The period of 1920’s to the 1930’s was an iconic period for fashion, styling and accessories. It included a rich variety of fabrics, colours and cuts. It was one of the most loved periods whenever we discuss favourite styles with our customers. Key elements of the 1920’s – 1930’s for ladies was of course evening dresses with sequins, feathers, fringes and fine bead work which are popularly known as flapper dresses. Often worn with decorative head pieces and accessorised with long strings of pearls, Affluent ladies of the day would carry a clutch bag made of Python skin and smoke cigarettes from long black and white cigarette holders while sipping cocktails and dancing the Charleston. Hats were very popular with the favourite being close fitting cloche hats often decorated with feathers.
Dresses lost their hour glass shape and dropped waists to create a fashionable bean pole, straight up and down look was all the rage. Evening coats used lots of velvet and luxurious furs. Many had a single large button or wrapped over, a shawl collar, wide cuffs and reached down to the knee. By the late 1920’s and through the 30’s Coco Chanel was having a major influence on the design of ladies fashion. Cloche hats were softened with turban styles and knitted jersey separates began to appear. Fur was still very popular both in coats, trims,shawls and wraps. Dresses were now often cut on the bias allowing them to cling naturally to the body and skirts were given wedge cut pleats to give a fullness to the hemline. Outfits were very often worn with gloves and accessorised with costume jewellery made from enamel and glass fashioned into brooches,ear rings and bracelets. As more women were now engaging in outdoor pursuits and sports designers like Chanel began designing clothes specifically to suit the activity whether it be golf, swimming or tennis. Slim fitting tailored suits became a practical look for day wear and with the new invention of zips buttons were often replaced by this new design feature.
Halter neck backless evening gowns in luxurious satin were very popular and backs and shoulders became the new erogenous zone.
For men the 1920’s saw three piece suits with wide cut trousers and turn ups, a high waist with button braces under a waistcoat and single breasted jackets with a wider lapel. Tweed was becoming a popular choice of material both in and out of the countryside. Formal evening wear was very much black tie, dinner jacket, waistcoat, stiff white shirts with detachable wing tipped collars and silk top hats. As we move into the mid and latter parts of the 1920’s men became more flamboyant with the introduction of a much wider legged trouser known as Oxford bags originally worn by a group of undergraduates from Oxford. In Cambridge undergraduates were wearing tweed plus fours previously only worn in country pursuits. Plus fours were given their name as they roughly finished four inches below the knee. Two tone shoes known as correspondent shoes became very popular. Hand knitted Fair Isle v neck jumpers with striped blazers and cricket flannels became fashionable summer attire. Hats varied from trilby’s, homburgs and flat caps in the winter to boaters in summer. During the thirties The Prince of Wales became a major influence on men’s designs of the period. His particular preference for double breasted suits and check material were two examples of how he had a direct input on styles of the day.