Anonymous asked: You'll probably think this is a stupid question but how do you tell a 1920s everyday dress from an evening dress? All i ever seem to see in 20s period things is fancy beaded dresses.
There’s a good reason for that! Everyday wear is one of the hardest things to find…it was worn until it fell apart and wasn’t often saved. Expensive evening dresses, on the other hand, were worn far less frequently and often saved. I have plenty of 1920s beaded dresses, and very few examples of common “porch” or morning dresses. I have one sports dress, made explicity for excercising in.
Embroidery and beadwork do appear on daywear, but usually much simpler, and generally not incorporating the “sparklies” like sequins or glass beads.
It can be difficult sometimes to tell the difference between, say, an afternoon dress and a dinner dress - while evening dress was made of finer materials, you could still find the more formal day dresses made out of chiffons, velvets etc. Often it comes down to a combination of style and materials used - in this instance, the combination of chiffon, gold overlace and mink trim and the cut of the gown (e.g. sleeveless with thin straps on the underbodice) all come together to identify it as c.1922 evening wear…I’ve seen similar gowns illustrated.
As always, it takes looking at a lot of primary resources - everything from cheap mailorder catalogues to high end fashion magazines - to get a feel for what was worn, and when it was worn.