Resulting from dramatic social change and advances in technology, 1920s fashion has perhaps influenced present day design more than any other era in history.

It was a decade of revolution, a time that brought change both socially and economically. Post war optimism generated the Roaring Twenties, a period that signified joy and ignited hope for a future of freedom and prosperity. Women's Rights took prominence as they entered the work force in record numbers and asserted their independence.

The end of World War 1 brought a social shift that affected every area from architecture to entertainment to home décor, and fashion was no exception. Faster modes of transportation allowed women's magazines to reach people in every corner of the world, glamorizing fashion more than ever before. Ladies, from all walks of life, were shown the beauty secrets of the stars, and emulating Hollywood became a popular pastime as dreams of riches and fame replaced the weariness of war.

Gone were the corsets and bustles of a restrictive Victorian Age. Fussy clothing was set aside for a more comfortable and relaxed style. Hemlines rose, waistlines and necklines dropped, and dresses were often sleeveless with high slits to allow for easier movement. Simple cut designs with clean, straight lines replaced the previously fashionable layers of frills and ruffles, but exquisite attention was still given to detail, using luxurious fabrics and accessorizing with long strands of beads or multiple bracelets. Tresses were cut to the trademark bob or wave and covered with the popular cloche hat. For the first time, functionality was combined with fashion, opulent luxury paired with simplicity, and comfort and style found a way to exist together.

The notorious flapper girls burst onto the scene, introducing daring styles that expressed individuality and freedom. Wearing cosmetics became acceptable for the average woman, and dressing more appropriately for an active lifestyle became more commonplace. Suddenly hats and shoes and jewelry were chosen to match perfectly with dresses or skirts, and even stockings made an undeniable statement. And, every shoe lover can thank the ladies of this era for the new prominence and focus footwear gained. Since shoes were more visible, they were now more important and were chosen to flatter and complement.

Of course, the 1920s was also exemplified by dances such as the Charleston and Lindy Hop. The new styles allowed for freedom on the dance floor and evening wear was vibrant and flashy, reflecting the attitude of the times.

The onset of mass manufacturing as well as the movement toward simple designs that were affordable and easy to copy made modern fashions attainable for women of all levels of society. For the first time, the newest, most contemporary trends were available to both the rich as well as the working class. Costume jewelry was made to look like the finer pieces, and the latest clothing designs differed only in quality of material without compromising style. Fashion was no longer reserved for the upper class, but had now become mutually inclusive.

Whether the boyishly brazen flapper fashion, the elegance and sophistication of streamlined evening wear, or the comfortable, relaxed, and sporty look of casual attire, 1920s fashion set a precedent that changed the world in a remarkable way.

A break from the status quo, a need to express creative individuality, and a change in social perceptions set the stage for a fashion revolution so great that it continues to reverberate through the decades and leave its mark on every generation that has followed.

Throughout the years, styles and designs have developed their own unique flair and defined each era, but it is an undeniable fact that, although many trends come and go, runways and red carpets everywhere still boast the influences of 1920s fashion.

Author's Bio: 

Lesley P is the creator of Decolish a Web site dedicated to all things Art Deco. Visit her site for more detailed information and samples of 1920s fashion and tips on how to purchase items that portray the true style of this fascinating era.