Our fashion inspiration at Ruche begins with the Roaring 20s. We adore our drop waist dresses, cloche hats, and glamorous sparkle, and we have this era to thank for that! With the incitement of prohibition and increasing women’s rights, 1920s fashion was marked by rebellion and the aim for equality. This led to a less constricting, boyish silhouette and, with the influence of French designers such as Elsa Schiaparelli, decorative elements of Art Nouveau, geometry, and surrealism were incorporated into clothing designs. The flamboyancy of the era went out with the crash of the stock market in 1929, but the boyish silhouette and artistic influence on clothing that developed during the 1920s can still be appreciated today and adapted into the Ruchette style.
More so than any other 1920s fashion trends, drop waist dresses define the decade. From the simple drop waist dresses of the first half of the 1920s to the festive fringe dresses of the flappers in the latter half of the decade, the drop waist dress was a rejection of female social norms. The corset was abandoned and figure-hugging dresses were replaced with loose, slimming outfits that focused on a more boyish appearance.
The hemline of the dress also rose during this time. Throughout the majority of the decade, 1920s dresses were at calf length (known today as midi length), but during the flapper era (1926-28), dresses sometimes revealed the knees. Pleats, slits, and fringe also gained popularity during this decade. These innovative twists on the skirt design had a more than aesthetic purpose though. They were meant to allow more movement and make the dresses suitable for a long night of dancing the Charleston!
Drop waist dresses and midi skirts can still be worn today and exude the ultimate vintage feel, especially when paired with strappy, closed-toe shoes for a complete look. Slits, pleats, and fringe are still extremely popular and are featured in many vintage inspired clothing designs today, which is great for us, Ruchettes! After all, who doesn’t love a little glitz and movement while dancing the night away?
Wearing separates (pairing tops and bottoms) became streamlined in this decade as a way to provide women with comfortable, easy daywear options. The aim of 1920s tops was similar to that of dresses – to give the appearance of a boyish figure. Blouses were loose and often made of rayon, a fabric that became a popular silk alternative during this era and is still used frequently today. While blouses were relatively plain at the start of the 1920s style, they later involved art nouveau and geometric designs, following the same shift in trends as dresses. Today, pairing a jeweled headband with your favorite silky blouse is a simple way to get a subtle touch of 1920s style.
As with dresses, 1920s skirts were shorter than those of the previous decade, hitting the calf instead of the ankle. Many skirts during this era still had a higher waistline and a fuller form than the dresses of the time, but they were often worn with baggy blouses and sweaters to give a drop waist effect. Coco Chanel also paved the way for women’s trousers by donning them herself! This was another trend aiming to equalize the sexes, but trousers for women didn’t become completely standardized and accepted until a few decades later. For a cute modern take on 1920s style, pair a loose blouse (solid or patterned) with a full pleated midi skirt.
The shoes of the 1920s focused on straps and lots of ornamentation. The T-strap heel came into fashion, as the addition of the strap allowed footwear to stay on throughout a night of dancing. After all, who doesn’t crave style and comfort combined into one? The simple T-strap heels of today instantly add a vintage 1920s touch to any dress, skirt or pair of pants. Women’s oxfords also became a trend as a play on menswear and can still be worn with any outfit for a darling 1920s style too. The 1920s were full of glitz, so adorning shoes with colorful beads, gems or elaborate hand-painted designs also gained popularity in this decade. Today, we pair embellished shoes with a more neutral outfit than may have been worn in the 1920s, but the essence of flashy 1920s shoes remains the same. Check your shoe closet – we bet you can find classic T-strap heels, statement shoes, and oxfords!
1920s accessories continued with the theme of flamboyancy, and the close-fitting, bell-shaped cloche hat was especially popular. Often made of felt, these hats ranged from simple solid colors to extravagant and bejeweled headpieces and were worn by women of all ages. Like the drop waist dress, the cloche hat is distinctly era-specific. Pair one with any outfit to instantly channel the Roaring 20s!
Headbands also became a popular accessory during this decade, and many featured feathers and jewels to match the ornamentation of flapper dresses and T-strap heels. Lucky for us, the 1920s headband is still popular today! All you need is a shimmery headband with an iconic 1920s hairdo to celebrate the trend. For a classic 1920s style, try a brave bobbed cut or finger wave your hair. Complete the transformation with dark pointed lips, luxurious lashes, and plucked, well-defined eyebrows. These beauty habits set women apart as flappers!
The jewelry worn in the 1920s was also glitzy; women would layer strings of pearls around their necks and don geometric Art Nouveau inspired pieces. This was the introduction of costume jewelry, which is often used in modern-day styling. Pair a statement necklace with a simple dress or blouse to create a look reminiscent of 1920s fashion!
Wondering which 1920s style icons we adore? Turn to Coco Chanel (designer), Zelda Sayre (F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife), and Louise Brooks (silent film star) for iconic 1920s style inspiration, and visit Ruche for the vintage inspired clothing and accessories you need. We hope that you’ll enjoy mixing and matching 1920s style trends for a vintage and confident look!