were a must-have accessory for women. This was the era of jazz so silk, wool, synthetic stockings were extremely trendy. 

Shoes Of The Era

Pump with a moderate heel of 2-inch were the roaring heels of the roaring era. Other kinds of shoes in this decade included- colonial shoes, walking oxfords, ankle-length boots, canvas flats, two-tone saddle shoes, and canvas sneakers. But the trends differed in summer and winter. The daywear heels were small, whereas the dazzling night shoes had sparkles to light up the jazz dance floor where people enjoyed dancing their way to freedom.  

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