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Home /History / Our Favorite 20s Trends

Our Favorite 20s Trends

By Elaine Elliott

Can you believe it has been one hundred years since the Roaring Twenties? The iconic era has remained timeless in our society due to continuous movies and stories like the Great Gatsby, sequined flapper dresses, and speakeasy-style bars found nationwide.


The 1920s will always hold a special place in our hearts. In honor of the new 20s, we’re traveling back in time to recount our favorite trends from this progressive era.


Do you think the 2020s will be just as roaring, dazzling, and booming as the 1920s? We’ll find out soon enough!


The Art Deco Boom

Modern, geometric styles took over the fashion, interior design, and architecture scene in the mid-1920s. Introduced in a Paris exposition in 1925, the simple and bold designs influenced everything from jewelry to cars. Art Deco was originally viewed as a luxury look using expensive materials, but when the Depression hit the movement started to cater to the middle class. The style continues to live on in examples such as the New York Chrysler Building, Miami’s South Beach district, and the Union Terminal in Cincinnati.


The Emergence of Flappers

Most women still have a flapper dress hanging in their closet, right? The Flapper look became one of the most popular symbols of the 20s. Young women of the era were enjoying newfound freedoms within the political, social, and cultural spheres. Such nuances brought about fashion statements including bobbed hair, calf-revealing dresses, colorful makeup, and dancing shoes. Although the former Victorian style would have disapproved; advertisements, film, and fashion brands in the 1920s embraced the new look for years to come.


The Rise of Jazz and Speakeasies

 The Prohibition started in 1920, which caused people to seek drinking and dancing in Speakeasies. Since Speakeasies were illegal, managers didn’t abide to laws banning African American musicians from playing in white dance halls. This caused white and black citizens to mingle in secrecy while they danced to jazz and drank coveted liquor.


The fast pace of jazz also brought forth new dances like the Charleston, Foxtrot, and Black Bottom. Even though the genre was considered immoral, the music continued to flourish and inspire composers, musicians, dancers, and listeners alike.


Speakeasies were a big reason why jazz became more accessible to the American public. These low-key bars multiplied nationwide in the shape of extravagant ballrooms to small basement joints. Even today, bars love to embrace the “speakeasy” style of dim lighting, sultry jazz, and art deco design. 


The Term “Dating”

Perhaps the most enduring trend in the 1920s was dating. As more social freedoms emerged, so did the opportunity for young singles to meet without parental supervision.


Starting during the Civil War era, it was common to court somebody without a parent involved, but the term “dating” wasn’t coined until much later as independence in young adults became more widespread. Now dating has become a norm due to technology, mobile apps, and networking events. We have the Roaring Twenties to thank you!



The Popularity of Dance Marathons

In 1923, dance instructor Alma Cummings became famous overnight for dancing for 27 hours straight. Her record sparked the introduction of prize-winning dance marathons across the country. In less than a month, her record was broken as people flocked to the dance floor to partake in the 20s newest fad. Dance contests continued into the 1930s as a form of cheap entertainment and a money source during the Great Depression.


If you’ve ever participated in a dance marathon, worn a flapper dress to a party, gone to a jazz nightclub, or used geometric patterns as a source of design inspiration, you can think back to how the 1920s brought these trends to life. Let’s see what the next decade will bring as we cheers to the old and new 20s.

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