The 1920’s Silhouette

The 1920’s Silhouette

The Womans body shape saved by Hollywood !

The 1920’s began with the disappearance of the female silhouette altogether ! Womenswear became more mannish, waist was gone, bust was gone, shoulders were broader and hair much shorter. The silhouette emphasised a flat chest and any womanly curves were eliminated as the line became more simplified. The infamous Symington Side Lacer became briefly popular, and certainly was a godsend to the lesbian community.In effect, this was a bra that could be laced at both sides and in to flatten a womans chest. The aim was to look boyish. Corsets gave way to Latex girdles and cami-bockers – directoire knickers with a chemise – among young women during the Roaring Twenties.
One could hardly party in boned corsetry, unless you were courting a visit to the local hospital !

1920’s Lingerie
1920’s Lingerie
Early 1920’s Silhouette
Early 1920’s silhouette

After a determined attempt in the early 1920’s by designers to discard the need for a bust at all, the continued appearance of breasts on women necessitated bringing back the brassiere and dress designs for a more shapely figure. The top image of Fay Lanphier from the 1926 film [ also starring Louise Brooks ]
The American Venus, gives a good idea of how Hollywood undeniably helped rescue the female shape from the more austere post war European movement.

Beautiful Vintage Make-up and beauty Guides

copyright Glamourdaze 2010


  1. Thank you for providing such a hip and resourceful website! This does wonders for my passion for the 20s

  2. I really value your blog. I did copy a reference to this posting on the site Wearing History. I'm not sure what the protocols are concerning blog referencing and I hope I haven't posted out of turn. If I have please message me. This is a really interesting post. I'd love to see the Symington Side Lacer!

  3. Were the above measurements Fay Lanphier's? If they were supposed to represent the ideal American woman of the 1920s, most of them would find it out of reach. A 5-foot-6 woman in the '20s was considered statuesque, the equivalent of a 5-foot-10 woman in the 1960s or a six-footer today.

  4. your blog is a marvelous resource!! i found it 2 nights ago and have been pouring over the archives ever since (i might currently be a bit obsessed with the roaring 20s!).