Changing attitudes towards social etiquette

Women working at First National Bank, New York.
Women working at First National Bank, New York

Women started to smoke in public. It became acceptable for women to drive cars and take part in energetic sports.

The young women of the 1920s were referred to as flappers. Hollywood films of the period characterised them, and as a result, their behaviour and dress sense was imitated by millions around the world.

In 1919 womens' skirts were about six inches above ground level, but by 1927 the hems of skirts were up to knee-level. Young women rebelled against the old-fashioned clothes of their mothers' era.

The corset went out of fashion, and it became all the rage for women to cut their hair in a bob and wear a lot of make-up and jewellery.

One famous flapper of the time was Joan Crawford. She started her career as a dancer on Broadway before moving to Hollywood to make a name for herself. She starred in films such as Paris (1926) and The Unknown (1927) in which she became famous for her flapper style. She drank, smoked, danced the Charleston and even kissed on screen. Many young girls admired and copied her style.