08 Jan The Roaring Twenties 2.0
Welcome to 2020, old sport! It’s officially been one hundred years since the Roaring Twenties —the era of sneaking alcohol into speakeasies, throwing lavish parties, and reinventing fashion for the ages. The 1920s has always been a romanticized era that we continuously admire on screen through Fitzgerald novel adaptations. Now that it’s technically the 20’s again, it’s a great opportunity to revisit the trends of the iconic decade.
The Roaring Twenties happened between World War I and the Great Depression, so it’s no wonder the decade seems like the highlight of the early 1900s. The decade was defined by an economic and technological boom, so there was an abundance of newfound wealth. While prohibition, the infamous alcohol ban in the United States between 1920 and 1933, could have dampened the celebrations, the ban actually promoted the creation of speakeasies and a nightclub culture that still thrives today. These nightclubs were the centre for people to dance the night away to jazz music, a pivotal moment for African-American musicians. They also hosted the feminist icons called flappers. In combination of the decade’s celebratory nature and the newly-achieved right to vote, young women shed some of their restrictive gender expectations —in an aesthetic decision that proved girls really do just want to have fun. They cut their hair into short bobs, ditched their corsets for free-flowing fabric, and danced the night away.
“In an aesthetic decision that proved girls really do just want to have fun, young women shed some of their restrictive gender expectations.”
We all know that fashion is a reflection of culture. The fashion of the Roaring Twenties reflects the opulence and fun-loving atmosphere of the time. Clothes were meant to be shown off and danced in! I think 2020 is in need of some extra opulence —maybe a Roaring Twenties renaissance?
The accessories from the 20s are standout. Wearing a dress simply wasn’t enough, as women needed a necklace, a headpiece, a wrap, gloves, and shoes to complete the look. Hair accessories are a trend I’m fighting to bring back. From headbands to elaborate headpieces, women preferred to decorate their hair with sparkly jewels and feathers. Hair accessories, like barrettes and headbands, are making a return in everyday wear. The next step is to wear them to formal occasions. To feel more like Daisy Buchanan and less like a Daisy Buchanan impersonator, opt for subtler hair pieces, such as a thin bejewelled headband or a small barrette with a feather.
“It’s a new decade, don’t be afraid of accessories.”
Meanwhile, men wore hats like homburgs, bowlers, fedoras, and top hats. Seriously, men should try wearing hats that aren’t baseball caps or beanies — it’s a new decade, don’t be afraid of accessories! Wear a bowler with suspenders and embrace your inner Rudolph Valentino.
Another trend in the 1920’s that captured the spirit of the decade was the use of textures. I mean, who doesn’t love fringe? Fringe dresses were made specifically for dancers before the masses realized they’re really fun to spin around in. Feathers also had a big presence in evening outfits, from headpieces to voluminous boas. Should we abandon our coats and use (faux) feather boas to keep us warm on our winter treks to Stages?
The 1920s had distinct patterns in their clothes as well, such as pinstripe suits. Scalloped beading on flapper dresses paired perfectly with art deco jewellery. The scallop shape displayed the woman’s feminine curves without restricting her movement, and the beading gave an elegant, but slightly gothic aesthetic which aligned with the desire to rebel against the angelic standards women had been subjected to in the past. The pattern is still popular, especially among wedding dresses.
While we revive certain fashions from a century ago, we should revive some of the rebellious attitude, too. I’ll be conquering this decade by wearing fun clothes and dancing like there’s no tomorrow —can someone throw a Gatsby-esque party and invite me, please?