The women did not dress as they were supposed to to preserve body hair and, in most cases, their clothing style was a simple three piece affair: the outer garment, the top and inner skirt. In the 20s women wore a small amount of makeup as well as makeup accessories such as eye shadow and eyeliner and, in the case of the men, beards.
Where were they and how did they move around?
When the 20s began people moved much more often, but it was not the same as in the past; they had much more time to move. In the 20s, however, they were often on trains because they had to do manual labor as they moved around the country.
What about their clothes?
The women were usually seen in dress-like garb while the men wore more tailored styles of clothing. Men often wore hats, while women wore dresses.
Who were their contemporaries?
The 20s were when most fashionable women were women like Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, and Alice Paul, while men were known as “boybands”. In fact, many of those who came of age during this period (around the turn of the century) would become famous through their writing, such as Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Helen Keller, and Robert Penn Warren. Their contemporaries included such notable writers as Ezra Pound and George Bernard Shaw. The 20s also saw the beginning of the mass-market for designer clothing like Prada, J Crew, and Calvin Klein.
In the 20s, women were not seen as being sexually objectified because “Women’s Dress” made its way in with many high-fashion magazines. But, women were often seen as more sexually objectified due to their clothes. Men and women often wore makeup to cover their hair, but, even in those years, it wasn’t a requirement.
Was the 19th century the “sex wars”?
No. It’s important to know that the 19th-century was neither the first nor last time the sexes had to fight for their right to wear clothing. In fact in every other time period, women had to fight the battles to decide their clothing choices. That’s why it’s important to understand the history of clothing because it shows that this era wasn’t the height of sexism. Also, if you look at other women’s clothing that was worn during this time period, it’s clear that women’s dresses came first, not men.
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