The Roaring 1920's


The 1920's were an exciting decade for the suit as it went from super slim to fuller towards the end. Right after World War I, the suit had a strong military influence. The jacket was cut trim, maybe slightly longer at a higher buttoning point, and trousers were quite slim with cuffs and relatively short. However, by the end of the decade, fashion-forward suits already had the precursor of the drape suit, which meant there was more fabric in the chest and also the pants were cut a little wider. Drape and the drape suit really became popular in 1930's England in the US.

During the 20's, trousers all had a very high rise especially compared to today’s pants. All jackets were cut pretty tightly towards the beginning of the 1920's, towards the end, they had become wider in the shoulder with a bit more waist suppression, and in combination with the high-rise pants, one created a illusion of longer legs and a pronounced waistline.

While the pant legs initially touched the sock, by the end of the decade, the most fashion-forward suits had an opening of 11.5 inches. However, it wasn’t a flare cut, it was a straight cut and sometimes even a tapered cut so there was lots of room in your trousers. If you want to get a better idea of this style in action, you may want to watch the series Jeeves & Wooster

Because it was the roaring 20's, which is also known as the Jazz Age, the big difference in terms of suiting materials was that they were more stylish, there was more flash, there were more colors, more patterns, and everything was bit more lively compared to previous generations of suits. There was also an increasing interest in accessorizing their suits with, let’s say, pocket squares or shirts with collar pins. In the end, it was a rebellion towards the tradition of having dark suits and muted colors without bold patterns.

For example, if you watch the show Boardwalk Empire, you’ll see exactly what we mean. You see really loud suits in bold colors, stripes, and it’s just a very interesting time for the suit. Likewise, the Great Gatsby reflects this perfectly with his pink suit.

The 1920's were also known for the double-breasted waistcoat which was typically worn underneath a single breasted jacket with notch lapels. Today, they would be considered quite unusual. If you see a double-breasted waistcoat, it typically features a jacket with a single or maybe two buttons and  peak lapels. You also wouldn’t button the jacket, in order to show the double-breasted waistcoat.


Click the 1930's