Late 1800s: Women’s fashions favor Victorian styles. Dress indicates a woman’s status. Upper- and middle-class women wear constrictive underclothing (corsets), high-heeled shoes, and elaborate, vividly colored dresses made of luxurious fabrics. Early 1900s: As women become more involved in leisure activities, such as sports, and take on new roles in society, such as office workers and students, their fashions evolve to freer, less structured styles. The styles include loose bloomers instead of corsets, less bulky skirts, and shirtwaist blouses. Shoes are flatter and more feminine. Late 1900s: Women become more health conscious and involved in professional careers; they begin to define their own unique styles of fashion. Clothing varies from jeans to pants to short and full-length skirts. Form-fitting clothes that show off a woman’s figure are popular.
Late 1800s: The arts become a popular form of entertainment. Drama, musical comedy, and vaudeville acts proliferate. Modern art and architecture reflect simplicity and realism. A movement from tradition and gentility begins. Early 1900s: The Progressive Era begins. Artists bring social relevancy to their work. Blacks, immigrants and women contribute in unprecedented ways, breaking color, cultural, and gender barriers. Late 1900s: Art becomes a bigger cultural presence: bigger in scope, ambition, theme, budget, and promotion. Media coverage makes all forms of art more accessible than ever before. People have more money to spend as a result of the healthy economy, and they are ready to enjoy themselves. They buy fine art and electronic gadgets; they enjoy huge film and television productions. Overall, arts and leisure of the late 1900s reflect America’s obsession with wealth and success.
Late 1800s: The United States is considered the leader in manufacturing and has the largest economy in the world. Early 1900s: Automotive leader Henry Ford introduces the moving assembly line, which results in greater productivity, more consistent quality, higher wages for workers, and lower prices for the consumer. Late 1900s: Advanced technology, such as computers, aid in greater information access and allow for expansion of commerce and economy.