Search

1920’s Women’s Hairstyles Pt. 2

The water wave comb was another implement designed to create wavy hair. Wet hair was set with a series of combs, often made of aluminium or celluloid, which gently pushed the hair into waves. A scarf or ribbon was then wrapped around the head to keep the combs in place until the hair dried into soft waves and the combs would be removed. Women also created “finger waves” by applying “finger waving lotion” to their damp hair, then combing and pinching their short tresses into waves with their fingers. Until the damp waves were completely dry, women protected their efforts with delicate nets made of real human hair. (1)

Fingerwaves, 1920s
Finger waves, 1920s

By the late 1920s, “permanent waves” were also available to women willing to undergo the strong chemical treatments. Although women went to great trouble creating curls and waves in their naturally straight hair, short hair was in general a real time saver. Women with long hair might spend several hours a week brushing, washing, drying, braiding and arranging their elaborate hairstyles, but marcelling short bob only took a few minutes every day. (1)

SOURCES:

(1) The 1920s (American Popular Culture Through History) by Kathleen Drowne and Patrick Huber, 2004

Advertisements

1920’s Women’s Hairstyles Pt. 1

Although popular conceptions of the Jazz Age suggest that every fashionable woman bobbed her hair during the 1920s, some women did keep their hair long. Long-haired women did not customarily wear their hair loose; rather, they pulled it back to the nape of the neck and wound it into a smooth chignon or knot. (1)

Jobyna Ralston, 1920s
Jobyna Ralston, 1920s
Aileen Pringle hairstyle, 1924
Aileen Pringle hairstyle, 1924

Another fashionable style at the beginning of the decade involved coiling long hair into two buns that rested one behind each ear. This hairstyle, known alternately as “earphones” or “cootie garages”, fell out of favour by the mid-1920s. (1)

03
Natacha Rambova, fashion and movie set designer. Cootie Garage hairstyle with headwrap.

However, more enduring was the ubiquitous bob, cut short and straight at about chin-length, which dancing sensation Irene Castle introduced in the United States shortly before World War I. When other celebrities such as French fashion designer Coco Chanel and Hollywood star Louise Brooks also adopted this short, blunt haircut, women across the United States followed suit. (1)

Irene Castle by Edward Thayer Monroe
Irene Castle by Edward Thayer Monroe
Louise Brooks, 1920s
Louise Brooks, 1920s

Many women actually had their hair cut by men’s barbers, since some hairdressers, fearing that short, simple hairstyles would put them out of business, simply refused to shear off women’s long tresses. The bob could be worn with or without bangs, and was often accompanied by side curls plastered to the cheek or by a single curl dramatically set in the middle of the forehead. (1)

 Arlette Marchal, 1920s
Arlette Marchal, 1920s

Around 1923, the standard bob haircut began to evolve into different, even shorter styles. The shingle haircut, or “boyish bob”, tapered to a point at the nape of the wearer’s neck and often featured waves or short curls on the sides. (1)

Mary Astor, 1920's
Mary Astor, 1920’s

The even more radical “Eton crop”, which was trimmed above the wearer’s ears and shaved in the back, appeared in 1926. These streamlined haircuts were perfect for tucking underneath a stylish cloche hat so nothing but perhaps a side curl or two was visible. While young women in their late teens and twenties were the first to engage in the bobbed hair craze, by the end of the decade women of all ages were wearing the convenient and versatile bob. (1)

Eton Crop hairstyle, 1920s
Eton Crop hairstyle, 1920s

“Marcel waves”, as they became known, were a tremendously popular feature of the bobbed haircut. In 1872, Marcel Grateau, a French hairstylist, invented a method by which hair could be curled or waved with the use of curling iron heated on a stove until it was nearly scorching hot. By the 1920s, more convenient electric curling irons and crimpers became available, making it even easier for women to “marcel” their hair into deep horizontal waves that were then fashionable. (1)

This picture shows a step-by-step tutorial on how to make the Marcel Waves, 1920s
This picture shows a step-by-step tutorial on how to make the Marcel Waves, 1920s

SOURCES:

(1) The 1920s (American Popular Culture Through History) by Kathleen Drowne and Patrick Huber, 2004

1920’s Make-up & Cosmetics Pt. 3

PERFUMES

Controversy also surrounded the use of scent. Single-note floral perfumes were considered respectable – one writer has described Yardley’s lavender water as the ‘only admissible perfume for a lady’ before the Great War. In England, ‘Zenobia’ flower waters sold well: there were thirty different fragrances to choose from. (1)

Yardley's Lavender 1929 Ad.
Yardley’s Lavender 1929 Ad.

But the 1910s and 1920s saw a growing demand for complex oriental compositions that evoked the harem-girl fantasies filling the pages of women’s weeklies, and the dusky charms of Valentino in the desert. Grossmiths’s four mass-market orientals – Phul-Nana, Shem-el-Nessim, Wana-Ranee and Haso-no-Hamma – were sometimes stigmatised as ‘servant girls’ ‘scent’ but proved immensely popular. (1)

1. Phul-nana by Grossmith Ad 2. Shem-el-Nessim by Grossmith Ad 3. Wana-Ranee by Grossmith Ad 4. Haso-no-Hamma by Grossmith Ad
1. Phul-nana by Grossmith Ad 2. Shem-el-Nessim by Grossmith Ad 3. Wana-Ranee by Grossmith Ad 4. Haso-no-Hamma by Grossmith Ad

In 1923 they added a fifth fragrance, Tsang-Ihang, to this exotic-sounding range. Boots the Chemists added Nirvana and Bouquet d’Orient to the floral scents of its successful Madame Girard et Cie collection. The more up-market perfumers joined in. (1)

Tsang-Ihang by Grossmiths Advertisement, 1923
Tsang-Ihang by Grossmiths Advertisement, 1923

Turkish and amber perfumed cigarettes were also fashionable in the 1920s: advertisements represented these as signifying a mysterious, seductive quality in the daring sophisticates who smoked them. Perfumes such as Caron’s Tabac Blond (by Ernest Daltroff, 1917) and Chanel’s Cuir de Russie ( Ernest Beaux, 1924) played on associations between femininity, tobacco and leather. Another facet of modernism was apparent with the introduction of Chanel No.5 in 1921. (1)

1920s Chanel no. 5 Advertisement.
1920s Chanel no. 5 Advertisement.

There were no overt references to flowers here: Chanel herself dismissed any idea that women should smell of roses. The composition (Ernest Beaux) was aldehydic, complex abstract: the packaging square, spare and modern. (1)
SOURCES:

(1) Glamour – women, history, feminism – Carol Dyhouse, 2010

1920’s Make-up & Cosmetics Pt. 2

TANNING

Following the lead of Coco Chanel and other fashion mavens, American women of the mid-1920s also stopped protecting their skin from the sun and instead gloried in deep bronze suntans. A winter tan, in particular, became a prestigious status symbol, indicating that the possessor had both the money and the time to vacation in sunny locations such as California, Florida, or even Italy. Those without much disposable income often had to settle for self-tanning liquids and powders that claimed to achieve the effect of a natural suntan. (1)

The London Sunbathing Society Members of The London Sunbathing Society pose for a photographer in the 1920s.
The London Sunbathing Society Members of The London Sunbathing Society pose for a photographer in the 1920s.
Coty Ad, 1920s
Coty Ad, 1920s

Not all women, however desired a dark skin. Some African-American women spent a great deal of time and money attempting to lighten their skin so it more closely resembled a white complexion. Hundreds of bleaching lotions and other whitening potions were marketed in beauty shops, drugstores, newspapers, magazines, and mail-order catalogues. (1)

Dr. Fred Palmer advertisement, ca 1929 (Chicago Defender)
Dr. Fred Palmer advertisement, ca 1929 (Chicago Defender)

Advertisements for products with suggestive names such as “Black-No-More”, “Fair-Plex Ointment”, and “Cocotone Skin Whitener”, promised (or at least implied) that, with repeated applications, African-American women would be rewarded with an attractive, pale skin tone. (1)

Apex Advertisement, 1929 (Apex News)
Apex Advertisement, 1929 (Apex News)

Not surprisingly, the very idea of skin whiteners sparked intense controversies in African-American communities. While many women, particularly light-complexioned African Americans, bought these oinments and believed the advertisers’ false claims, others spurned these products and vehemently rejected the notion that lightning one’s skin was either desirable or possible. (1)

SOURCES:

(1) The 1920s (American Popular Culture Through History) by Kathleen Drowne and Patrick Huber, 2004

If you’d like to learn more about these crazy tan trends from the beginning of the 20th Century, I recomend this article CHANGES in SKIN TANNING ATTITUDES Fashion Articles and Advertisements in the Early 20th Century

1920’s Make-up & Cosmetics Pt. 1

MAKE-UP

A key sign of modernity in women was the wearing of cosmetics, particularly lipstick, probably the most significant issue marking the generation gap between mothers and daughters in the 1920s. (1)

Marion Nixon perfects her lipstick c. 1920s
Marion Nixon perfects her lipstick c. 1920s

According to Graves and Hodge in “The Long Weekend”, the fashion spread ‘from brothel to stage, then on to Bohemia, to Society to Society’s maids, to the mill grill, and lastly to the suburban woman’. But it was the influence of the stars of early cinema, Clara Bow, Gloria Swanson, Joan Crawford and their like, which encouraged so many young women to start wearing make-up. Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden were among those who began to capitalise on this new trend. (1)

By the end of the First World War Arden and Rubinstein were already rivals. Both came from necessitous backgrounds, and they shared qualities of social ambition, commercial imagination and a steely determination that underlay their separate global success as entrepreneurs. (1)

Sales of cosmetics soared from $17 million in 1914 to $141 million in 1925. Both Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein managed successful cosmetics empires in the 1920s, marketing their make up and skincare products to a nation of female consumers longing for the last beauty-enhancing invention. (2)

Adolf de Meyer - Advertisement for Elizabeth Arden cosmetics, 1927
Adolf de Meyer – Advertisement for Elizabeth Arden cosmetics, 1927

The cosmetics industry boomed during the 1920s, and thousands of beautician schools and beauty parlours sprang up that sold make-up and face creams, astringents, lotions, and other products guaranteed to preserve or restore the bloom of youth. Prior to World War I, and American woman who visibly wore make-up, or “paint”, as it was often called, was immediately suspected of being immoral – a woman of “easy virtue”. (2)

GRETA GARBO GIF
Gif made by Fascination Street at http://gifmaker.me/

Greta Garbo, playing the part of the siren Felicitas in “The Flesh and the Devil” (1926), touched up her lipstick in church while the priest inveighed against her wicked ways as a woman. To woman raised in the Victorian tradition of ladylike modesty, the wearing of cosmetics was unacceptable. (1)

But during the 1920s, wearing cosmetics became not just fashionable but respectable. Inspired at least in part by the glamorous Hollywood movie stars who painted dark red lipstick on their mouths and applied heavy black mascara to their eyelashes, women of every age began to apply rouge, powder, lipstick, and eye-liner to their faces. They plucked their eyebrows into dramatic arches and then redrew them using eyebrow pencils. They accented their lashes with mascara and reddened their lips into the pouty, “bee-stung” look popularised by Clara Bow and Theda Bara. (2)

Clara Bow
Clara Bow
Theda Bara
Theda Bara

SOURCES:
(1) Glamour – Women, History, Feminism – Carol Dyhouse, 2010
(2) The 1920s (American Popular Culture Through History) by Kathleen Drowne and Patrick Huber, 2004

10 Fabulous Pictures of Shoes & Hosiery Fashions from the 1920s.

Amazing 1920s shoes, perfect for dancing!
Amazing 1920s shoes, perfect for dancing!
Edward Steichen for Vogue, April 1925.
Edward Steichen for Vogue, April 1925.
Grete Kolliner- Advert for shoes, Vienna, 1925
Grete Kolliner- Advert for shoes, Vienna, 1925
1920's - High Heels - Black patent shoes, with white straps and heels - Getty Images
1920’s – High Heels – Black patent shoes, with white straps and heels – Getty Images
Stockings rolled down - true flappers!
Stockings rolled down – true flappers!
1926 - amazing work!
1926 – amazing work!
Another beautiful example of 1920s hosiery!
Another beautiful example of 1920s hosiery!
Silk stockings from Bouvier Frères, Les Modes July 1922. Photo by Henri Manuel.
Silk stockings from Bouvier Frères, Les Modes July 1922. Photo by Henri Manuel.
Shoes and stockings, 1921
Shoes and stockings, 1921
Amazing detail! Althoug, the shoes look a bit uncomfortable!
Amazing detail! Although, the shoes look a bit uncomfortable!

1920’s Women’s Hosiery

Women’s hosiery also represented an important fashion consideration, largely as a result of rising skirt hemlines. (1)

1926, a man can't help but looking as ladies show off their amazing shoes and hosiery fashions.
1926, a man can’t help but looking as ladies show off their amazing shoes and hosiery fashions.

Black cotton or lisle stockings vanished among the fashionable set and were replaced by beige or tan hose made of silk or, after 1923, rayon (then called “artificial silk). Affordable cotton stocking were still available throughout the decade, but fashion dictated that women spend the extra money to sheath their newly exposed legs in luxurious silk. While pair of plain silk stocking could be purchased for about a dollar, fancier silk hose could cost six dollars or more for a pair. (1)

Chicago Mail Order Co. ad, 1927 -  you can see here the variety of colours available to order.
Chicago Mail Order Co. ad, 1927 – you can see here the variety of colours available to order.

Women wore garter belts to keep their thigh-high stockings from sagging or falling down. (1)

Risque French Postcard, 1920s
Risque French Postcard, 1920s

Sometimes women rolled the tops of their stocking over garters worn just above the knee, but flapper fashion dictated that stockings be rolled down to expose delicately powdered knees. More conservative Americans considered bare knees the epitome of immoral dress, but as the 1920s progressed, stockingless knees became an increasingly common sight. (1)

Miss Puck Day Found on galleries.apps.chicagotribune.com - note the stockings rolled down, a true flapper!
Miss Puck Day Found on galleries.apps.chicagotribune.com – note the stockings rolled down, a true flapper!

Sources:

(1) The 1920s (American Popular Culture Through History) by Kathleen Drowne and Patrick Huber, 2004

1920’s Women’s Shoes

Because the shorter skirts of the 1920s exposed more of women’s legs, American designers and consumers began to consider shoes and hosiery to be important fashion accessories. (2)

1920s Chorus Girls showing off their amazing legs and shoes.
1920s Chorus Girls showing off their amazing legs and shoes.

At the beginning of the decade, many shoes featured pointed toes and two-inch, curved “Louis” heels, broad one-and-three-quarter-inch “military” heels, or one-inch “walking” heels. Comfortable rubber sole and heels, introduced during Word War I, also steadily gained in popularity throughout the 1920s. (2)

This pair of cream, multi-strap shoes has toe and seam perforation on scalloped detailing, and dates to spring of 1924, photo by Vanity Fair
This pair of cream, multi-strap shoes has toe and seam perforation on scalloped detailing, and dates to spring of 1924, photo by Vanity Fair

As the decade progressed, women’s shoes with rounded toes and chunky, two-inch “Cuban” heels or, conversely, slender “spike” or “Spanish” heels became common. Dressy women’s shoes often featured a strap across the top of the foot- either one strap, two straps, three straps, cross straps, or T-straps – often made of brocade, satin, or some other delicate material. (2) Of all the styles available, a shoe with a strap fastened with a single button and a waisted heel became the most popular style worn during the 1920s. (1)

Jeanne Lanvin, 1924 - you can see here in detail a good example of fine brocades from this decade.
Jeanne Lanvin, 1924 – you can see here in detail a good example of fine brocades from this decade.

The straps buttoned on one side of the shoe, and fashionable button covers made of enamel, rhinestones, silver, gold, or brass added a little extra flair to otherwise simple shoes Not only were these strapped shoes fashionable, but they also prevented women from accidentally kicking them off during an exuberant performance of the Charleston or other high-stepping dance. (2)

A group of women dancers featuring shoes with a strap more suitable for dancing.
A group of women dancers featuring shoes with a strap more suitable for dancing.

A plain pump, nearly identical to those worn today, was also popular footwear choice. In the early 1920s, most women’s shoes were available in the conventional colours of brown, tan, black, white, or gray. As the decade wore on, however, women began to sport shoes in silver, gold, red, green, and other dramatic colours. (2)

Made from a variety of brocaded silks and exotic leathers, and often with decorative details such as heels embellished with paste tones, those shoes reflect the taste for luxurious fashion which culminated in the art déco style of the International Arts Exposition in Paris in 1925. (1)

Advertisement of the famous French heel manufacturer F.Weil.E.Petit & Cie - 1925
Advertisement of the famous French heel manufacturer F.Weil.E.Petit & Cie – 1925

In the 1920s, Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo was working in Hollywood and invented the metal arch support, which provided enough support for high-heeled shoes that the shoes no longer needed to be closed (the closed toe held the feet in the shoes), leading to the first true-high-heeled sandals. (3)

The influence of Paris was challenged by Hollywood in the inter-war period as the screen stars presented a type of glamour that people wanted to emulate. (1)

Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, The Condé Nast Years 1923–-1937 | International Center of Photography
Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, The Condé Nast Years 1923–-1937 | International Center of Photography

Dorothy Sebastian Shows How to Wrap a Turban

37

Step 1: Fold a large square shaped scarf into a triangle. Place the centre flat end of the scarf at the base of your head. Have the centre tip of the triangle go over the head and lay in front of the face.

38

Step 2: Take the left and right sides of the scarf cross over top of the head and tie around to the base of the neck. Make sure to tie tight enough to feel secure but not too tight or the turban will pop off.

39

Step 3: Tuck excess fabric into the underside of the scarf. Take the pointed tip of the front of scarf and tuck under the fabric at the crown of the head.

40

Step 4: Now you should have the perfect turban! Add a decorative clip for that extra glamour!

Pictures found on tumblr. Words from Cosmopolitan.

Find more about 1920s Women’s Hats and Turbans fashions here.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑