What type of dresses did women wear in the 1920s? Dresses came in all kinds of colors and shapes, but a very common dress seen in the late 1920s was a thin, loose silk dress with a thin belt around the waist with similar colored, delicate embroidery on the chest. The hemline wandered up and down, some women loved showing leg, others didn’t. Fortunately in the 1920s, designers catered to all different tastes.
Why you should follow: Corsica native and veteran fashion blogger Garance Doré began her blog in 2006 primarily as a place to showcase her skills as a fashion illustrator. Her blog's function quickly turned from showcasing her art and photography to writing about fashion and beauty. This is a great place to discover classic fashion with a French twist.

Another influence the émigrés had been in bringing their traditional style of embroidery to Paris. Russian “peasant” embroidery appeared on extremely sophisticated outfits, and in some cases mingled with the traditions and motifs from many other countries. It was called “Oriental” but it encompassed designs from many countries. The Ballet Russe had widely introduced this fantasy style to Paris and the city was also fascinated by black jazz bands and the dancing of Josephine Baker. This admiration meant that black artists and culture also influenced the fashions of the time.
Speaking of which, it's also quite common for freelance fashion illustrators to sell prints and assorted art merchandise, whether handled and printed themselves or by a third party, in order to increase chances for a steadier income. It's, of course, entirely up to you if you wish to offer printed works of original pieces, but establishing the marketability of artwork is often a plus for freelancers.
As women’s style became more relaxed, there was more emphasis than ever before on sportswear and swimwear. We were still a long way off from the bikini here; a staple part of 1940s fashion, it wasn’t invented until 1946. But for the first time women could move freely and actually be active in their activewear, so all in all it was a pretty revolutionary decade.
We toyed with it on Vogue.co.uk during my decade as editor of the site from 2005 to 2015, with a shoppable version of the Fashion Illustrated Gallery (founded by William Ling; stocking the work of all the prominent modern illustrators including Downton and Ling’s wife Tanya), running alongside an illustrated blog by Downton himself written from the Fumoir - but it didn’t get huge traction. In contrast, today illustration generates great engagement, even recently making it into the realms of the still-controversial space of branded content with a campaign of illustrated fashion fairytales that ran across Vogue, GQ and Tatler which surpassed all commercial targets for a month-long campaign within the first 24 hours.
Here’s one of the original IT actresses, Clara Bow, modelling an ideal 1920s fashion look. The ultimate flapper girl, she looks ready to break into a Charleston any moment, doesn’t she? The slimming chevrons and dropped waist became style trademarks for all flapper girls by day, and were amped up in sequinned versions for the Gatsby glam parties at night.
If you’re worried about your perm looking a bit too uniform and unnatural, a multi-textured perm could be perfect for you. It’s created using two different sized styling rods which means the curls end up varying sizes throughout your hair. This is thought to look more natural and the uniform and defined curls you would get otherwise. Due to the nature of the perm, it’s best done on women with long hair – the result isn’t quite as flattering on short hair I’m sorry to say.
We toyed with it on Vogue.co.uk during my decade as editor of the site from 2005 to 2015, with a shoppable version of the Fashion Illustrated Gallery (founded by William Ling; stocking the work of all the prominent modern illustrators including Downton and Ling’s wife Tanya), running alongside an illustrated blog by Downton himself written from the Fumoir - but it didn’t get huge traction. In contrast, today illustration generates great engagement, even recently making it into the realms of the still-controversial space of branded content with a campaign of illustrated fashion fairytales that ran across Vogue, GQ and Tatler which surpassed all commercial targets for a month-long campaign within the first 24 hours.
Surprisingly, wearing Sunday’s best was not part of the ’20s culture unless a woman was poor and only had one nice outfit– then, certainly, she MUST wear that to church. Otherwise, whatever she wore for streetwear she also wore to church as long as it was modest with long sleeves and a below the knee hemline. If a sleeveless dress was worn a light shawl, wrap or jacket acted as a light coverup. Simple, non-distracting clothing was appreciated in church. Women were required to wear a hat, gloves and matching purse. These three accessories polished her look and gave her permission to add personality to an otherwise conservative dress. Shop 20s dresses. 

But of course, women did not only wear dresses in 1920s fashion. They also favoured separates – skirts and a blouse, surmounted with a gently tailored jacket, long line or quite often a thick cardigan. The blouses ran the gamut from very simple to be-frilled, embroidered and with all kinds of fancy collars. They also, like dresses, came in many colours and prints.
A career as a fashion illustrator typically requires a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related field. Those interested in pursuing this career will need to build a portfolio to showcase their work to potential employers. Fashion illustrators use art to express fashion designs and ideas, and they may be employed by publications, studios, fashion designers or clothing manufacturers.
“It’s changing, and it’s becoming a much more friendly industry for women particularly,” says Susannah Garrod, who studied fine art at Central Saint Martins and now counts Vogue, Jimmy Choo, Emilia Wickstead and Jessica McCormack as clients as well as contributing to the Fashion Illustration Gallery stable run by William Ling. “Instagram allowed me to record more personal, rather than client-based work - which in turn generated more work ... as a 'jobbing' illustrator it’s been rewarding to be commissioned for work in my own right rather than creating illustrations strictly dictated by the client. These days fashion illustration is appreciated by a more social savvy audience as an art form rather than a 'paint by numbers' necessity to record. People are looking for something different if they commission a fashion illustrator rather than a photographer - it’s no longer the 'poor relation' but an intimate way of interpreting fashion which stands the test of time as a commentary on the industry as a whole.”

Ultra Violet may be the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2018, but street style stars preferred a softer take on the trend this season. Rocking a range of shades from the lavender family, fashionistas proved that light purple is seriously stylish. Whether worn in the form of boots, dresses, coats or even head-to-toe ensembles, the flattering and feminine colour added a lovely touch to looks. Try it for yourself if you’re after something subtle yet exciting.


Casual is a combination of elegance with comfort. This simple style has caught up well with the passage of time and is one of the most sought after fashion styles as of now. None of the exotic and bold items will be in the wardrobe of a woman who follows casual fashion. They would prefer to put on a white T-Shirt and black pants over tight and uncomfortable exotics any day. They tend to keep it simple and match the accessories with whatever the simple clothing they are wearing. See Causal look shopping on Christmas Season.
Chanel was really in her element here, and this is when she invented the ‘Little Black Dress”. Another 20’s couturier of note is Madeline Vionnet, who designed clothes to accentuate and celebrate the natural line of a woman’s body. Her bias cut designs caused silk to fall in a new way, clinging and draping in all the right places. They were supremely elegant.
Some women did though: they did all of those things. Most adopted some elements or other in 1920s fashion, just as we pick and choose from fashions today. It’s also interesting to note that this wasn’t the only fashion available by any means: women had a wide variety of hat styles to chooses from, hairstyles for many stayed long and even the bob came in many different varieties, skirt lengths varied from knee to just above the ankle (you’d be quite old-fashioned to wear one longer, though), voluminous skirts were worn with fitted tops and, by the way, the Little Black Dress wasn’t invented in 1926 by Coco Chanel and immediately adopted as the only dress the chic could possibly wear: working women had been wearing black for decades already and fashionable clothes came in a rainbow of colours, black included.

Fashion illustration has been around for nearly 500 years. Ever since clothes have been in existence, and there has been a need to translate an idea or image into a fashion illustration. Not only do fashion illustrations show a representation or design of a garment but they also serve as a form of art. Fashion illustration shows the presence of hand and is said to be a visual luxury. (Drake, 9).
Once she arrived at her beachside destination, casual comfort was of the utmost importance. White or navy dresses with a nautical or sailor theme were what all classes would wear. Upper classes in the late 1920s began wearing a pants ensemble called beach pajamas. They were inspired by Asian prints with wide legs and a kimono style top or jacket. They were one of the few times women could wear pants. Read about the other types of women’s pants here. 

Fashion Illustration is the art of communicating fashion ideas in a visual form that originates with illustration, drawing and painting and also known as Fashion sketching. It is mainly used by fashion designers to brainstorm their ideas on to paper or computer, using digital software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, which helps them to communicate easily with their team. Fashion sketching plays a major role in designing to preview and visualize designers thoughts and make decisions before going to actual clothing to reduce any wastage.[1]
Chanel was really in her element here, and this is when she invented the ‘Little Black Dress”. Another 20’s couturier of note is Madeline Vionnet, who designed clothes to accentuate and celebrate the natural line of a woman’s body. Her bias cut designs caused silk to fall in a new way, clinging and draping in all the right places. They were supremely elegant.
“Each girl’s wardrobe should contain an extra dress or two which can be worn to meals. At breakfast and lunch, the girls will of necessity wear the dresses they wear to class. At dinner time they should change into something different. They will find themselves fresher in appearance and will be more sociable if they take time to change clothes before the evening meal.” (Textiles and Clothing / by Elizabeth Sage.)
Fashion illustrators often run their own businesses and work on short-term contracts; as a result, they may need the skills to manage their own business effectively. The job market for fashion illustrators is very competitive, and fashion illustrators who hone their artistic skills and develop their own personal style may have an advantage when competing for jobs or contracts. A bachelor's degree is typically required for this line of work.
Skirt lengths became much higher in 1920’s fashion, rising to knee length in some evening gowns, which were also daringly sleeveless. Girls were walking around with arms, legs, and necks uncovered! These simple, shift dress styles were weighted with glass beads which were often embroidered all over and hung in waterfalls, leading to a deep fringe at the hem. They were designed to catch the light and look mesmerizing when girls shimmied to the new dances, the Charleston, Black Bottom and Lindy Hop.
Colors for city folk were a bit on the drab side: black, navy, grey, tan, and olive green. Country folk and seaside dwellers liked color: white in summer, yellow, red, blue, and light grey year round. The difference between city and country clothing in Europe was far more pronounced than in America.  Americans loved to disobey fashion “rules” and wore whatever color they personally liked. Learn more about daytime 20s dresses here or shop daytime appropriate dresses online. 

This website is supported by advertising in the form of product links, banners and sponsored articles. We may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking a link. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  Thank you for your support!
“It’s happening now because social media is so hungry for content, but there is so much cold content out there; so much straight product, which has very little emotional resonance with the audience” says Downie, who was discovered by Nick Knight a year after now-famously taking up painting at the age of 48, and now works with Alessandro Michele at Gucci. “Luxury brands have had to find a way to show their collections in a warm way.”

In summer, an all wool suit was too hot. Instead, men turned to light flannel, striped seersucker or linen suits. There were a few years where pastel colors were popular such as the pink suit Gatsby wore otherwise white, ivory or beige were the best colors. Some men paired white pants with a double-breasted blue blazer for a yachting or nautical look.

Shoes and accessories were more dramatic, too. Shoes would be pumps or strap heels in a medium or high height. Stockings would be sheerer and in colors to match the dress. Gloves would also match or be white (and were taken off to eat).  A hat would be whatever is most becoming to the dress, such as a feather trim sun hat or decorative cloche. Learn more about dressing in afternoon party dresses. 
Ultra Violet may be the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2018, but street style stars preferred a softer take on the trend this season. Rocking a range of shades from the lavender family, fashionistas proved that light purple is seriously stylish. Whether worn in the form of boots, dresses, coats or even head-to-toe ensembles, the flattering and feminine colour added a lovely touch to looks. Try it for yourself if you’re after something subtle yet exciting.
As the name would suggest, pin curl pins are created with pins and curlers. They tend to create quite tight curls however you do have some control over size as you can choose the appropriate curler size to be used. The one drawback to pin curl perms are that they tend not to last as long as other perms, especially if your hair is quite long. This is best done on medium or short hair.
Gabi Gregg set off on this journey to tackle the infuriating gap for plus size women. She started off a blog about a decade ago to show and pave a path in a way that promotes body positivity while being impeccably stylish, vibrant, and colorful. Her outfits are full of life just like her, and so is her clothing line Premme, which caters to plus sizes. She brought, what she calls ‘the fatkini’, by collaborating with ‘Playful Promises’ and ‘Swimsuits’, and showed us how it’s done. We need more women like her, and thanks to social media, we get to follow her around.
×