An Up and Down Tale - History of Ladies fashion.

Authors Avatar
An Up and Down Tale Up until the first World War, hemlines were uniformly long -- generally brushing the floor.  This meant that garments took a lot of care, particularly the hems, which dragged through whatever came their way.  Prior to the war, hemlines rose to a more practical ankle length -- but with the advent of war they continued their ascent to mid-calf.  They've stayed there or higher ever since. But what does the length of a hem say about our culture?  Read on and find out! Relaxing the Rules -- the 1920sThe first World War had a profound impact on the attitudes of people.  They questioned the old patterns of living and values that had brought them into such a horrendous war and rejected much of what had gone before.  That included clothing rules, which were unchanged since Victorian days.  Suddenly, not only were women showing ankles and even calves, they were wearing high heels and revealing stockings.  Corsets were out, and brassieres were in, mostly because the culture focused on youth -- and bras could flatten a chest and make a woman appear slimmer and younger.      With moving pictures, Hollywood stars were all the rage -- as was makeup, and the new "permanent wave".  In fact, this is when beauty parlors were born, where women could gather and chat while
Join now!
having their hair done (something previously done at home, or not at all.)  Women even began using nail polish.  Shocking!Judgement Days -- the 1930sAfter the excesses of the 1920s, the stock market crash and Depression came as a slap in the face to our culture.  Many felt it was a judgement against them for their lax behavior, and clothing turned to more conservative styles along with the attitudes of its wearers.  Styles became more feminine, too.  Women were allowed to be women, in short.  Ruffles reappeared, gowns cut on the bias with dramatic lines were introduced.  Hats became more feminine ...

This is a preview of the whole essay