Though this was one of the more popular styles, it was by no means the only. In fact, a style popularized by Jeanne Lanvin could not be further from this “androgynous” look. Instead, these dresses had long, full skirts, sometimes even with panniers, like this black and silver “Robe de Style” dress shown here (Fig. 4). They were feminine and romantic, like the pastel dress designed by Lanvin in 1922, accessorized with a straw hat itself removed from the brimless cloche hats that were popular during the twenties (Fig. 5). Lanvin’s dresses were starkly different from the shapeless silhouettes of the flapper, though some interpreted this style with her own feminine twist (Fig. 6).

Another trend for women that enjoyed massive popularity in the twenties was that of sportswear worn as daywear. Sportswear had long been an acceptable form of casual wear for men, but in the 1920s, it also became acceptable for women. The popularity of sports clothes in the 1920s is often attributed, like many of the most popular styles of the twenties, to Coco Chanel, but designers such as Jane Regny and Jean Patou also contributed to the sportswear trend. Patou’s yellow skirt and sweater set show how much tennis clothes influenced design (Fig. 7).

Tennis was the most popular sport for women and thus the most popular inspiration for fashion. Indeed, one of the most popular fashion stars of the early twenties was tennis star Suzanne Lenglen whose short sleeved, pleated tennis dress and bandeau were created for her by Patou (Pel 14). Her style both on (Fig. 8) and off the court (Fig. 9) inspired the masses. Shrimpton writes, “By the late 1920s, following her lead and embracing wider fashion trends, sleeveless, knee-length shift-like tennis dresses were fashionable” (59). So popular were elements of these sports clothes that in a 1928 issue of The Tatler, M.E. Brooke wrote, “Sports clothes have been developed to such an extent that they may go to lunch at the fashionable restaurants; as a matter of fact they are often worn until the hour of cocktail” (Brooke 276).


By fashonana

Fashonana is a fashion blog for the fashionable woman of this era.

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