What the Height of Fashion Looked Like 100 Years Ago
For fancy flappers, short skirts, bobbed hair, and fur stoles were the bee’s knees.
Courtesy Elizabeth Smith/Reminisce
When she started playing the cello on radio stations in 1927, Elizabeth Smith was paid union wages—$3 for the first hour, and $1.50 for each additional hour. Elizabeth, seen in her 1929 high school graduation picture, also enjoyed strumming the ukulele on her front porch. Check out glamorous vintage photos of life in the 1950s.
Big city style
Courtesy Bea Taus/Reminisce
“My mother, Mary Freischle, had exquisite taste and always dressed in the latest fashion,” recalls Bea Taus of Fremont, California. “She was an immigrant and had come to America with all her belongings in a small wicker suitcase. After growing up on a poor farm in Poland, she was awed by the finery she saw when she settled in the big city of Chicago.” These are the most inspiring women alive today.
Embroidered dress and jacket
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This woman wearing a matching dress and jacket set with detailed embroidery and a hat with a short brim is a display of formal fashion.
Courtesy Percelle Paddock/Reminisce
When May Leidy visited her son and daughter-in-law in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1925, she was right in style, with bobbed hair, and a cloche hat. We had no idea these things happened in 1920.
All about the hair
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Hair was just as important as your outfit, and that still remains true today. These three women feature popular hairstyles in the 20s.
Courtesy Edith Tollfsrud/Reminisce
After graduating from high school in 1922, Edith Tollfsrud found a job at the Parker Pen Company in Janesville, Wisconsin. “My first earnings were spent on flapper garb, like these popular galoshes,” recalls Edith. Check out rare, vintage photos of what winter used to look like.
Bold and beautiful
Courtesy Carolyn Mays/Reminisce
Kelly, on left, next to her sister Mildred, was the rebellious flapper, according to their younger sister, Carolyn Mays of Homosassa Springs, Florida. “I wished I could be one of those flappers, too, but I was a little too young and shy to try,” says Carolyn. “There was nothing timid about Kelly. She started rolling down her long cotton stockings and displaying her bare knees. Grandfather gave Kelly’s dark hair the latest cut, called a ‘monkey bob.’” Discover the secrets your hairstylist won’t tell you.
Courtesy Jennie Ouellette/Reminisce
“I cherish memories of my flapper sister, Alice, who added so much to my childhood,” says Jennie Ouellette of Sanford, Maine. “Alice epitomized the Roaring 20s with her short dresses, rolled stockings, and felt hats adorned with cutout posies. Alice was named ‘Miss Portsmouth’ in our New Hampshire hometown. And she won first prize for doing the Charleston.”
Strike a pose
Courtesy Elizabeth Winter/Reminisce
Mae Dodd Milford considered herself the ultimate flapper when she had this photo snapped at the studio where she worked, says her daughter, Elizabeth Winter. The photo was displayed in the studio’s window. These vintage recipes from the 1920s are worth trying today.