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ClassesFashiondressWw1toww2

WWI to WWIIWeek 14:

WWI to WWIIStep 1:

Watch this short nifty video on French women's dress from 1900-2000:

Read the online "lecture" on dress in the 20th Century below and click on any links that interest you. You are not required to read all the material on all the links, however:

Dress from

WWI to WWII

The First World War (1914-1918) had a pronounced effect on women's fashion in the Western world. Several trends that had roots in the decades prior to the war, were rapidly accelerated by wartime conditions. The most lasting change happened to women's hemlines. Hems which had risen from floor length to ankle length prior to the war, rose to mid calf length by 1916, and have stayed that high, or higher, ever since. Hobble skirts were instantly jettisoned in favor of slightly wider more practical skirts. Several avant-garde fashions, like women's trousers, and short hair, decried before the war as sinful and ugly, were promoted as practical fashions for war work. Short hair was considered a safety measure for certain factory workers, and practical for women working near the front lines. The few women who were soldiers (mostly in Russia and Serbia) were featured in pictoral magazines internationally with close cropped hair and tales of heroism. Most women did not suddenly cut their hair, but once it became acceptable to do so, gradually more and more women did in the following decades.

WWI to WWII Women's Suits, c.1915-16

The tendency for female office workers to wear feminized versions of men's suits and shirts (common since 1900) became virtually standard by this time.

Soft V-necklines, considered racy in 1912-14, during a time of high boned necklines, became normal daywear after 1915.

Large numbers of women were recruited into military organizations on all sides, and put into a variety of uniforms, which also influenced the shape of fashionable dress. (For more see

During the war, a dye shortage, and fabric shortages encouraged a certain utilitarian drabness in dress, but the most noticeable change engendered by the war was a relaxation of the formal rules of attire which had bound men and women's dress since early in the Victorian era. Not only did women's hemlines rise to mid-calf length, but more exciting yet, ladies wore these shorter styles with sexy heeled and flesh toned silk stockings, not high button boots. Young men wore the more casual "Tuxedo" jacket to evening occasions, not just to men's only club functions. Young and daring women dumped the corset in favor of brasseries. Army officers wore instead of pocket watches, and soft "lingerie" shirts with soft collars attached to them. Tail coats and frock coats began only to be worn on highly formal occasions, to be almost fully replaced by the modern sack suit. This is why clothing after the 1914-1918 War period is instantly recognizable as "Modern" to our eyes.

continued to be popular, and were eventually stylized into a form which came to be know as, the dominant style for fabric decoration and interior design until WWII. Notable European designers like Erte, Poiret, Chanel,

Barbier, Zamora and Delaunay all worked in this style through the succeeding decades.

Watch this short VIDEO of a Fashion Newsreel of 1917:

1918-1929

After the War in 1918 the Suffragettes finally won the vote in the UK, and in America voting for women was won in 1920. Fashion trends towards a more casual look continued in the

1920's. In the aftermath of the war, people questioned the values of the older generation that had led to the conflict. To a great extent people believed that those values were discredited, along with the generation that spawned it. American culture in particular became very youth oriented, and fashion began to look towards teen and college-age kids for it's inspiration. The "College Man" and "" became the new icons of all that was young and fashionable. Women in particular began dieting to mold their bodies into a slimmer, flatter teenage shape and dress waistlines dipped to hip length to minimize the appearance of adult curves. , in breast flattening styles, replaced corsets almost completely.

Short Video:

1920sFashionplates20sshawl.jpg Evening dress showing typical "Spanish" embroidered shawl, and huge ostrich feather fan, the man is wearing "black tie" always worn with a Tuxedo c. 1925

Sex too, became a non-taboo subject. During the war the government & military had set on campaigns to deter soldiers from contracting venereal disease. Rubber (previously hard to find and illegal in most places) were sporadically issued to soldiers along with primitive sex education lessons. In 1920, brand condoms, began to be made and sold to the civilian population. Advances in the treatment of Syphilis also made extramarital sex less lethal than before. The result was that returning soldiers and nurses were better informed, and better armed, for sex without consequences than before the war. Many married couples now regularly limited family size through birth control, and young unmarried people were more likely to engage in sex before marriage.

1920sFashionplatesArtgoutebeaut1926b.jpg

1920sFashionplatesArtgoutebeaut1926c.jpgArt - Gout - Beaute 1926

Women's hemlines got shorter until 1925-6 when they peaked at just below the knee. The influence of Hollywood Silent Pictures made makeup, particularly lipstick, increasingly fashionable. Early versions of "permanent wave" hair curling also spawned a new industry of "Beauty Shops" where women could meet in groups while having hair cut and curled. Western women began growing their nails long, and even painting them with colored enamels, an idea that would have seemed indescribably foreign, decadent and erotic to the previous generation.

rayon.htm@160x120.jpg Rayon

(acetate) invented by Briton Charles Frederick Cross in 1895 (and first manufactured in the US in 1910) began to be commonly available in the 1920's, and was a staple fabric for stockings and women's dresses by the end of the decade.

Shorter hair styles necessitated

hat shapes that held to the head without benefit of hatpins, so the head hugging cloche was popular.

1920sFashionplatesClochehats1.jpg

1920sFashionplatesClochehats2.jpgc. 1928 Cloche hats

Short skirts and college fashions reigned in a booming US economy that kept wildly spending and expanding on credit until the Great Stock market Crash of 1929 put a halt to the prosperity and the fun.

1914-1955.htm@160x120.jpg 1914-1955 Dress Reform. 1920's Flappers to Fifties Fashions

watch?v=1pwG-kRi0-Y&feature=user@160x120.jpg YouTube - Fashions Of The 1920's

watch?v=3svvCj4yhYc&feature=related@160x120.jpg YouTube - Flappers - The Roaring Twenties

watch?v=P-GGEpZYhEM@160x120.jpg YouTube - Vintage Clothing 1920s Flapper

watch?v=aHrIylv0BPI&feature=related@160x120.jpg YouTube - Vintage Clothing Flapper Dresses from 1921

1929-1939

As soon as the great Stock Market Crash of 1929 hit the US economy, fashion took a more conservative turn. Women's hemlines dipped back down to mid calf length for day wear, and full length for evening wear. Waistlines moved back to the waist and adult female curves again became fashionable."White tie" full dress with a tailcoat popped back into men's evening fashion. It is as if the world felt that the Great Depression was a judgment on the fast times and youth culture of the 1920's, and prepared to grow up and do penance in the

1930's

watch?v=GZktevPe9p8&feature=related@160x120.jpg YouTube - Color Fashion Show From 1929

1930sSearsSpring1934cottondresses2.jpg

Spring 1934 Sears Catalog Selected Fashions

Men's suits became sharper edged, with more shoulder padding, looking less youthful and more masculine, a style trend that continued through the 1940's.

File:1930sChicagowool1937chicagowoolen small.jpg

Chicago Woolen Mills 1937 Catalog

1930sFashionplates30smanssuit.jpg late 1930's suit

African American tailors in Harlem even revived the long frock coat, re-cut and re-invented as the "Zoot suit". This modernized version had a colorful spin, and was popularly made of brighter suitings, and light cottons in summer. This style swept jazz and swing clubs in major cities, was worn out in California by Hispanics, and eventually by disaffected and musically daring teens of all races in the US and Europe.

AcarterJune99C1930hats2.jpg

c.1930 hats. Images kindly provided by ACarter of eBay, seller of Antique prints and Magazines

watch?v=PnZCVkP7GlE&feature=related@160x120.jpg YouTube - 1930s Fashion - Fashion and Design during the Depression

watch?v=txaR2HvnwVg&feature=related@160x120.jpg YouTube - 1930s Futuristic Fashion Predictions

Women's Hairstyles got longer, and fuller, due to the increased popularity and availability of permanent. Women's hats grew less substantial and more feminine and impractical throughout the 1930's. Ruffles, banished from female fashion in the mid 1920's, returned with a vengeance, and were combined with Bias cut gowns (first made popular in the late 1920's by ) to make clinging ultra feminine frocks.

See this video on Hairstyles of 1935:

File:1930sLafamilia1938cover small.jpg

La Familia Magazine Fashion Illustrations of 1938

1939-1945 (WWII)

War broke out in Europe in 1939, the same year the first true artificial fiber, Nylon, was introduced at the World's Fair in New York. For the duration (1939-1945), fashion veered between exiting innovations like this, and the nylon.html@160x120.jpg shortages

, price controls and rationing created by war. Often, shortages directly created the innovations: Men's suits bought before the war typically came with jacket, vest and two pairs of matching trousers. During the war this dropped to just a jacket and one pair of trousers, where it has stayed ever since. Leather and rubber shortages caused shoe makers to experiment with wood and cork soled, stylishly elevated,

1940sSews4victoryWpbyardstick.jpgWar Production Board guidelines for garment manufacture 1942

Women's clothing went through the greatest changes in this era, both due to shortages, and due to large numbers of women engaging in work outside the home during the war. Bias cutting was promptly dropped as a waste of fabric, and " centered on sewing old clothes in to new ones. Men's suits were

re-cut into women's suits, complete with the tailored details and shoulder padding previously found in the garments. Shoulder pads quickly became stylish in all women's garments, not only suits, and stayed in fashion until 1949.

1940sSews4victoryC1945pattern.jpg 1945 pattern

1940sSews4victorySuitthatboughtbond.jpg "The suit that bought a bond": Woman's suit made from an old man's suit. 1942

Most governments issued either

construction guidelines, or rationing to curtail fabric use, yet even in Europe men and women managed ways to during the conflict. "The Little Black Dress" was a popular method suggested by style magazines: Having a simple, short (knee length) black dress, which one varied each day and evening with sets of color-matched accessories. Fashion that was not rationed, like hats, and www.hairarchives.com#main@160x120.jpg hairstyles

, grew creatively elaborate. Women and girls were actively encouraged to ww1647-17.jpg@160x120.jpg wear pants

, both for war work and warmth.

utility_clothing.htm@160x120.jpg Utility Clothing

1940sFashionplatesMade1942.jpg 1942

1940sSews4victoryPickenalterations.gif Fabric conserving alterations to make small old dresses fit a larger figure 1946

Men's clothing, when out of uniform, was increasingly casual. In addition to dropping vests from suits, @160x120.jpg ties became wildly festive

in pattern, color and style. aloha.htm@160x120.jpg Aloha Shirts

for casual wear came to the mainland with servicemen returning from the Pacific theatre. Suit wearing increasingly was confined to work in offices, going to church, and formal occasions.

watch?v=mgpvKXLTwr8&feature=related@160x120.jpg YouTube - Hair Style for Safety WWII

watch?v=0S8YnzgUsMo@160x120.jpg YouTube - NYLON STOCKING POST WAR CRAZE WOMENS LEGS ON DISPLAY

watch?v=e2QyEWv4WDo&feature=related@160x120.jpg YouTube - 1940s Hair in Under 5 Minutes (Tutorial)

watch?v=1zMu9W4bxx4@160x120.jpg YouTube - 1941 Fashion Horizons - Part 1 of 2

watch?v=pqa35zXH6Lo@160x120.jpg YouTube - 1941 Fashion Horizons - Part 2 of 2

Step 2:Write a rough draft of your final report on your study garment, and post it to your web pageThe report should contain the following:

A brief description of the garment.

Photos of the garment.

An estimated "date" of the garment, with a description of the reasons/sources you used to arrive at this date.

An estimated "story" of the garment, describing when it was probably worn (parties, work, wedding?), what price range it represents (custom tailored, expensive, home-made, mass produced cheaply?), and any other important information you have been able to deduce.

A list of sources of information: This may include family stories, hyperlinks, or bibliography.

Get Extra Credit if you include any of the following

Pattern

Detail drawings

Long, detailed, web page on the social/historical/fashion background of the era of the garment.

Step 3:Read the

reports of at least two of your fellow students, and post constructive comments for them to the CostumeHistoryClass@160x120.jpg message board

. After this, work on revisions for the second draft of your report, for next week.

This Concludes Week #14's Lesson

Return to

Class Index

1910sLesterplates1913-1920.gif American Women's Fashions 1913-1920

1910sRandombits1916a.jpg 1916

1910sRandombits1917sears1.jpg 1917

1910sLesterplates1918redcross.gif American Red Cross Uniforms of 1918

1910sRandombitsMargotasquith1920.jpg Margot Asquith, wife of the British prime Minister in 1920

1920sMen20smenssuits.gif 1920's men's sack suits in "college" style.

1920sFashionplates1920bonton1.jpgGazette du Bon Ton, 1920, higher hems and flesh toned stockings.

AmazonBooksWomenswearofthe1920s.jpg

1920sShoesCourtshoe1920.jpg An English "Court" shoe of 1920.

1920sLowenhatsFig114.jpg'Hat of 1925

1920sFashionplatesBeauty1929.jpgCosmetics and Hairstyle of 1929

1920sBernardhewettcatCover.jpg

1920sBernardhewettcatInsideback.jpg

Bernard-Hewitt & Co. Summer 1928 Apparel Sale Catalog

1920sFashionplates1929mccall5739.jpg

1920sFashionplatesChicmailorder1929.jpg 1929

1930sFashionplates1930fashserv.jpg

1930sFashionplates1930fashserv2.jpg 1930-31

1930sMovies1931group.jpg George Raft, Marlene Dietrich, 1931

AcarterJune99C1930hats2

1940sMovies1940garycooper.jpg Gary Cooper, 1940

Links for Further Study:

1910's

1920's

1930's

1940's

1950's,

1960's,

1970's

1980's

1990'sTimeline Images for Study:

1910's

1920's

1930's

1940's

1950's

1960's,

1970's

Product Links

Women and the First World War

shoes

formal

Wristwatches

Orientalist fashions

Art Deco

Vionnet

The

Flapper

The Brassiere

YouTube - The Roaring Twenties - Flappers

condoms

Trojan

Marcel Waves

Madeleine Vionnet

Platform shoes

Make Do And Mend", wartime advice

stay fashionable

The Great War : Styles & Patterns of the 1910s The Great War : Styles & Patterns of the 1910s

Gimbel's Illustrated 1915 Fashion Catalog Gimbel's Illustrated 1915 Fashion Catalog

Everyday Fashions 1909-1920 As Pictured in Sears Catalogs Everyday Fashions 1909-1920 As Pictured in Sears Catalogs

Women's Wear of the 1920's: With Complete Patterns

Art Deco Hair: Hairstyles of the 1920s and 1930s Art Deco Hair: Hairstyles of the 1920s and 1930s

Everyday Fashions of the Twenties As Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs Everyday Fashions of the Twenties As Pictured in Sears and Other Catalogs

Permanent Waves : The Making of the American Beauty Shop Permanent Waves : The Making of the American Beauty Shop

Don We Now Our Gay Apparel : Gay Men's Dress in the Twentieth Century Don We Now Our Gay Apparel : Gay Men's Dress in the Twentieth Century

Authentic 1940s Hairstyles : Tips and Tricks For Creating Authentic 1940s Hairstyles Authentic 1940s Hairstyles : Tips and Tricks For Creating Authentic 1940s Hairstyles

Uplift : The Bra in America Uplift : The Bra in America

Everyday Fashions of the Thirties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs Everyday Fashions of the Thirties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs

Screen Style: Fashion and Femininity in 1930s Hollywood Screen Style: Fashion and Femininity in 1930s Hollywood

Fashions of a Decade : The 1940s Fashions of a Decade : The 1940s

Everyday Fashions of the Forties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs Everyday Fashions of the Forties As Pictured in Sears Catalogs