I saw this on FamilySearch – 1920s Clothing: Fashions from 1920–1929: https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/1920s-clothing-fashion/. It’s over 900 words so I cut it down to keep it manageable. It includes both men and women’s fashion from the time period.
When you think of Western fashions in the 1920s, glamorous flapper dresses may come to mind. But there was much more to 1920s clothing than the “Roaring 20s” style of the flappers.
The 1920s brought prosperity and opportunity to many, though not all. More people purchased consumer goods such as automobiles and ready-to-wear clothing. They went on more outings. They wanted everyday wardrobes that were more simple, casual, and practical than the previous decade. Women’s styles changed the most, as they enjoyed newfound freedoms and greater participation in public life.
The simpler styles of the 1920s meant that even those who sewed their own clothes could copy the day’s fashions. Here’s what you may see people wearing in pictures from the 1920s.
What Did Women Wear in the 1920s?
The classic 1920s female silhouette reflected the era’s new sense of freedom. It was loose, straight, and slender, with dropped waists and shorter hemlines.
Women’s Dresses: They Weren’t All Flappers
Everyday dress for most women was a casual cotton housedress, sometimes homemade. Housedresses were loose pullover styles in colorful gingham, plaid, vertical stripes, or solids. The use of aprons and labor-saving appliances at home—and the enlargement of women’s life outside the home—meant that by the end of the 1920s, women were wearing more sophisticated day dresses all day long.
Women donned fancier dresses for special occasions. For warm-weather parties, ladies wore elegant afternoon or tea dresses of sheer, layered fabrics in white or pastel colors. The iconic flapper dress—sleeveless, knee-length, and often beaded, embroidered, or sequined—was a more flamboyant choice for a night on the town, especially for those who lived the lifestyle of the Lost Generation.
Women’s Casual 1920s Clothing for Sports and Leisure
An active lifestyle became more popular for women. A sun-tanned appearance for those with pale skin became more popular. Some women wore sleeveless tennis dresses both on and off the court. Toward the end of the decade, sailor-inspired “middy” style and menswear-inspired button-down blouses were popular. Women wore these with pleated skirts or—more daringly—wide-legged chiffon trousers.