Something you may not have realised on your own but is blatant once highlighted is the omnipresence of particularly short hair. Beforehand a ‘proper lady’ along with being dressed modestly would grow out her hair to further indicate her womanhood. Long hair was seen as feminine and elegant and was worn by females young and old. For the rebels of the jazz age though, this meant they had to do something drastic in order to separate themselves from not only the older generation but of the youth of before. By cutting their short hair into chin length bobs, the women of the time took a stand to the old idea of femininity, in what was almost the equivalent of the mohawk this haircut was an indicator of what type of person was behind it. Thus, a young lady with a bob gave off the impression she was open to the new lifestyles of the times and was no doubt partial to secret clubs, late night dancing and all the sexual freedom that ensued.
Headbands & Fascinators
The bob wasn’t the only thing up top during this time. A great deal of headbands came into fashion, many adorned with the styles and materials that were popular, others simple materials. As if to make their hair look even shorter women would often sweep back their fringes underneath these leaving no hair over their face. Fascinators helped draw attention to the bold haircuts as they sat at odd angles often attached to a headband, though others were clipped in or connected by other means. Feathers were a popular addition here as the idea was to attract the opposite sex much like the peacock.
This was the era of art deco after all, so it makes perfect sense that the styles of clothing would reflect the goings on in the art world. Many of the dresses and accessories of this time were not far from the wallpaper that covered the discreet clubs and watering holes many attended. Thick geometric lines culminating in overlapping squares, triangles or more complex shapes were everywhere. Black was more often than not the backdrop while white or gold made the patterns. This can be one way you can spot a jazz age dress amongst other vintage attire.
Knee High Dresses
Though this happened later in the ‘20s the length of dresses was clearly a large part of the freeing feminist movement. Though it may seem preposterous to us today, in the times that came before the jazz age a woman showing her ankles was seen as seductive and was akin to bearing one’s cleavage. Enter the age of sexual revolution and the lengths of dresses became drastically shorter. From above the ankle to shin height, then just above the knee, this of course was tantalising for the men at the time who had never seen women dress this way in public. As if this wasn’t enough, once these loose dresses were dances in, much more was revealed to the crowds of onlookers.