Fashion In The 1900s

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If you were wearing a little black dress, then you were probably a Jewish female activist. In the 1910s, this was a look popular amongst women, unique in this time period. Throughout the early to mid 1900s, there were many feats in fashion as there were major events that shaped the American history and identity. Within the first decade, there was the first airplane created by the Wright brothers, in the second, there was the WWI. The 1920s saw the women’s suffrage, the 1930s the Great Depression and the start of World War II, the 1940s, and the end of WWII. Accompanied with these monumental events were revolutions in clothing that together shifted and shaped America to how it is known today. Fashion is representative of cultural behaviors…show more content…
Throughout their discussion of clothing, most—if not all—historians follow a chronological order as they talk about clothing throughout history. Lynn Yaeger, a fashion editor for Vogue and regular contributor to The New York Times, writes her article “Fashion and Style” in the chronologic going briefly highlighting major fashion trends throughout early American history up to WWII and their connection to the events that shaped society. Historians such as these tend to follow more topical driven papers while textbook type tend to discuss a wide variety of influences seen in clothing. “Fashion in dress are particularly useful for analyzing culture as contested terrain because a central element of fashion is change.” Fashion is a way in which its studiers are informed about the impact of the article of clothing, the time period of its popularity, the type of people who wore it, and so much more. Studies of clothing reveal everything about the person who wears it and its…show more content…
The Little Black Dress, more commonly known as the LBD, embodied the dramatic social change WWI brought to the United States: increasing women’s independence and participation in the economy as they helped work while the men fought in the war abroad. Prior to WWI, many women wore billowing, cumbersome Victorian style clothing and were regarded by their counterparts as weak, but as time progressed and WWI came about, women undertook a new role in society. They filled in the jobs of men and did lots of heavy lifting in factories to help the economy and the war effort. Restrictive corsets were unsuited for work in the factory and women needed to dress with practicality and “a reduction in the amount of material and the use of black de saved on the cost of dresses.” Investment business owner and Progressive Jewish convert Bev May explored the relation between the infamous little black dress and its relation to the garment industry that was driven by many female Jewish immigrants and writes that “the design of the LBD was embraced as it met the functional and economic requirements of women who were entering the work place as a result of the dire economic straits that prevailed in the U.S. and Europe during the early 1900s.” The abandonment of corsets for this dress was symbolic of “women’s power to determine their own shape within fashionability.” “Young women in the 1910s began to reject the Victorian moral sensibilities—and the fashions inspired by them—which symbolically and

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