Winters Past

20th Century Fashion from Deco to Disco

1920s: Opulent Androgeny

Today’s vintage inspiration comes from Egyptologist Dr. Colleen Darnell. She dresses in authentic 1920s clothing all day, every day, even while on archeological digs.

Why the 20’s? Well, King Tut’s tomb was opened in 1922, sparking a craze for exotic, Egyptian inspired styles. Twenties styles were designed for movement; they are very wearable and practical for the modern woman.

Let’s have a look at Darnell’s sportier side, where she is nattily dressed for excavations while protected from the North African sun. Linens and cottons, native to the Nile region, are cool looking and cool to wear. She pairs natural fiber true vintage jodhpurs or skirts with a vest, lace-up boots and a straw hat, in desert tones of neutral khaki, brown and tan:

Afternoons, you’ll find her stylishly giving a lecture or taking tea on the terrace in Jazz age finery. Her pretty 1920s day dresses in cotton or silk are paired with a parasol, a cloche hat, walk-worthy Mary Jane shoes and short gloves.

At night, our intrepid archeologist dials up the drama with a dose of all out glamour. Her authentic vintage gowns are stunning in cunningly draped silk. There is an architectural spareness to their lines that, paradoxically, reads a super sensual.

Darnell dazzles in dramatic Deco splendor. Her bobbed hair, kohl rimmed eyes and statement accessories add up to a spectacular style.

I admire Colleen Darnell’s all out commitment to a single era. The takeaway for the rest of us is this: we can all feel free to express ourselves through personal style no matter what the prevailing trends are. Also: a pith helmet and a parasol make sun protection fun and fashionable.

Author: Winters Past

I am a vintage clothing shop owner living and working in rural north Florida. I believe in adding a little vinegar and molasses to my greens, having my coffee outside whenever possible, and mixing something vintage into every room and every outfit.

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