Reporter’s investigation into 1920s youth fashion took unexpected turn

In 1921, consternation reigned in Burlington. Sides were chosen and generation gaps widened as one city struggled with that age-old conundrum: “What’s the correct way to dress for a young woman?”

The 1920s had ushered in the “flapper” era of skintight dresses and loose swimsuits, and not even the closed youth of Burlington were deaf to the call of the gin and jazz sirens.

The issue of changing social standards and a burgeoning feminist awareness would be fought in that local institution of bohemian and free-thinking: the local high school, where the hems of skirts were working their way up to many knee-length dimples.

The battle cry against this creeping decay of morality was launched by a visiting Temperance lecturer, Ms. Linne Carl, who appeared before the Burlington Women’s Club to raise the general damnation clamor for all that was wrong in the older generation. young.

“Immorality among high school students is greater than among college students (gasp),” warned the ever diligent Ms. Carl. “Clothing has a lot to do with the immorality of girls and women today.”

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