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Art Deco Style Ideas & Tips

Women Fashion Trends in 1920s’ and 1930s

The classic era of Art Deco had its own rules. There were rules for dressing as well. Specific dress for specific occasion, even they had dresses for the specific time of the day. Nearly everyone followed the dress rule of that time except the anarchists, artists, shocking debutantes and intellectuals. Etiquette books of Art Deco Fashion explains the appropriate dress for church, shopping, tea, business, travel, dinner, garden party, opera, theatre and balls.

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Women’s Fashion Sense in the Art Deco Era

In 1920 American women implemented new fashion trends. During 1920’s they were less into corsets and adopted shorter hair style. Throughout the decade the torso remained flat chested. But in 1930 the change in the fashion sense leaned towards more natural shapes. Silhouette appeared, but it didn’t happen overnight. The change started first in the late twenties but got its original form by 1931.

Comparison on 1920’s and 1930’s Women’s Fashion

  • In the 20’s the fashion statement was straight forward. At the time of making a new dress they used to focus only to the necessary thing to hold the dress on the body and execute the important design element. All the design emphasis was dropped to the hip. While, 30s clothes were pieced fabric combined together in most fashionable ways. It was a lot of use of seams and various stitches for embellishments. The look of 30s was more tailored and more fitted to the body. Bust line was not flat but 30s bought soft curves and waist was at natural length and often with a belt. With the start of Great Depression (1929), morals tightened and as a result hemline dropped.
  • It’s a long persisted myth that dresses during the 20s were shorter. By the standards of the that period they were but comparing them with 21st century standards they were quite formal and length they maintained at least below the knee. It happened only in the mid-20s, for only a very short period of time when women stunned the society with hemline shrink above the knee for evening wear.

  • Now the question arises here – did they really have concern for the hemline? Totally! Women were very classy as their grandmothers were raised following Victorian ideals. They had dresses for every occasion and time of the day (morning, evening and afternoon). For example, for an afternoon summer party they used to wear formal garden party forks, following casual, standard and dressy look. Fabric and fussiness used to change with the occasion. Casual during the art deco period meant fabrics comfortable for play with simple embellishments, like occasional top (coordinated with a scarf of course) and skirt. Women rarely wore pants unless it was a need, say, they were into some sports (riding, shooting, tennis)

Final Word

There were lot of dissimilarities in 20s and 30s fashion statement but one thing remained common that a lady would never go out without wearing a hat. The common fabric during this period was wool, silk, cotton and also the artificial silk (rayon) with the classic print of stripes, simple geometrics, polka dots and floral.

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