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Twentieth-Century Costume

After 1910, as women's feet and legs began to be exposed, shoes were colored to match the outfit. The nightgown, for women, gave way for a time to pajamas. The popularity of sportswear for men increased; the open-necked shirt was worn and trousers were cuffed and creased. Women's dress after 1914 was characterized by straight lines, e.g., the floor-length hobble skirt and the flapper's boyish, short-skirted costume and matching accessories were popular in the 1920s.

The following decades produced radical changes in women's wear, from the flowing skirts of the 1930s and the box-jacketed suits of the 40s to the sack dress of the early 60s. Since then the fluctuating hemline has been a predominant concern of fashion. The abbreviated miniskirt has vied for popularity with the full-length maxi and the calf-length midi in coats, skirts, and dresses. Women's clothing has become less restrictive and more casual than in previous eras. During the 1960s men's clothing underwent revolutionary changes in color and fabric, becoming flamboyant for the first time in the 20th cent. The flaring of trouser cuffs in the 1970s was a major modification in shape.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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