Skip to Main Content

Fashion and Clothing History

1920s overview

Researching the 1920s


Sorry, there's no section of the library devoted to 1920s fashion!  

Searching for fashion by a specific decade can be tricky because the same time period can be described several different ways and information about a decade may be found in several different sections of the library.  There is no one phrase that will bring back all the clothing of a decade so try a few different searches to see what works.  Here are some suggestions of searches to start with. Get creative and add some of your own!

1920s     Nineteen twenties     20s     20s fashion     Flapper era      Art Deco fashion

Here are some other tips for researching by a decade:

  • Search by designer, not designer by decade.  For example, if you were to search "Madeleine Vionnet 20s" you would find zero books.  However if you were to search for just "Madeleine Vionnet" then look through the many books we have on her, you would find plenty of her designs from the 1920s.  Because a designer's career can span decades, it's difficult to restrict a search to a specific designer AND a specific decade.
  • Search by type of clothing.  Looking for a 1920s wedding dress?  Instead of "1920s wedding dress" search for "wedding dress" then look through some of the books you find for images from the 1920s.  
  • Search by photographer.  Like designers, a photographers work may span many decades.  
  • Search by century.  A book that covers the entire 20th century may have a very good chapter on the 1920s with images you can't find anywhere else.

Fashion & Culture by Decade

Have a question or comment about these guides? Contact: