Roaring Twenties Fashion: Paris without End

If you know me, you know I’m a huge bookworm. I especially love historical fiction, which is why The Paris Wife, on everyone’s summer reading list, appealed to me so much. The Paris Wife tells the story of a midwestern woman, Hadley, who becomes Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, and recounts their years together in Paris during the roaring twenties. After finishing the novel, I read Paris Without End, the True Story of  Ernest Hemingway’s First Wife (only .99 on your Kindle!).

Both books highlight the fashions seen on women in the 1920s. Pauline Pfeiffer, Hadley’s BFF and (scandal alert) Ernest Hemingway’s second wife, was an editor for Vogue, and was highly stylish especially compared to Hadley, who lived frugally and was stuck in her conservative upbringing, leftover from the Victorian era of fashion.

Hadley Richardson Hemingway (left) and Pauline Pfieffer Hemingway (right)

The Paris Wife & Paris Without End mention several popular writers, artists, and fashion designers of the era. By the 1920s, Coco Chanel was an established designer in the fashion world. Her easy to wear jersey dresses were a hit with the roaring twenties lifestyle. She even invented the little black dress AND made sunbathing a popular activity for young women (although I can’t imagine they got much sun in the bathing suits of the time). A true modern day woman, she helped women break out of the stuffy Victorian lifestyle. Chanel was also the first designer to create her own perfume, Chanel No.5, which is still iconic today.

1920s fashion

1928, California style

1930s Paris style

Inspired by this era and the anticipated movie, I just finished The Great Gatsby. You can see the influences of the twenties fashion in the trailer, the loose silhouettes, fringe, embellishments, geometric patterns, and headpieces.

Do you wear trends of the twenties? Do you see the simplistic silhouettes and embellishments making a return?



3 thoughts on “Roaring Twenties Fashion: Paris without End

  1. This is so fascinating, thanks for sharing! I just finished The Paris Wife a few weeks ago, so it’s really neat to see a more in-depth look at it. I love 20s fashion and definitely can’t wait for The Great Gatsby!

  2. Pingback: Best Fall Reads | KC You There

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