How to dress like a 20’s or 30’s girl
If, like me, you often have trouble identifying what decade an outfit is from, this series of posts should help you know your fashion history, so next time you pick up a flapper dress you can proudly say to your friend: ‘Not for me, darling, I’m more of a 30’s kind of girl!’.
1920’s vintage fashion
The 20’s were a very important time in the history of women and fashion. Girls and women everywhere, encouraged by the end of the war and the right to vote, abandoned restricting corsets and started wearing trousers, shorts and generally much looser clothes.
The 20’s, just like the 60’s were a time of roaring change. Women in this era were described as ‘flappers’ because of the flapper dresses they used to wear – which were designed to flatten the bust line rather than accentuate it.
The ‘boyish’ figure became popular and hips were also hidden under low rise skirts and dresses. Women started wearing short haircuts like the cropped bob. Cotton and wool became much more widespread but satin, velvet and silk were preferred amongst the wealthier women.
Books and movies like The Great Gatsby and Chicago describe the 1920’s fashion and bohemian lifestyle in great detail.
Having had a bob for most of my life, I identify with part of this era and I love the idea of simple lines and breaking free from the norm. By wearing clothes that allowed free movement, women in the 20’s made a strong statement and, like them, girls wearing vintage nowadays are making a statement by wearing clothes that represent them – from whichever era they choose.
1930’s vintage fashion
Over the course of the 1930s, fashion began to considerably shift away from the roaring 20’s. The androgynous look worn by women in the 1920’s was eventually replaced by a more feminine style, with the re-introduction of the natural waist and longer skirts and dresses.
Women wore elegant, slender, form-flattering dresses and long hair started to be worn swept up.
Evening wear consisted of dresses with low or no backs.
My favourite way of getting vintage inspiration for my outfits is by watching movies from or about different influential eras.
Also, find out more about vintage fashion from these decades:
- 1940’s and 1950’s vintage fashion (elliesvintageblog.com)
- Fashion in the Sixties and Seventies (elliesvintageblog.com)