How did the British dress? This is a historical question. There are some very compelling historical arguments for flapper fashion, such as the fact that the flappers were flappers, not fashion models.
A few days into the Revolution, a group of British women dressed up in their very first clothing–a long fur coat and long black woolen cloak. They were not yet known as the “American flappers” but the story is still well known.
Many English women of the Revolutionary era wore hats with a feather on the end. This symbolized the “flapper” bird. (The British and Americans both used feathers.)
In England, the dress codes of the time varied widely depending on social class. For instance, most women were allowed to wear pants but some women did not.
For flappers, these varied rules about how to dress were almost entirely forgotten during the Revolution which had more social equality between men and women than anywhere else in English history.
The Revolutionary War: The American flapper
The American flapper became famous throughout Europe and eventually became so well known that a series of musical artists wrote the songs which tell the story of their dress codes to this day.
Many women used to wear a hat called a “tux”–a short hat with a long feather on the end. The feathers were usually red, white, green or blue, in the American style.
In the American Revolution the hats of the flappers were usually black or white with white feathers, which is what we see the French flapper wear today.
The flapper dress consisted of a long fur coat and a cloak. The cloak was usually either a dark brown leather coat or a dark satin sheet. The cap was the same as what we see the flapper cap today.
In the American Revolutionary War flappers had the choice of wearing a dress or a loose dress, which would come down to length of the cloak. In the Revolution both dresses had the same length and one could be casual (clothes and hat on one’s head) or “hard” (long cape, full hair, trousers on one’s legs). There were many other different styles of dress, which are the basis for the flapper songs we’re hearing today.
The American Revolution was mostly a civil war fought between the English crown and French king. It was a very difficult time for women in London, so the British government enforced their dress rules.
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