Proper DOT dustyoldthing_belowtitle

These 20th Century Beauty Standards Were Once Considered the Ideal


A new femininity was sweeping the modern world as ladies donned short hairstyles, short skirts, and androgynous styles. Straight lines were very en vogue for ladies and curves were out, referencing the new-found freedom many women felt after World War I.

Wiki Commons

Gloria Swanson in 1922. Via/ Wiki Commons

Dapper gents in the ’20s often wore pinstripes, with double-breasted jackets gaining in popularity. Hair was short at the sides and heavily styled on top.

Wiki Commons

1927. Via/ Wiki Commons


Dresses got longer for ladies and the styles were much more plain, owing to the Great Depression. Ladies hair was often kept short as it was more practical. If the hair was set, it was done in tight curls close to the head. Thin eyebrows were thought quite beautiful during the ’30s and a little bit of makeup was considered acceptable- say a touch of lipstick or painted nails. The first platinum blonde star, Jean Harlow, inspired many women to go blonde.

Wiki Commons

Office ladies in 1937. Via/ Wiki Commons

Double-breasted suits were still in fashion for the fellas, while slicked back hair became more popular. Mustaches were also still quite common.

Wiki Commons

Actors on break in 1935. Via/ Wiki Commons

Click “Next Page” to see the 1940s-1950s!

Proper DOT dustyoldthing_belowcontent

Get Dusty Old Thing stories in your Inbox!