The Roaring 20’s were a traumatized generation’s reply to the utter horror that was World War I. The western world discovered that life was short, it can end horribly and you should be as happy as possible during it. In America, this decade of utter abandonment was fueled by great jazz, prohibtion and secret speakeasies. The 20’s were, fast, furious, and probably a bit dangerous. Prohibition sparked the American gang movement and the various Mafias were your bartenders. Moving Pictures glorified fashion and allowed the world to see what the stars wore. Hats with the brim pulled down and double breasted jackets looked great on men with a slinky ladies on their arms, wearing short beaded dresses, boas, and feathers in their hair. Jazz and a need to dance with abandonment was a great excuse to wear nothing but silk slips, a cloche hat and heels out on the town.
Enter the Depression and a decade of very little change in fashion. Hems dropped back down to the calves and lower, and dresses were made and remade from practical fabrics and colors. People were existing on the littlest amount possible. A positive note was that jazz was gaining in celebrity, and suits reflected the jazz musician’s taste. Ladies would revive a well worn dress with handmade broaches and corsages of fabric flowers and bits, put on a hat and go out dancing all night. Movies and their stars began to influence fashion more than ever. And as the economy began to recover, people wanted to dress like the stars. In 1937, Lana Turner wore a tight sweater in They Won’t Forget, and started a sweater fashion trend that extended all the way into the 50’s.