The answer isn’t so obvious. Some say it was a more comfortable coat, some say it was the style that made it more appealing to a different generation of women than their preppy predecessors; one of the popular answers was “It was made by a woman who didn’t like to be forced into wearing a particular style.” Ladies wore it because it was good. It was pretty easy to find women with enough money so they could buy a coat in the 1920s that had the look with no fuss. And they didn’t seem too bothered by the fact that it was a woman’s coat. This is why I like to think of it almost like a fashion revolution.
For one thing, we don’t associate modern womenswear with men who want to make a big show of their wardrobe and get away with it. It’s not like they would dress well in it and look good doing it. Ladies Wear, by contrast, was a style that would have helped a woman like that. In many ways, ladies wore her because it wasn’t fashionable to pay a lot of money for a coat. It would still have been nice, but for some it would have saved some money. They also enjoyed the freedom of dressing how they wanted. Ladies wore it because they had no idea any of that was supposed to make them more beautiful. It helped.
So then, what about today? This time around, it’s hard to imagine how women would wear these pieces. They probably wouldn’t. We’ve all been trying. So why are we seeing so many more of these pieces?
The New World
Today, it’s pretty much considered to be unglamorous to dress very fashionably in any part of the body. Some things are more fashionable than others. In fact, some things that are considered too unkempt to dress well are pretty fashionable today. People want to express themselves as much as possible with their bodies and clothes. It’s not so much about fashion anymore. It’s about expressing ourselves in different ways. So to see more women wearing more unkempt clothes is a nice change. And it’s very hard to tell it from people looking perfectly fine.
But it’s not just a change over clothes. What has changed is the way we look at ourselves. There is a kind of aesthetic transformation in how we experience ourselves. How do you define a woman? Is she a woman who sits in her bedroom all day looking at books? You’re probably not that definition.