Fashion Through the Decades

Simply scroll, read and click the orange arrow to play videos as desired to lead your group through a discussion. Pause as needed to ask questions or give comments. Remember to use captions and adjust the video playback speed to your audiences abilities and preferences. Use the navigation buttons at the bottom to move from section to section as needed. You can use a YouTube premium account to eliminate all commercials. Send comments and requests with the contact form at the bottom of the page. Please remember the graphics were designed to be viewed on a large television screen and may not present well on a computer, tablet or phone screen. Go at your own pace. Sections may be spread over 2 or more classes if needed. Enjoy and have fun! 

to the 1920s

It was the first decade to have a nickname: "Roaring 20s" or "Jazz Age". It was a decade of prosperity and dissipation and of jazz bands, bootleggers, raccoon coats, bathtub gin, flagpole sitters, bootleggers and marathon dancers.

Today we are going to explore the trends, the influences and the icons of the fashion world at this time in our country's history.

We will take a deep look at the ideal body shape, desired silhouette, the hair, make-up, underclothing, swimwear and wedding gowns of the "flapper girl".

Let’s begin our journey down fashion’s memory lane with a short introduction video produced by Vogue, narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker.

What are the ‘take aways from this video?

Did you learn anything new?

Throughout this course we will be relying on a series of videos from

The Ultimate Fashion History

Youtube channel. They are produced by  Amanda Hallay-historian, author and professor at the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising College in Manhattan. Our first video explores the cultural influences on 1920s fashion. 

What is the most interesting thing that you learned?

What similarities does fashion today share with fashion of the 1920’s?

Have you ever dressed up as a flapper girl?

Is there anyone on your family tree that was a “real” flapper girl?

We’ve learned that the fashion of the 1920s was influenced by the new musical sensation “JAZZ”. Our next video explains this in greater detail. 

How has what was happening in the world of music influenced fashion during your lifetime?

Rock and Roll?



Next week we will explore hair, make-up, underclothing, swimwear and wedding gowns. 

In closing, let’s see actual flapper girls in action as we watch a short fashion show clip filmed in 1927. 

The end of Fashion Through the 1920s

Welcome to the 1930s

The 1930's was a time of breadlines, desperation and mass unemployment. The depression, the dust bowl, and Hollywood glamour all played a role in the fashion of the decade. Fashion had never been more glamorous and heartbreaking at the same time. Let's explore the changes that the new era brought to ideals in body silhouette, fabrics and hair styles.

Let's begin our exploration of the fashion of the 1930's with a video from "Vogue by the Decades" narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker

It's interesting that after being liberated from the full length skirt in the 1920's, that woman would be willing to go back to them. Hair lengths also fell during the 1930's. History shows how fashion continually swings the pendulum from one extreme to the other. Where have you witnessed this in your lifetime?

Let's take a deeper look with our next video

The Ultimate Fashion History

produced by  Amanda Hallay-historian, author and professor at the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising College in Manhattan. It is a lengthy lecture so be sure and stop the video at your leisure to make comments and ask questions.

Did you learn anything new?
Do you agree with what was presented?
What take aways do you have?
What questions might you still have?

Let's watch vintage footage from the 1930's and see if the average American's in these videos support what the historians describe.

Do you think the historians adequately described the era?
Did see any trends that we still enjoy today?

Let's see what fashion icons made an impact on the day's designs. Our next video will show the influence that Jean Harlow, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo and others made on the fashion industry. We will also see how efforts to achieve our fashion ideals can be dangerous, even life threatening. Let's watch!

Join us next week as we learn what influences a world war will have on the lives of Americans, including their closets as we continue our exploration of

Fashion Through the Decades

with a visit to the 1940s.

This is the end of Fashion Through the 1930's