One of the most significant stages in the development of women’s fashion, a period of special elegance, formed through the combination of simple silhouettes and pretentiousness in details. The style of the 20s-30s in the clothes of a woman expressed a bohemian love for literature, music, and art.
A key aspect of the emergence of the style of 1920-1930 was the attempt of women to emancipate: to get the same rights as that of a man. Based on this, their looks began to take over male features and forms. However, even in spite of this, their images remained inexpressibly feminine and graceful. Most of the elements of this style originate from the cinema or from the images of film actors. Moreover, thanks to the desire to be as strong and independent as men, women began to allow themselves much more. This led to dramatic changes in clothing, attitudes to clothing and fashion in general. Courage and equality – this is the main propaganda of these times, women began to look, on the one hand, comfortable, a little shapeless, and on the other hand, more than sexy. The characteristic features of clothes of the 20-30s are best traced by the example of three categories:
- gangster style;
- party clothes;
- everyday options.
In the clothes of the 20s-30s, accessories played a very important role in both women’s and men’s wardrobe. But for each style they were selected separately, and they differed greatly from each other.
This branch of style in clothes of the 1920s and 1930s was formed because of the desire of American men to resemble movie stars playing the role of gangsters. Men’s fashion in forms was as classic as possible: traditional costumes, including jackets, classic trousers with a high waist, waistcoats, were complemented by shirts with white collars and ties. But still their looks were not devoid of some pretentiousness characteristic of that time. Especially stylish for men of the 30s were considered pastel colors in clothes (white or cream costumes) or various variations of muted dark tones. An important role was played by expensive accessories: leather gloves, hats, silk, subtly bright colors of scarves or ties. Such excessive detail created a picture of men’s clothing shocking, stylish and elegant cinema gangsters of those times.
Men’s styles, in principle, became the main prototype of the style of the 20-30s in the clothes of a woman. Even the most bright tie could often be found in the women’s wardrobe. However, gang style clothes were worn not only by men. Such popular movie stars of that time allowed themselves extravagantly to use men’s trousers or suits in their looks. Following this fashion, designers, fashion designers and ordinary women began to add appropriate echoes of this style to their appearance or the look of their models. Similar features can be found in our days: girls often like to put on some element of the male wardrobe for a couple of sizes more, for example, a shirt, sweater or jacket.
Women always put on a straight dress above or slightly below the knees to parties, trips to the theater, cinema and restaurants. Distinctive features of women’s clothing style of 20-30s was the abundance of decor, it could be:
- artificial flowers;
- sequins and beads;
- unusual shapes;
- deep cuts;
But, of course, the fashion that developed in the Soviet Union lagged far behind its American progenitor. The styles used are free, as simple as possible. The main idea of clothing of the 30s was an attempt to equate the female image to that of men, therefore the dresses did not emphasize the chest or the waist, the emphasis was only on the hips. Openness, ease of movement, simplicity and at the same time pretentiousness of details was present in everything. Hand-embroidered dresses were especially appreciated, but far from all of them could afford them, as well as the abundance of large, unusual ornaments. Jewelry, perhaps, were the only ones that demonstrated femininity in clothes. Thanks to the braid, embroidery, women’s dresses of the 30s became individual, despite the fact that everyone had almost identical styles.
The most popular accessories in the twenties were fur capes, jewelery made of pearls and diamonds – they were used in bracelets, pearl threads around the neck (which were often worn a few at a time) or a necklace. Of course, jewelry played a similar role, since only the bourgeoisie could afford real jewelery, and in combination with an abundance of details on the dresses, even cheap jewelery looked good.
It was then that appeared so famous little black dress Coco Chanel. The simplicity of the silhouette, the universal color made it possible to wear it absolutely in any situation: from walks or work to dinner parties. The difference in style is only due to accessories. Both in evening and casual clothes of the 1920s and 1930s, preference was almost always given to short sleeves or straps. Dresses of free cut, like their necks, will still produce femininity figures. To enhance this effect, loose, thin belts were often put on, tightly seated on the hips. In addition, the use of light, flowing fabrics, tight-fitting figure, did not allow to forget about the true femininity of the girls who wore them.
Casual clothing of the 30s of the 20th century was distinguished by simple shapes and the most straight lines of the silhouette. However, the images were incredibly feminine and elegant. Jackets in combination with narrow skirts below the knees of thick fabric or dresses of the same shape with small sleeves perfectly suited for the evening promenade. Details could be made with the help of lace, assembly, layering, but the image remained quite restrained. In women’s clothes of the 20-30s, emphasis was placed on the shoulders, often at the expense of the sleeves. Here again, the reference to the traditional male type of a figure with wide shoulders and narrow hips is clearly visible.
As for the shoes, the indisputable preference was given to shoes. They had a rounded toe and an average heel height of 5-8 cm. Most often, a large number of straps were used as decorations, or one, but not ordinary, for example, with a bow, lacing or clasp.
The most popular models were made of two or three colors. Since the forms were very monotonous, the individuality of the models was attached just due to the colors and patterns.
The most popular short haircuts. Owners of long hair collected them in neat simple hairstyles, looking at which formed the feeling that they were cut short. Most often, the hair is stacked or fixed with strips. Their place was taken by the square and large curls, which were especially common on the hair 8-15 cm above the shoulders. The most popular hairstyle is smooth horizontal waves. The style of the thirties was characterized by specific headgear, such as caps and a wide headband, decorated with all possible ways:
- precious or artificial stones;
- small veils.
Hats and hats were an integral element of clothing 20-30-ies. They were very different in purpose: from wide-brimmed felt hats, complementing a casual suit, to small silk or satin headdresses, which are only an ornament to an evening dress. An integral part of the female image, of course, was the face, which was a kind of "vampire ideal." White skin, dark, well-defined eyebrows, black mascara, red or burgundy lips – quite defiant, but not excessive. Often in the make-up used dark shadows, often with the effect of gloss, sometimes for greater contrast, the eyes painted on with white shadows. The men had short hairstyles with back hairs or on one side, this fashion followed the movie actors. Almost nobody wore a beard, but sometimes there was a small neat mustache.