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The Tube

The young flappers of the twenties felt no need to conform to the rigid models of feminity that their mothers accepted. During the 1920s, fashion for young women focused less female physical form. Dresses stopped at the knees, the hiplines were lowered, and there was less emphasis on the breasts. The look was basically "tubular," going from the shoulders straight down to the hem.


The cloche hat (deriving its name from the French word for "bell") became a necessity for daytime wear. The small hat fit snuggly over short hair and almost reached to the eyebrows. It was often decorated with a pin in the front or a ribbon.

The rest the world of accessories seemed like a collage from history. A craze for the styles of the World War I aviators took over the flapper world as girls donned leather helmets, colored scarfs, goggles, and leather jackets. Shoes and jewlery often reflected a craze of the court of King Tutankhamen, whose tomb was excavated in 1922. Earings, bracelets, and necklaces often were an example of the presence of the Art Deco, Cubtist, and African art movements.

Formal Dress

As with all the female fashion during the 1920s, the evening dress progressed to display more of the body. While the skirts were still full length, the neckline in the speakeasy and the European nightclub became low-cut. Backless dresses also remained popular throughout the twenties.

An important part of the evening gown during the twenties was the beading. The long straps of the backless dresses (if not the entire dress) featured beaded chiffon fabrics.

Cited Works

Baughman, Judith S. American Decades: 1920 - 1929.
     New York : Gale Research, 1996.