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The Year in Fashion History: The Jazz Age 1920-1929

After WWI, postwar optimism was immediate. It was time for a new take on life.

The Year in Fashion History: The Jazz Age 1920-1929

After WWI, postwar optimism was immediate. It was time for a new take on life. The Jazz Age, along with the roaring 20s, gave us opportunity to bring brightness into everything from clothing to music. For the first time, American’s lived in more cities than farms. The nation’s wealth was doubling, and Americans were being swept into an affluent consumerist society. Freedom of expression was ringing.

Jazz became an outlet of musical expression that emerged from independent and popular music styles. All on the backbone of the bonds created between African-Americans and European-Americans during and after the war.

Cars gave people the freedom to go where they wanted. People wanted to dance and live the night away. Dances like the Charleston, the cakewalk, the flea hop were born. The birth of the radio, in which 100 million were sold alone in 1927, became the driver that carried a new message of optimism across the nation.

Men began to challenge the styles of old. Lighter colors replaced black, charcoal, and navy from the previous decade. Shoulder pads disappeared, and men were wearing slimmer and tighter fitting clothing.

By the mid-20s, button-down shirts and softer fabrics became the norm. White striped shirts we’re replaced with an explosion of color. For the first time, every man was dressing to the nines.

HOW IT'S AFFECTING STYLES TODAY

We’re seeing this trend come back. Exactly 100 years later. With a vaccine roll-out, a post-COVID world is destined to bring the same optimism that the Jazz Age brought in the 1920s.

New winter styles popping out of VOGUE France for 20-21 have already given us a preview into what our version of the “roaring 20s” will look like. A new cut of suits, bold brightness, patterns, and a new take on squares and lines.

Loungewear and streetwear will remind us of quarantines, lock-ins, and depressing times. But with post-virus optimism, the parallels between 1920 and 2020 so eminent that they can’t be ignored.

A sign of exciting times to come.

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September 11, 2021

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