Theme 3: Sports & Leisure
Style Icon: The Sporty Girl
This is Part 3 of a 3 Part Art Deco Fashion History Series, broken out into 3 Art Deco Themes:
Thanks to the booming economy, society felt financially stable and secure and began to take an interest in exotic travel. Moreover, women turned away from the traditional roles imposed on them, and took up non-traditional roles - like that of the tennis player or skiier.
The massive interest in leisure activities like travel and sport required a whole new wardrobe of course! And this brings us to the third and final Art Deco fashion 'It' girl - The Sporty Girl.
Women began to take part in a variety of leisure activities in the 1920's and 1930's. Sports - a traditionally male-dominated arena - began to draw in women participants. Popular sports of the day were tennis, skiing, bicycling, sailing, golfing and swimming.
These activities were often performed in private clubs and required an appropriate civilian outfit (you obviously couldn't walk into a posh country club in a bathing suit, no matter how cute your new swimming cap!)
This leisure outfit still required the same criteria as more formal outfits - style and elegance - but it was supposed to be comfortable and flowy, not constricting. The increased interest in leisurely travel also called for appropriately chic but comfortable travel clothes.
Art Deco Leisure Fashion
Clothing had to be both functional and beautiful (the classic mantra of Art Deco style). Coco Chanel reigned in this class of fashion. Her designs were simple, streamlined, comfortable and elegant. Women of the day all coveted this easy, effortless look and 'sportswear', as it came to be known, was all the rage during the Art Deco era.
Fashion Characteristics of The Sporty Girl
- Lightweight fabrics - jersey, cotton
- Weightier fabrics - wool, tweed
- Simple, streamlined silhouettes
- Dropped waists
- Pleated skirts
- Wide legged trousers
- Monochromatic colour schemes
- Masculine, angular jackets
- The 'Safari' jacket
- Wide-brimmed sun hats
- The Classic Chanel LBD - 'The Ford' model