Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Women's Fashions, 1921

This photograph illustrates Women's fashions in the 1920's. The mink stole would definitely be a no no today. Likely, the feather hat would be frowned on by some as well. I find it interesting looking at old pictures that Men's hats tended to always be rather simple, functional and stylish. On the other hand, there are many examples of women's hats being rather overdone.


  1. I suppose the flapper look wasn't yet in vogue or else that photograph was aimed at high-society matrons. This I think is what most of us imagine when we think of ladies' fashions in the 1920s (it's a pic of movie actress Louise Brooks taken in 1927) - click to enlarge:


    Incidentally, Ms. Brooks was one of the great beauties of the Jazz Age (an expression probably coined by F. Scott Fitzgerald). If you look at the following, you'll soon see why:



    If you want to learn more about the amazing Ms. Brooks, there are a lot worse places to start than with her famous autobiography, "Lulu in Hollywood."

  2. Anon . . . I looked at that picture. I always wondered about hats like that . . . it looks like it would really press the ladies hair down. I guess once you put it on, you would leave it on all day.

  3. My grandmother was born in 1908 and I've seen many pics of her in hats like Louise Brooks. I love them, they look so sleek and sophisticated.

    As for the lovely lady in today's post - I'm not really a girly girl but I love the glamour of these times. I always try to imagine what color the garments and accessories were (odd??).

  4. You mean they were not all black and white??? It is funny when I picture the Civil War, or World War I and II, I imagine them being in Black and white. Vietnam was the first war fought in color. Funny what looking at all these old pictures can do to you.

  5. "My grandmother was born in 1908 and I've seen many pics of her in hats like Louise Brooks. I love them, they look so sleek and sophisticated."

    It's a cloche hat ("cloche" is French for "bell"). According to one website I just looked at, "The cloche hat was not confined to the 1920s as is often first thought. It was fashionable from 1908 to 1933." Still, it was at its height fashion-wise in the 1920s and I suppose that might have been because it suited the bobbed and shingled hairstyles (see below) of the time so well. I'm not a fan myself. Actually, I don't like the shapeless no-bottom-and-no-bust fashions of the 1920s at all. They are way too androgynous for my tastes. Having said all that, I think Louise Brooks would have looked delicious in anything. I am so totally in love with that woman, or at least the woman she was then.

    From "Shall I Have it Bobbed or Shingled?" (1922) by Weston and Lee:

    "Shall I have it bobbed or shingled? Shall I have it shingled or bobbed?
    Sister Cissy says, "Oh, have it shorn short, Sue,
    Shingled, shorn and shaven like the swell set do."
    Shall I have it shingled shorter?" said Suzy as she sighed and sobbed.
    "Sister Cissy said she'd sooner see it short and shingled,
    But both my brothers Bert and Bobby say it's better bobbed."

    Try saying that fast after a few drinks!


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