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1929 Women's Fashions

Project 1929

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Edited: Jan 1, 2009, 2:47pm Top

*I will edit and add to this later later to describe the events leading up to the current fashions of 1929 and why political events influenced the fashions of the era.

I posted these items in their own tread due to the large pictures. I left the images large so you can read the text if desired. Expand your computer screen to full view if necessary to see the entire image.

Here are some fashion ads from 1929 for women. If you want more visuals, just ask, and I can post more items including actual hats, clothing, etc. If desired, I can pull from my collection as time permits so you can see what items really looked like.

Jan 1, 2009, 5:48pm Top

Gotta love those prices!

Jan 1, 2009, 5:55pm Top

But if you put those prices into an inflation calculator, they don't look so good anymore. A dress that cost $7.95 in 1929 would could about $96 in 2007.

Jan 1, 2009, 6:53pm Top

I love the knickers and the shoes with anklettes!

Jan 1, 2009, 8:11pm Top

These are great. I cannot help but wonder what you would have worn in 1930 if you were a normal shaped woman - you know with hips and breasts and things. To me those styles look daunting.

Edited: Jan 1, 2009, 8:45pm Top

Most people don't realize the corset extended from the Edwardian period into the Art Deco period. The difference was the shape and boning of the corset, and of course, the availability of materials, pre and post wartime.

In order for women to get "those boyish figures" many of them wore full length corsets which flattened the bustline.

The bottoms were left open, and tap pants were worn - especially by women who danced and needed the freedom of movement. Do you want me to post some pics?

Jan 1, 2009, 11:57pm Top

Oh how I would love a pair of those Grecian boots!!

Jan 2, 2009, 3:21am Top

Are those hats or helmets?
I sadly have not much of either breasts or hips, I was born at the wrong time!!

Jan 2, 2009, 1:01pm Top

#6 vintage_books I would love to see some of those pics thanks. Very fascinating.

Jan 2, 2009, 1:06pm Top

> Considering The Great War ended in 1918, it wouldn't surprise me to find that the hats mimicked the soldiers sacrifice - like we wear imitation military and naval clothing today. If you want, I'll research your answer. However, I do know the cloche style was embolded to frame the hairstyle The Bob, and support women's emancipation too. More on that later, when I've had time to write something up. :)

>Message 9: Phlox72
I'll post one or two images of the corsets of 1929. If you want a more definitive background on women, corsetry, politics, maternity while wearing corsets and Suffrage, I'll start another thread.


Jan 2, 2009, 1:13pm Top

#10 vintage_books

Yes I think a thread on corsetry etc would be really interesting. It's funny but recently I stumbled upon a website on corsets and just started becoming absorbed by the subject. I'm amazed at what women wore, and what they went through to wear them. So yeah I'd like a thread on that.

Jan 2, 2009, 3:14pm Top

First the corset, then the girdle, and now Spanx (the most reliable "foundation" garment currently available - at least according to a recent article in The Guardian. Oh what would Titian do (WWTD)?

As for me, I want the shoes, but alas, the day of the cute shoe has passed although Campers of Spain has a few that approximate that 20's look.

Edited: Jan 2, 2009, 6:26pm Top

See this article for some thoughts on Spanx, etc.

Sorry, the link doesn't seem to work. Try this, http://www.nytimes.com/indexes/2008/12/07/style/t/index.html#pageName=07girdle

Jan 2, 2009, 7:00pm Top

I love the 20s fashion!! I have a couple of books too (although I cannot dreamm of competing with vintage_books), and I especially like hats and shoes of that time. My mother was born in 1920, and she remembers the fashion very well. I would not have fitted in any of those clothes, even when I was young and thin, because of breasts and hips.

Jan 3, 2009, 12:11am Top

Gosh those dresses are wonderful. And the hats. Thanks, vintage.

Jan 3, 2009, 12:29pm Top

rebeccanyc: Thanks for the article from The New York Times. I loved the pictures. Back to Spanx, I find the name choice interesting - not quite S&M but teetering naughtily and teasingly on the edge. Does it also suggest that women need to be controlled, need to be spanked from time to time? Hmmm. And women buy this product? Methinks, there's a certain irony here, buying something called Spanx is a bit akin to going in for chemotherapy and deliberately offering up one's veins for poisoning - in one's best interest of course (says one who has had chemo).

Edited: Jan 3, 2009, 4:33pm Top

From Jessie Redmon Fauset's Plum Bun (1929): "She wore her most unobtrusive clothes, a dark blue suit, a plain white silk shirt, a dark blue, bell-shaped hat—a cloche—small and fitting down close over her eyes. She pulled it down even farther and settled her modish veil well over the tip of her nose."

The illustrations above really help me to picture her!

Edited: Jan 3, 2009, 4:59pm Top

Here's some hats from my collection to show you some variations on the 1920's ads posted above:

Girl's hat:

More items available if anyone wants to see things. :)

Jan 3, 2009, 5:57pm Top

Oh!!! I love the first one!
I just bought a hat for my daughter (she is almost 21) from a wonderful store called Anthropologie, which is a reproduction of a 20s hat. She looks marvelous, and I wish I looked as fine in one of those too.

Jan 3, 2009, 6:02pm Top

>Message 13: rebeccanyc

Thank you for posting the article! There are a couple glaring errors, which I won't go into. Suffice it to say that the main problem with her research is that she was using outdated terminology to request a product that has been re-named into the lingerie business.

I sold lingerie for a while, and no customer would ever request a corset or a girdle. The problem wasn't that they can't be found in modern stores (they can) is that the author of the article needed to update her vocabulary to request the current product, correctly identified as "Shapewear", though I could also list half a dozen other names.

Rago Shapewear is *quite* well-known in certain circles, and are a popular company. They receive orders from around the world on their quality products. I am quite surprised the author didn't interview a Rago representative.

I think the author personifies the average consumer; but one who needed further research into her historical analysis and current buying patterns before presenting an article which articulates historical fashion trends.


Jan 3, 2009, 6:35pm Top

vintage_books, I am not in the least surprised. I've disliked Daphne Merkin, the author of the article, since I read her extremely irritating Enchantment, one of the few books I've actually gotten rid of after reading.

Jan 3, 2009, 6:52pm Top

vintage, you are just a wealth of information and your collection is delightful. You just keep posting and I'll keep enjoying.

Jan 3, 2009, 9:16pm Top

Great pics! The garments remind me of the BBC TV series 'House of Elliot' about a couple of sisters who ran a couture business in England....

Jan 3, 2009, 9:51pm Top

Oh I loved House of Elliot. The clothes were wonderful.

Jan 4, 2009, 2:36am Top

Me too - it was brilliant and I just wanted it to go for ever - rather like a good book!

These are just wonderful pictures - I have been looking round at some of the British 1929 looks - flappers and all that. My favourite hat is the first. Sadly my bust would mean that I would never have been a 1929 fashion guru but at least I could have worn that lovely hat ....

Jan 4, 2009, 7:13am Top

I could have managed the look when I was 20, but sadly at 60 and after 4 children my figure leaves a lot to be desired! And I mean a lot!

Jan 4, 2009, 9:33am Top

I loved the clothing in the Mapp & Lucia series by TV4. Roughly the same period, just before WWII.

Jan 5, 2009, 12:11am Top

Thanks for the fabulous fashion photos, vintage_books! I love the jodhpurs, crop and boots! I once misguidedly searched for jodhpurs in the city of Jodhpur, to no avail. I think they thought me mad. I was obviously many decades too late for these delightful pants...

I know it's some 17 years earlier, but one of the only redeeming features of Titanic - which I saw part of on television last night - were Kate Winslet's wonderful clothes. Totally different from the styles of the succeeding decade, of course, but also terrific. The corset didn't look too fun though...

Jan 10, 2009, 10:14pm Top

Yes, thanks for the fashion photos and clippings. The style would not be terribly suitable for my current robust figure, I fear:-)

Edited: Jan 10, 2009, 10:58pm Top

>Message 29: avaland

I would be very happy to post the "Stout woman's fashions" sections if you would be interested in seeing the images. I think it's important to note that some catalog had special mailings just for the "Stout woman" (what they called that fashion line during that time period) and they were quite popular, so the board-thin woman wasn't as prevalent as you may think.

Jan 11, 2009, 4:30pm Top

That makes me feel so much better, vintage!
I could not bring myself to believe that every woman was thin and bustless!

Sep 4, 2010, 12:09pm Top

I know this is an old post, but I would LOVE to see the Stout woman's fashions you mention. I belong to a Model A club with a car built in 1929, and have been trying to find some ideas to recreate proper fashions. Most examples I can find are not exactly flattering for a "stout" lady like me!

Group: Project 1929

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