The iconic look of nineteen twenties’ fashions — dropped waists, short skirts, an emphasis on youth — didn’t really dominate until the latter half of the decade. These styles from 1924 don’t suggest flaming youth.
These outfits from the tubular twenties have very long skirts, just exposing the ankle area. Women’s hemlines are not much changed from 1917. The 1924 Butterick suit coat shown above, from the lower left of the page, not only looks matronly to me, it reminds me of the suits of 1910, although the body ideal is quite different.
Another suit, from the Bendel Collection, by French designer Jenny has a vague twenties’ look, hinting at a lowered waist, but it is actually from 1914. Here’s a closer look at that Butterick style for 1924:
An illustration from later in 1924 shows that this shapeless look (with the same hat) was not necessarily for older women:
Returning to the top of page 32, a “box coat,” elaborately embroidered using Butterick transfer pattern 10181, is at left. The dress worn under it does have a dropped waist.
Here’s another illustration of hat 4973, worn by a much more girlish model, from April of 1924.
This last coat, from the lower right side of page 32, is rather charming, perhaps because it looks more like the fashions to come:
The model is drawn as a teen; her hem shows just a bit more leg, and the coat’s pin-tucked trim on cuff and collar hints at an Art Deco influence.
When I look at these styles, I can hardly wait for the “real” twenties to begin. As in the 1960’s, styles favored by young women and teens became dominant as the decade progressed.