Roaring Twenties 20s Fashion Guide
1920s Fashion History
In a nutshell, 1920s fashion for women was all about getting loose, which applied to morals, too. Women wore dresses all day, every day, rain or shine. Day dresses had a drop waist, which was a sash or belt around the low waist or hip and a skirt that hung anywhere from ankle on up to the knee but never above. Daywear had sleeves (long to mid-bicep) and a skirt that was straight, pleated, hank hem, or tired. Daywear accessories included cloche hats, seamed stockings, a purse, gloves and maybe jewelry. Daytime shoes were 1-2.5 inch T-straps, single or double strap mary janes, and walking Oxfords.
For most men, suits were the day to day attire. Striped, plaid or windowpane suits came in dark grey, blue and brown in winter and ivory, white, tan and pastels in summer. All suits had matching lapel collar vests with a pocket watch and chain dangling from inside. The dress shirt was unique with a white round or pointed collar on a colored body of stripes or light pastel solids. Men also wore hats such as the felt fedora, classy Homburg or round bowler. In summer, it was the straw boater or Panama that topped most men’s heads. For men’s ’20s shoes, two-tone Oxfords were the latest and greatest fashion, although solid black or brown cap toes were equally common.
On the weekends, women’s clothing didn’t change. A long skirt, blouse and cardigan sweater was a common casual outfit. She might have worn beach pajamas on vacation or knicker pants, blouse, tie and a sweater vest to play golf. Men’s sporty clothes consisted of a similar look with plus four pants, tall argyle socks, sweater vest, dress shirt and newsboy cap. If he played summer sports, he might have worn white trousers with a white sweater vest like most tennis stars did.
Working class men didn’t have the luxury of custom suits. Instead, they wore overalls or blue jeans with a cotton button-down shirt and canvas coat. His hat of choice was the newsboy cap or a used felt hat. Learn more about mens vintage workwear.
Casual women’s clothing turned to menswear for inspiration. Ladies could wear tall argyle socks, knickers, button-down shirt and tie and newsboy cap just like the men. Although pants were uncommon by the end of the decade Beach Pajamas were made of wide-leg palazzo style pants and matching top. Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries uses beach pajamas quite often in the show’s costumes. Take a look at these 20s casual outfit ideas and these non-flapper outfit ideas.