One of the first questions we ask our clients when they sit down to be transformed into a gorgeous vintage vixen is, “have you thought about any styles you’d like?” The most common reply is “not really, I just LOVE vintage hair!”
Whilst this is amazing for our stylists as it gives them free reign to explore all the eras that vintage entails throughout their day, we can’t help but think we should share with you the amazing wealth of styles and fashion that fall under the umbrella of vintage that you may not have considered before and perhaps introduce you to some new style icons to inspire your next vintage look!
This blog post is all about informing you on the ins and outs of the vintage decades and what influenced these changes. We’ll walk you through the ages giving you an introduction to styles you may not have explored before so that next time you’re choosing your glam vintage look, you know exactly what style you want to keep you looking hotsy totsy from head to toe! So without further ado, let’s head to the fabulous roaring twenties!
The Styles of the 1920s
The 20s were defined by a fracture in society from the fuddy duddiness of Edwardian high society to the fabulousness of the flapper girl! This cultural shift was certainly embodied and manifested in the fashions of the age which saw hemlines and hair-lines jacked up to Jesus! The defining hair styles of the 1920s were all short. We saw the introduction of the bob as well as the use of finger waving to create detail and movement.
Cloche style hats were a huge trend in the 20s and hairstyles were shaped to accommodate these. Detailing was confined into low chignons around the base of the neck whilst the crown and midlength areas were often left simple or waved.
The 1920s is certainly an era of rebelling against the status quo of previous eras. Many women opting for the radically modern change in style were forced to gents barber shops on the refusal of the traditional ladies hair salons to embrace the new trend for the forward thinking short haired styles of the modern 20s woman!
If you’ve never explored the 20s before, the modern vintage purveyor may perceive it as an era of elegance and propriety, but in reality, it is an era defined by raunchy radicalism and the feisty female, so why not give it a go!
The Styles of the 1930s
The 1930s is one of the lesser recognised vintage eras but it was an era that saw the introduction of beautiful new hair styles coming through.
The 30s continued some of the style trends established in the previous decade, most notably finger waving and hats, but also was a founding era for new trends in hair styling that would continue through to the 1940s and 50s. We saw a more traditionally feminine silhouette come back into fashion in the 30s with the length of styles becoming longer than that of the 20s, but hair was still very rarely below shoulder length. Longer finger waved looks were all the rage but, in the later 30s we began to see pin curls and sausage curls becoming prevalent in the more fashion conscious sectors of society. These new pin-culing techniques would eventually prove to be vital in creating some of the defining styles of the next two decades – so the 30s were really a time of innovation when it comes to hair.
In many ways the 30s is more deserving of the modern perception of the elegance and refined style we often allocate to the 1920s. Fashion and style often reflect the stability of the general socio-economic environment in which they exist and the styles of the 30s are no exception to this rule. They reflected the post-rebellious nature of the 1920s and the peaceful elegance of the later inter-war years.
In short, if you want a vintage look that translates as classy, sophisticated and elegant, the 1930s is your perfect era!
The styles of the 1940s
The 1940s is perhaps one of the most popular decades in the modern vintage market and it’s not hard to see why. The styles and fashion of the 40s are just simply stunning! It is an era defined by the ravages of war and economic hardships and as in any era, these difficult economic and social conditions were reflected in the styles of the day. One of our favourite things at Russell & Brown’s is when we hear stories from some of our older clients about how their mothers and aunties used all kinds of home tips and tricks to get the perfect vintage styles such as using old rags to do sleep in curl sets and only washing the hair once a week to maintain shape and curl in their style!
The trend for longer hair continued through from the 1930s during the 40s and we began to see many women using pin curls, que curls and barrel curls to create amazing detailed hair ups for more special occasions. For the every day look, most women wore hair snoods to maintain their curls for styling later in the week. One of the most defining styles we think of associated with the 1940s is the Victory Roll look. The Victory Roll is a stunning vintage look and was worn as a sign of solidarity between the women of the home front and the pilots of the RAF, who would barrell roll their planes after successfully winning battles during the Second World War, hence the name, Victory Roll.
The 40s of course had it’s fair share of Hollywood glamazons, but broadly, the styles of the 40s were beautifully crafted in the homes of ordinary people and offer an array of different silhouettes and shapes for you to choose from, so why not give it a go!
The Styles of the 1950s
The 1950s saw a change in the more reserved understated styles of the 40s to full glamour and femininity. As Britain and the USA began to recover economically from the aftermath of the Second World War, there was a period of relative prosperity and women began to have more disposable income to spend on non-essential luxuries such as fabulous hair! Anybody who was anybody took part in the newest craze of the time, the roller set, and this is what defined the styles that were prevalent during this decade.
Teenagers often wore their hair in a curled ponytail style complete with cutesy ribbons and we also saw the introduction of new cuts coming through such as the amazing Poodle hair style. Styles were heavily influenced by the movie stars of the era and women really began to aspire toward glamorous, elegant fashions with their hair. Society in the 50s was upwardly mobile and even the average house wife would look like a glamourous star of silver sceen by todays standards!
If you’re looking for class, beauty and elegance, why not try exploring the 1950s vintage scene a little further!
The Styles of the 1960s
The 1960s was certainly an era of variety and experimentation. We saw a plethora of styles arrive during this decade. The earlier part of the 60s took influence from some of the styles made popular in the previous decade but evolved them with added height. A perfect example of this is the evolution of the traditional French pleat into the gravity defying iconic Beehive style. Volume at the roots was a massive trend during the 1960s and it truly was the decade when big hair was born.
The swinging 60s scene in London also brought us more high fashion looks such as the Pixie Crop which harked back to the bob of the 1920s era and was seen on the iconic models of the day such as Twiggy.
As the 60s progressed we began to see the start of the Hippy fashion perforating into mainstream culture and this was of course reflected into the hair styles worn by the younger generations. We can thank the 1960s for the birth of the beachy, long waved look that is so prevalent in today’s current hair trends.
This decade was one of experimentation and an anything goes attitude, so if you’re feeling creative, why not start swinging your 60s vibes with your vintage looks!
Experimentation when it comes to your fashion and beauty choices is one of the most cathartic and self-affirming processes you can take part in. It allows you to craft your own identity and explore your creative side. We at Russell & Brown’s just love vintage, it is a passion we’ve all shared all our lives and we always want to encourage others to explore the fashions that the vintage eras have offered over the decades and not simply those that you see prevalent in todays magazines. Choosing vintage truly gives you the opportunity to express yourself in a individualistic way and opens you up to the possibility of something we all seek to be…unique, beautiful and happy!
Written by Carl Brown (Director of Russell & Brown’s Ltd.) – Copyright 2015