American Culture in the 1920s

A group of “Flapperette” girls in 1924; uploaded from inherited family photos. Source.
Notice some of the fashion choices of these women. For example, all but one of these women have chosen to wear pants rather than skirts. Do you think this was a normal clothing choice for women in the 1920s? Could their outfits be related to the social statement they are making?
Another thing that is common among these women is their choice of haircut. If you notice, all the women have very short hair. This is something that was common for the flapper style of the 1920s. What sort of message do you think these women were trying to send to the public with these short, blunt haircuts?
This is a combination of printed ads used in the May 1920 issue of National Geographic. Source. Courtesy of Don O’Brien.
Notice the tag line that the cigarette ad at the top of the page uses. What do you think is the significance of using words like “culture” and “refinement” in order to sell their product? Do you think this is a successful tactic?
Take a minute to process the illustration that accompanies the Deities cigarette ad. What is accurate about the image (if anything)? What is inaccurate? What does this sort of representation of a culture say about the social climate in America in the 1920s?
This photo captures an American couple on vacation in 1927; uploaded from inherited family photos. Source.
Notice this man behind the couple in the carriage. Judging by his position, it seems like he was tasked with pushing the couple around in the carriage. How might his opinion of the time this photo was taken differ from the couple on vacation?
Considering this photo was taken around the same time as the “Flapperettes” photo at the top of the post, how does this woman’s outfit compare to the women in the first picture? Do you think that this woman would be in favor of the Flapper social movement that was taking place during this decade?

2 Replies to “American Culture in the 1920s”

  1. What a fun post! Those girls – how to you suppose the one in the skirt felt when they met up? Art Deco cigarette + men’s garters. Couple in cart – speaks of race, class, and wondering what they think of flappers. Reads like a short story.

  2. Renee I love the variety of photos you chose! While they seem to all be reflective of different things, there is so much overlap between them. Isn’t it wild how much you can learn or at least perceive about a person based on how they dress? I thought it was also interesting how some of the women in the first photo wore pants verses a skirt. I wonder if that was a choice or if there were other factors that worked into the reason for that dress as well maybe including family approval or profession? The cigarette ad was shows a common pastime of many in that time period and the family photo has clear class and race distinctions of the time as well!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.