World War I

It was supposed to be a short war. People truly believed that the war would last less than a year. As the war dragged on and the death toll increased, moods darkened. Clothes adopted a utilitarian air. Abandoning the constrictive hobble skirt of the prewar years, skirt hems were widened and jackets took on a more military look. Hats were smaller and simpler, no longer huge contraptions draped in feathers. Instead they were closer fitting to complement the sleeker lines of the dress. Menswear was altered only slightly. Looser fitting cuffed trousers were popular. Mirroring the women's fashions which favored empire like waist, coats were cut to accent the higher waistlines. Conservation was key in the war years, with extravagant dressing looked down upon. With men in the war, women entered the workforce for the first time. Often they spent extra income on clothes and entertainment. Dancing became one of the favorite pastimes of young women and men on leave. Jazz left its mark on music and fashion as well. Acrobatic dances like the Charleston demanded clothes that would allow a greater range of movement and as time went on young men and women favored shorter looser garments.  Following the grisly reality of the war, a hedonistic attitude seized the world.  Looking to enjoy life to the fullest, the post -war world retreated into the fanciful and pleasure oriented Roaring Twenties.