No Passport, No Bank Account, No Bathroom?! Things Women Couldn’t Do In The 1920s

They Couldn’t Wear Skirts Or Shorts Above The Knee

illustration from the magazine Le Miroir des Modes 1920s fashion
Le Miroir des Modes / Getty Images
Le Miroir des Modes / Getty Images

In the 1920s, women received more leeway in their clothing than their previous Victorian Era garments, mainly in sports and entertainment. Still, in many parts of the U.S., women still faced clothing restrictions. For instance, Utah legislators fined women who wore skits “higher than three inches above the ankle.”

Women could not wear heels higher than two inches in cities like Carmel, California. In low-income areas, if a woman only had one or two formal outfits, she was expected to wear them to church, and not outside of it. Only entertainers wore the short skirts that people see in photographs today.