Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The 1920s

ii. World War One
World War One is most often credited with the changes in women's fashion in the nineteen twenties. This gigantic world war forced America into situations it ahd never before faced, opening the door for fashion reform. War industry was needed to fight the war, but so were the men that ran the factories producing it. As a solution, women were finally given jobs that they had never before been able to have, granting them newfound freedom and respect (Bailey, Cohen, and Kennedy 754). Among these rations was cloth, something that the voluminous skirts of the Victorian age used a lot of. In consequence, during World War One rations, women's skirts began to naturally rise out of necessity (Lesieutre 164).
Another effect of World War One that manifested itself in women's wear was the immense casualties of the war. "'After the war,'" says Charles Loch Mowat, "'many women could not hope for marriage and many men could not afford it. This conjuction of circumstances affected manners--and women's fashion's-- so that femininty and the maternal insticts were kept firmly under heavy disguise,'" (Buckley and Fawcett 84). Thus, because of the great number of deaths caused by WWI and the new world it forced women into, fashion reacted by dressing women up to look like La Garconne with their square, masculine silhouettes and short hair.

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