Browsing through Butterick patterns in Delineator, I don’t find very many skirts made with a circular flare — rather than fullness from gathers or pleats — before mid-1925. That’s not to say that designers didn’t show them, or that there were none….
Poiret had a great success with his tunic dresses in 1914; he tried them again in 1924:
Other designers were also introducing the circular flare in 1924:
But, until fall of 1925, the strongly vertical line is seen on many more patterns.
The following summer, this 1925 Butterick skirt was notable because of its “new” (very slight) flare, front and back.
Here is a range of Butterick styles for young women from the previous summer (1924):
There are some real changes by September 1925:More Butterick dress patterns with flared skirts appeared in mid-to-late 1925, and by 1926 they were easy to find.
The back views from January 1926 show that the flare was not necessarily the same on the front and back of a dress. Many earlier 1920s’ patterns said “plain back” or “one-piece back,” even when the front was pleated or flared:
The flare also appeared in dresses for adult women.
These are from January 1926:
The flared skirts now have as much fullness in back as in front:
“The straight frocks of last year can often be converted to new lines by means of godets, circular flounces, inserted plaits [pleats], flying panels, etc. The vogue of two materials, two colors, or two shades of the same color makes reconstruction possible and practical.”
If women needed ways to update their straight skirts into flared skirts in 1926, I think we can say flared skirts were a trend, although skirts were also made more “walkable” with pleats and other devices.
Below:part of the difference between the bolero dress for teens (6565) and the bolero dress for women (6495) is in the proportions of the fashion illustrations, rather than the clothes.
The outfit on the left is for teens (15 to 20) and small [short] women. The neck to hem measurement on patterns for women 15 to 20 was shorter than for adults, but the figure on the right is very elongated. When drawing realistic figures, the distance from the top of the head to the waist is roughly “three heads” (using top of head to chin as a unit of measurement.) If the woman on the right were a real women, her waist would be about where her collar streamers tie. The “realistic” distance from top of head to hip joint is usually “four heads.” But a “fashion figure” may be as much as eleven “heads” high. Even runway models can’t match that! No wonder we always fall short of the ideals….