As well as the development of Womens fashion styles coming from the couturiers and couture houses for the very wealthy, the twentieth century saw fashion dictated by other circumstances. These were the 1929 Wall street crash and the ensuing Great depression, the first and second world wars.
Fashion in the earlier part of the twentieth century was largely dictated by the ideas of Men and their moral position of what, how and where Women should wear clothes.
The Women’s movement and changing attitudes and desires amongst Women now becoming used to mass manufactured garments and increased availability at lower prices and department store in many towns and cities slowly evolved ladies fashion in the twentieth century to a more fluid and less restrictive form of dress and societal statement.
With more general availability came popularity and arguably a more general acceptance that fashion was not just for the wealthy who could afford the couture houses latest exclusive creations, but more generally for Women everywhere, even if the latest department store dress cost the equivalent of a month’s wages.
While the nineteen-twenties saw the idea of casting off the old, restrictive costumes of Edwardian fashion and an acceptance of the role of sexuality and freedom of bodily movement with looser clothes, most notably with the Flapper dress, the jazz age was not quite reach, or herald the age of the emancipation of Women that the decadence and relative new freedom suggests.
The nineteen thirties saw clothing become more fluid with bias cut seams following and allowing the cloth to follow neatly the body shape, coupled with longer lengths in evening wear produced more elegant lines and contours.