The Evolution of Women's Clothing

Ever wonder about the evolution of women's fashion over the years? Well I'm here to share with you different types of women's fashion starting from the early 20th century to the 1940s.

La Belle Epoque (1901-1919)

Clothes were more simple, which means less is more. In World War I, clothing was less restrictive and women wore more practical uniforms. Shorter skirts and sweaters, were more fashionable to wear. Then, dresses and skirts were 3/4 length as well as then floor-length. Evening gowns, whether they were for young women, or old, bared their arms and decolletage. You would, however, wear a modest neckline to go to a tea party. The very first a-line skirt was invented, in the first World War. Overalls, for working people, would be ankle-length and coats shorter than skirts were popular to wear.

The Jazz Age (1920-1929) 

The tomboy-look was very fashionable. Hemlines of skirts and dresses became quite short even up to the knee. Flapper dresses, and uneven length skirt also became popular. Blouses were fashionable to wear as well as sleeveless dresses, lower necklines, and pleated pencil skirts.

The Glamour Years (1930-1939) 

Hemlines of dresses and skirts were getting longer with 3/4 length being the most fashionable as well as very narrow skirts and dresses. Dresses, tops, and coats started to be made with different types of collars. Gowns for evening were mostly sleeveless and some were even backless. A lot of gowns were asymmetrical. Necklines on tops and dresses were either low or high with a round or plunging neckline. Long, flared, trousers and more masculine looks for women also became popular.

The Utility Years (1940's) 

Plain clothes were back in fashion, as well as overalls, bibs, and braces. The miltary look was back in fashion. A-line skirts and dresses were back in fashion. A skirt that was slightly flared was fashionable. By the end of the 1940s full flared knee-length skirts were popular to wear. V -neck dresses, tops and jumpers, were fashionable to wear. Fur was very popular to wear. Small print fabric was fashionable to wear. Culottes (trouser-skirt) were, daytime wear for women, as well as jumpsuits.

I hope this summary helped you to see how some of these classic styles evolved over the years. 


Written by Rebecca Jordan of
I have been interested, in fashion from, when I was a kid.

17th Sep 2015

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