The ‘Roaring Twenties’ were a crazy, fun decade, when the world was relatively peaceful and everyone who had lived through the horrors of the Great War were happy to be alive. People were full of drive and optimism for the future, receptive to fresh ideas and a new outlook on life. The exuberance, inventiveness, and productivity on both sides of the Atlantic brought a general prosperity which was expressed in lifestyles, art, and especially fashion. Men and women were working side by side and for the first time in history the term ‘disposable income’ was coined. Shopping for fashions became an amusement and lavish parties to show them off were the order of the day. The manufacturing business was in full swing as electricity became a household option. In fact, Fashion Manufacturing’s presence in America became so strong during the 20’s that 1 of the 2 tallest buildings in New York was the Singer [Sewing Machine] Tower at the corner of Liberty and Broadway in downtown Manhattan. Hat fashion thrived under these conditions and seemed to match perfectly with the ongoing evolution of what was now being called Jazz music. Hats, jazz, and luxurious parties typified the glitz and glamour of the ‘Roaring 20’s’. In the summer of 2013 we were treated to a 20’s style jazz and hat fashion frenzy in Baz Lurhmann’s remake of The Great Gatsby. The movie is a hyper-electro-glossy depiction of Prohibition-era New York based on the best selling novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Though the hats of the 20’s seem years away in the movie, they continue to be back with a vengeance in today’s fashion. Fascinators, Turbans and Cloches for women and Newsboy Caps and Panama Boater Hats and Fedoras for men can be seen on everyone from well hatted celebrities to your neighbour heading to the post office for their mail. Party or no party, jazz or classical music, the hats of the Roaring 20's continue to stand the test of time and trend.
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