American Hemlines Throughout the Twentieth Century

The tight corset was gone and the hobble skirt made an entrance. It was called

the hobble skirt because it was so tight women could not walk, they had to hobble (Peacock 52).

Some skirts were so narrow that it was nearly impossible to move. For fear of splitting the skirt,

women sometimes wore a length of cord to keep their legs from moving apart too much

(Yeager). As the war progressed, hemlines began to inch up as wartime shortages made fabric

scarce. Fashion again took a dramatic turn when the war ended. As interests changed, so did

clothing. Sportswear was increasing in popularity and such fashions were soon incorporated into

The 1920's produced the age of Jazz, the Charleston, and the Flapper with her waist

dropped tubular dress, long pearl necklaces and bobbed hair. A woman's dress was clingy,

backless and long, this caused the waistline to rise and women sought the thin look. The term

of the decade, in fashion, was 'streamline.aE It consisted of a formal evening gown that was long



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