The 1920s were a decade that almost literally changed everything for women. Women got the vote, entered the workforce in amazing numbers, distinguished themselves in the sciences, arts, and in literature; and finally broke forever the bonds that had tied them endlessly to the kitchen and the hearth. Sure, there would be intervening decades where it seemed the old rules were firmly in place (blow back happens); but the change had occurred, irrevocably.
Nowhere was that baseline change more evident, than in the clothes women chose to express themselves with.
Gone, were the street grazing skirts and the suffocating corsets. Gone, were endless layers of furbelows and frippery. Gone, were the things that hampered them from moving into the 20th century with full confidence.
We enter the 1920s, and something quite extraordinary happens. The war to end all wars is over. Women are taking a larger place in the world, partly because the male workforce is so frighteningly diminished. For the first time in western history, women are taking power for themselves, not at the behest of men they serve, but because they deserve it themselves, for their own merit. It is not a surprise at all, that the clothes they chose reflected that new power, and that new found freedom.
While it is observably untrue that these changes happened over
night, or were born fully formed, the fact remains that the realities we
take for granted now were born in that decade. Women's apparel became
often frankly ambiguous as to sexuality,
Look at women today and how they dress themselves. Everything we see owes itself to the beginnings laid in that decade. We owe a deal of gratitude to those women back then. The grandmothers and great grandmothers who did the Black Bottom and rouged their knees, Those ladies who learned to type write, and decided that staying at home just wasn't good enough. We owe them a lot.