It's not an overstatement to say that Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel revolutionised women's fashion in the 1920s. Her take on style was free from the restrictions of the previous eras. Instead of creating garments with corsets, she opted for a looser-flowing silhouette to allow women the opportunity for more freedom. Over her long career, she also turned to naval uniforms (traditionally worn by men) into must-have items of the day for women.
During the 1920s, however, not long after she started her career, she was already wearing and designing pieces that we still wear today. There are five trends in particular that we know she wore during this era, which have become wardrobe staples. Keep scrolling to find out what they are and see how Chanel wore them in the '20s.
Trend #1: Two-tone shoes
Style Notes: While Chanel's now classic two-tone pumps weren't officially created by the iconic designer until 1957, during the 1920s, Coco wore an iteration of them herself. It was clear to see where she got the inspiration from.
You'll be hard pressed to find a fashion editor who doesn't love these classic shoes.
Trend #2: Belts with everything
Style Notes: Where would we be without the ability to cinch our waists? Post 1920s, fashion was much less restrictive (the bustier and corset were done away with), and looser fabrics were embraced. This was all thanks to Chanel's revolutionary designs. However, it also meant you needed another way to give yourself a feminine shape. Enter the statement belt, as seen on Coco herself.
We're pretty sure Chanel would approve.
Trend #3: Loose tailoring
Style Notes: Looser-fitting pieces, above everything else, were Chanel's signature twist on the modern woman's wardrobe. As previously mentioned, she did away with old-fashioned and restrictive dresses for women, and instead opted for more flowing fabrics, such as introducing jersey into couture houses. This meant women could wear pieces that didn't cling to them, and masculine tailoring for women could flourish.
A great piece for any wardrobe.
Trend #4: Simple jewellery (but lots of it)
Style Notes: Famously, Chanel said that before leaving the house you should always take off one accessory. We always endeavour to stick to that style trick, and clearly Coco did too. Instead of overloading herself with mountains of costume jewellery, she stuck to simple, chic pieces. Note the pearl earrings and necklace plus the signet ring on her right hand.
This one is in the current sale. Hurrah!
Trend #5: Clashing prints
Style Notes: We know that Chanel was one of the first designers to use the naval uniform of the Breton top and incorporate it into her designs. This also meant that she wasn't afraid to mix it up when it came to patterns. Here, she mixed her skirt suit with a striped tee—and it looked incredible.
Invest in a piece like this and you'll wear it forever.
Want more? See the shoes every fashion editor wants—no matter their age.