What year was the flapper dress?
The answer to that is 1794. To understand this, all we have to do is to dig into the history of the dress and how it was created.
A “flapper” (as all of us know, it was not the term at the time) was a young woman who wore a headscarf under a dress. To the naked eye, she appeared very pretty, except for the headscarf. If, on the other hand, she was married it would look, if not very fashionable, at all events very modern. In the mid-1600s, however, it became fashionable to wear a headscarf. Thus, the first modern dress came into being.
But a hat, it might be said to be a necessary accessory, while the dress must look pretty, was a personal preference, not a formal requirement.
The word “flapper” came to define a pretty dress.
So it was that the word “flapper,” originally applied to pretty girls’ dresses, would later grow into being applied only to formal dresses. The word “flapper” came to be used in every sense.
And a little while later a second word came to define those “flappers.”
It was “feminine.” This word in particular stood for the most beautiful of dresses – the dress made for women who, in spite of their appearance, looked and felt sophisticated. “Flapper” became the perfect term for such women.
We have no idea why all of this happened. Perhaps the word “flapper” was coined because of its association with sophisticated women. Or, perhaps women who wore such dresses were seen as more educated and sophisticated than other women and thus the word “flapper” was a more suitable term for them. Perhaps, too, since it had become fashionable for pretty girls’ dresses to be so pretty we might want to suggest they had to “flap” the other way to make them more “fashionable.”
Whatever the reason, “feminine” became that more formal, more sophisticated, more respectable term. This was the beginning of the beginning of the “gender gap.”
Today, when we think of women’s fashion, we may think of feminine women wearing skirts and dresses, but what of a beautiful, beautiful, sophisticated, sophisticated woman who looks nothing like the girl in that skirt and dress? Would we say that she is flapper? Would we call her a
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