Men’s dress shoes consisted of lace-up cap toe, wingtip Oxford or derby shoes. The most dressy Oxford was the wingtip with a distinct W design on the toe. Most middle-class businessmen opted for the simple cap toe Oxford in brown or black or white nubuck in summer. Some old men continued to wear lace-up dress boots.  With snazzy new suit colors came the trend of two-tone Oxfords. Usually brown and white, they looked very dapper. Saddle shoes in brown and white were another casual shoe although a few came in black and white. Learn more about 1920s men’s shoe styles. 

The 20’s was a dynamic decade and in fashion trends we find a range of contemporary currents and expressions reflected; everything from jazz and Art Deco to archaeological finds in the Orient and above all – social change.  Particularly women’s fashion underwent drastic changes as garments were now designed to allow their bodies to move freely, drive vehicles, play sports or dance the night away. The ideal figure turned straight, with no emphasis on either bust, waist or hips and the extreme figure shaping corsets were finally abandoned. Skirts exposed more of the legs than ever before – for a short period even the knee caps!


Back in the 80s, curls were 100% the hairstyle to have. Straighteners were out and curlers, crimpers and perms were everywhere. Girls loved their curls and why not? They brought volume, life and waves to their hair. Now, thirty years later, everything retro is back in fashion and women everywhere are realizing that the 80s rocked – especially when it came to fashion.
What type of dresses did women wear in the 1920s? Dresses came in all kinds of colors and shapes, but a very common dress seen in the late 1920s was a thin, loose silk dress with a thin belt around the waist with similar colored, delicate embroidery on the chest. The hemline wandered up and down, some women loved showing leg, others didn’t. Fortunately in the 1920s, designers catered to all different tastes.
A mother-of-four, Downie clearly has a knack for “accidental” success having initially touched upon the fashion scene via a short stint making jewellery at her kitchen table which was selling at hip Covent Garden store Koh Samui in the late Nineties - before “one day I was cooking fishfinger sandwiches and [Net-A-Porter.com founder] Natalie Massenet calls up to ask if she can buy some for this new online thing she was doing”. Whether professionally trained or not, she’s keen that fashion illustrators are worthy of being called artists regardless of their status in relation to photographers. Certainly her own work is now bought by collectors all over the world at prices akin to fine art, regardless of what her subjects are depicted wearing. Citing the work of her Gucci collaborator Ignaci, as well as that of Kelly Brennan and Jill Button, “it crosses the line of design and fine art”, she says. “Whatever that umbrella term can be called. It shouldn’t be relegated to just fashion illustration.”
The girl next door. The classic style that’s been around for ages. This fashion style doesn’t pay attention to the latest trends and doesn’t involve anything wild or exotic. This trend focuses on simplicity and cuteness, with a striped tee, shorts, and tennis shoes enough to make her happy. At the end of the day, she just wants to be adorable and casual!
For the mature women who chose to dress more modern, there were styles that were modest and simply decorated. Lane Bryant was one of the first mail order catalogs to design garments for the mature, plus size and maternity market. Most of the Lane Bryant fashions were modeled after the same designs worn in the mainstream, however, designs were usually of dark solid colors or small all over prints with vertical lines created by long pleats, long lapels, and narrow belts. These style details slimmed the body and looked flattering on women of all ages. Shop plus size dresses and mature women’s dresses (modest.)
That is certainly the experience of Anna Laurini (@annalauriniblue) who has seen her street work welcomed into the fashion art family with voracious enthusiasm. Having studied at Central Saint Martins, Laurini began to emblazon her signature Cubist-influenced, red-lipped face across billboards in Shoreditch and Mayfair “as a break from the studio” and is now regularly called upon for collaborations, most recently by Rupert Sanderson and Japanese label Black by Moussy. “It’s surprised me how popular my work has been in fashion terms,” she says. “I never expected it.” And again, Anna says, it’s the audience that is key to the success of her work. “I never give the woman a story as I paint her,” she says. “It’s really up to the viewer; people often tells me that my work resonates with their particular mood. I like that it’s relatable on a personal level.”
Sports clothes for men included a pair of pants or knickers called plus fours. These knee-length pants were paired with a patterned sweater or pullover vest and a long sleeve button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Argyle was a common sweater or vest print as well as a print for tall socks. Clashing colors were in style! An 8 panel cap (newsboy cap) was also worn and a pair of two-tone Oxfords or saddle shoes were snazzy.
Danielle Bernstein’s ‘We Wore What’ has an interesting approach that focuses on style, fashion, and just that. You’d realize that her posts are often full angle shots, with barely close angle pictures, because she is someone who believes that she loves fashion, so everything else can take a backseat. She wants her followers to focus on her outfits, and we think it brings an excellent perspective to the table. With over a million followers that get a dose of her everyday outfits, she is an unstoppable force.

Men’s dress shoes consisted of lace-up cap toe, wingtip Oxford or derby shoes. The most dressy Oxford was the wingtip with a distinct W design on the toe. Most middle-class businessmen opted for the simple cap toe Oxford in brown or black or white nubuck in summer. Some old men continued to wear lace-up dress boots.  With snazzy new suit colors came the trend of two-tone Oxfords. Usually brown and white, they looked very dapper. Saddle shoes in brown and white were another casual shoe although a few came in black and white. Learn more about 1920s men’s shoe styles. 
Dressing in vintage style clothing for a themed event or personal fashion is our passion. We turned a hobby into this website to make it easy to find vintage inspired clothing for women and men online spanning 1900-1960s. Our fashion history blog helps you create the look from decades past using vintage, vintage inspired and thrifty clothing, Need help? Ask us anytime.
Chanel was really in her element here, and this is when she invented the ‘Little Black Dress”. Another 20’s couturier of note is Madeline Vionnet, who designed clothes to accentuate and celebrate the natural line of a woman’s body. Her bias cut designs caused silk to fall in a new way, clinging and draping in all the right places. They were supremely elegant.
Of course, the roaring twenties were the decade of the flapper girl, so restrictive corsets and a womanly shape were out. Which was great for the naturally flat chested – no underwear, hurrah! But if you happened to be endowed with any kind of bosom, in order to fit the sleek styles, you needed to go the other way and actually bind your chest into a flat silhouette.
1950s fall makeup looks of Kim Novak, Debbie Reynolds and Sandra Dee. The Fresh Look, the romantic look and the kookie look. The 1950’s makeup look straight from Hollywood. Fall Makeup “Every woman can be beautiful”. That’s what Richard Smith, 20th Century Fox make-up artist says.“If she has patience with her makeup and learns to stress her best feature.” “The…

One popular style was the buckle pump. Made over a stylish medium round toe in black patent leather, the shoe had an antique silver finished buckle, which concealed an elastic gore, making adjustment easy. A dressier look would be the stunning loop strap, that was made from Autumn Brown mesh leather trimming on the vamp and quarter. The light-colored leather quarter was carefully made not to soil hosiery and they had a spike heel.


A vibrant fashion style is reserved for the lady who wants to say “Hey, look at ME, world!” This energetic and intense fashion style typically features garments with wild patterns and exaggerated embroidery as well as asymmetrical designs and tons of colors. Most of her wardrobe will be lined with super light and pastel colors that draw the attention of everyone’s eyes, no matter where it’s worn.
“Each girl’s wardrobe should contain an extra dress or two which can be worn to meals. At breakfast and lunch, the girls will of necessity wear the dresses they wear to class. At dinner time they should change into something different. They will find themselves fresher in appearance and will be more sociable if they take time to change clothes before the evening meal.” (Textiles and Clothing / by Elizabeth Sage.)

Modernism brought many changes, with Orientalism influencing western fashion for the first time with “Japonsim,” a type of Japanese influence on more traditional garments. Bold graphics and colourful embroidery were seen on ladies dresses – the Italian futurists influenced fashion during the twenties with bright geometric forms and bright colours. It was an exciting time to be part of the roaring twenties and their fashions still permeate today’s wear – the cloche hat has been having a moment as have fringes and kimono style jackets. The twenties are all around us – still.
The second look was for more vigorous outdoor activities, such as hiking, riding, camping, and fishing. Instead of a skirt, women wore wool knickers also called plus fours, togs, breeks or jodphurs. They were wide and baggy around the hips with a button cuff below the knee. Women wore thick stockings or knee-high argyle socks with a pair of flat oxfords. A button down shirt with collar and a skinny black tie gave a nod to menswear. Knit vests, pullover sweaters, and long cardigans added warmth. Men did not appreciate this masculine look but young adventurous women loved it.
The housewife wore a simple cotton dress, thick black cotton stockings, and low heel Oxfords. Dresses were colorful plaids, checks, stripes, or solid colors with pretty embroidery and trim such as lace or rick rack. Housedresses often had white collars. A woman’s apron was usually handmade. The housedresses and aprons were basic yet durable enough for the rigors of 1920s household chores (vacuums, washers, and irons were just entering the marketplace).  For the very poor, a cotton housedress was the only outfit for the day. Shop 20s house dresses/day dresses

The war didn’t bring equality to all women however, the vote was won by women who were house owners over 30 in 1918, and the rest of women did not get the vote until 1928 once they were over the age of 21. In 1918, ALL men had been given the vote over the age of 21. Having said that, although a narrow margin of women had been given the vote, it certainly helped women to feel that things were indeed changing – and for the better.
A graphic designer, illustrator or other artist who concentrates on fashion, including clothing lines, fashion magazine artwork, footwear and drawings found in sewing pattern catalogs, can be classified a fashion illustrator. Combining a background in art and fashion, the artist creates illustrations of clothes and accessories for different purposes. Computer skills and an understanding of digital software illustration tools is increasingly necessary. A fashion illustrator may be hired by a company, a studio or an individual fashion designer.
Jessica Wang is an Asian American blogger turned digital style expert from New York with a fan base of more than a million. Her design aesthetics are breathtaking, off-beat, and fulfilling, which is a terrific combination and precisely what fashion influencers need to be. From breaking stereotypes, challenging fashion trends, and merging high street fashion with luxury fashion, Jessica Wang is an influencer in the most real sense.
The first world war was over in Britain in 1918 – of course its immediate effects were going to be felt well into the 1920s, as well as resonating through the entire lives of those who lived through it. During the war women had been catapulted from their roles as almost hidden “domestic angels” into public life and a much wider range of jobs than they had ever had before. This required a wide range of outfits of a comfortable and practical nature that they weren’t about to relinquish.

“Photography has long been considered superior to illustration when it comes to selling magazines” says Downton. “But it’s like asking what an apple can do that a banana can’t. I think they have a symbiotic relationship. Illustration changes the pace of a magazine as you read it; and you project your own finish onto the story which gives a different sense of satisfaction to the reader.”
In the early years, suits were slim and plain colored. By the mid ’20s, the wide leg look with a loose suit coat made men much more comfortable. These also came in bolder wide stripes, big checks, windowpane, plaid, and tweed fabrics.  Gentlemen’s suits in the summer were nice white linen or seersucker suits. Suit jacks buttoned up with 3-4 buttons to mid-chest. The jacket hung down to the upper thigh and was worn over a matching lapel collar vest. Both coat and vest lapels were quite wide. The skinny “jazz suit” was a brief fad in the very late teens/the early ’20s only. Men wanted wide, loose clothing that felt as comfortable as their weekend attire starting around 1922.
Beautiful Swimsuit Legs of the 1940’s Beautiful legs belonging to famous 1940’s Hollywood faces. Get a good legs workout before donning your favorite 1940’s swimsuits Summer with its bare-legged sun and fun clothes makes us suddenly conscious of our leg beauty, or the lack of it. We realize that for months we’ve devoted all of our care to our face,…
Here’s one of the original IT actresses, Clara Bow, modelling an ideal 1920s fashion look. The ultimate flapper girl, she looks ready to break into a Charleston any moment, doesn’t she? The slimming chevrons and dropped waist became style trademarks for all flapper girls by day, and were amped up in sequinned versions for the Gatsby glam parties at night.
Here’s one of the original IT actresses, Clara Bow, modelling an ideal 1920s fashion look. The ultimate flapper girl, she looks ready to break into a Charleston any moment, doesn’t she? The slimming chevrons and dropped waist became style trademarks for all flapper girls by day, and were amped up in sequinned versions for the Gatsby glam parties at night.

I feel like there’s a lot of love in the vintage community for 20s style, but there’s a much higher barrier of entry to it than there is to, say, 1950s style. For starters, there’s just way less of it. A dress from 1926 would be 90 years old this year. Pieces from that decade are out there, but they’re rare, they’re fragile, and they’re really expensive, particularly if they’re in a really wearable condition. On top of that, the 20s never really came back the way that other decades have. You can find 30s inspired looks from the 90s, and 40s and 50s inspired styles from the 80s, but there wasn’t really a point where people were like “let’s dress like it’s the 20s again!” in a widespread way. Certain details popped up in other eras – beading, fringing, dropped waists – but, at least in my experience, it’s unusual to come across a dress from a later era that truly feels like a 20s piece.
Why you should follow: Corsica native and veteran fashion blogger Garance Doré began her blog in 2006 primarily as a place to showcase her skills as a fashion illustrator. Her blog's function quickly turned from showcasing her art and photography to writing about fashion and beauty. This is a great place to discover classic fashion with a French twist.
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