Link to image:
We tend to think about the flapper era of the 1920s as an isolated event. We know that flappers were rebellious and scandalous, but we never think much of what came before or after them. As the 1920s approached, incremental changes occurred in the fashion world that made the flapper possible. Skirts were inching higher, and silhouettes were getting sleeker. This made the transition into short, minimally tailored dresses a natural next step. The flapper also normalized hitherto unseen aspects of fashion. The Depression years of the 1930s saw the somber lowering of hems, but it was still acceptable to show some skin. The immense war effort of the 1940s popularized the uniform aesthetic, and no one was disturbed by shorter, more practical skirts. The flapper was the result of what came before her, and she paved the way for what came after her. Without the flapper era, these innovations would not have been possible until much later.
I used this book as a reference for my drawings:
Laver, James. Costume through the Ages: 1000 Illustrations. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1963. Print.