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Flapper Fashion

September 1, 2011

In the 1920s, a new brand of woman was born: She smoked, drank, danced, and voted. She cut her hair, wore make-up, and went to petting parties. She was giddy and took risks. She was a flapper. The term “flapper” first appeared in Great Britain after World War I. It was there used to describe young girls, just stepping out of adolescence. With the onset of the roaring twenties,a host of new fashion trends were ushered in. The outer clothing of flappers is still quite remarkable and  identifiable today. This look, called “garconne” (“little boy”), was instigated by Coco Chanel. To look more like a boy, women tightly wound their chest with strips of cloth in order to flatten it.9 The waists of flapper clothes were dropped to the hipline. She wore stockings – made of rayon (“artificial silk”) starting in 1923 – which the flapper often wore rolled over a garter belt.



Women’s hair was worn fashionably short in bob and shingle styles. The shingle was considered the most feminine women’s short hairdo of the 1920s. The style featured short hair worn close to the head with the front and the sides cut to cover the ears and the back cut and shaped into layers of short fringe at the neckline to resemble shingles on a roof. The sides were cut at a slant, with the shortest hair at the nape of the neck and the longest hair falling at the bottom tip of the earlobe and forming a curl. The hairdo was parted at the center or on the side. The shingle hairdo sometimes was waved a bit, and it was less flat and heavy looking than the bluntly cut bob, an extremely short haircut. The shingle hairstyle remained stylish well into the early 1930s, and then its popularity gave way to looser, more traditionally feminine mid-length hairdos.

The cloche, a hat which hugged the head like a helmet with a very small brim, accompanied the rage of the short 20s hairstyles. It was first created by milliner Caroline Reboux in 1908 but it was not until the 1920’s that it became popular and loved by the Flapper crowd. The cloche was usually made from felt so that it conformed to the wearer’s head shape.Innovation in hats emphasized tidiness, neatness or quirkiness and became emerging advances in fashion trends.



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