American Women’s Fashion
American women’s fashion largely is influenced by the fashions of the early 1920s. The Roaring Twenties, an decade long period in American history, gave birth to a craze for finer, dressier clothing. Fashion reflected these changing times and the ideas of that age. Dressy shoes, elaborate dresses and tailcoats all emerged during this time. The designs were quite varied, ranging from gaudy designs to more conservative fashions, but ultimately they all served to define the lifestyle of the early Americans.
A major influence on women’s fashion was the art movement. Many women began to dress according to the new art movements that arose in the period. Shirts and skirts were often designed for specific professions or events. For example, if a woman needed to dress for an upcoming sewing machine demonstration, she would most likely purchase a skirt that had a sewing machine embellishment, such as a zipper, a frill or a hook and eyelet.
Another popular fashion trend was the use of stockings, which were called petticoats. They were made of wool, or felt, and often had fringe or piping, as well as decorative embroidery. These garments were originally only worn in formal events, but as clothing became less formalized, they found their way into many women’s wardrobes. During the late nineteenth century, petticoats gave way to moreformal white or black skirts and dress blouses. Eventually, skirt wearing became less of a fashionable compulsion and more of a “every day” fashion statement.