Halftime Leisure

1920s Trends to Bring Back in the New Decade

January 29, 2020


Much like a flapper wishing to make a big impression with her new spangly dress, we are late to the party. We are aware that it is a month into 2020, but we’re here to share our hopes for this decade by reflecting on our favorite (and least favorite) parts of the Roaring ’20s, a decade with a lot to offer in terms of popular culture. 


Bring it Back!: The 1920s had a distinct style of dress, music, dance, and speech. Here are the highlights of the decade.

1. The slang of the ’20s? Unmatched. Here are a couple of bangers that were lost to time. It is our humble duty to ensure that they return in the 2020s. Even if no one else uses them, you can be sure we will.

  1. Tomato – woman
  2. The Big Cheese – important guy
  3. Meat Wagon – ambulance
  4. Noodle Juice – tea
  5. Panther Piss – whiskey

2. The severe bob. The iconic haircut of the 1920s was elegant and stylish. We think that in the new decade, teens should be chopping off all of their hair in response to a mental breakdown instead of bleaching it. Don’t you want to look like Lady Mary from Downton Abbey? We promise you won’t resemble Willy Wonka. We wouldn’t lie to you about that. 

3. Mainstream, innovative jazz. None of that lack of improvisation. We need sax solos. We need the pianoman to break it down just because he’s feeling it that night. We need scat and we need WOMPING. Make jazz clubs THE place to be Friday nights.

4. Speakeasies. Nuff said.

5. Painting your friends’ portraits on your nails. If you’re a real one, you already know. If you’re not, then aspire to these standards. Send the nail salon person a JPEG of your friend to transpose onto your nails. Only positive vibes will be produced from this friendship. Guaranteed.

6. Tax Evasion (for the working class). 2019 was the year of tweets encouraging people to “eat the rich.” 2020 is the year to make that a reality.


Leave it!: It would be naive to suggest that the Roaring ’20s were not riddled with oppressive societal issues. Here are aspects of the 1920s that we pray remain frozen in time. 

1. Polio (anti-vaxers). Polio ravaged the country in the early twentieth century, and personally, we’d like to leave that in the past, if you don’t mind. Vaccinate ya damn kids. 

2. Racism. While we acknowledge that as long as the social construct of race is present, racism will most likely remain in society, we want the perpetuation of casual racism to cease. We want call outs and call ins. We want intent and impact to be understood. We want self-responsibility and acknowledgment. Stop being racist under the pretense of a joke. 

3. Obesity Soap. Yes, this was a thing. With the flapper image came the notion that emaciation and unhealthy levels of weight loss were cool. Advertisements for soaps that could slough off body fat were common. The 2020s should be a decade of increased body positivity and inclusivity. We want you to feel good about yourself in the new year (and always) and not feel the pressure of antiquated societal standards.

4. Thin Brows. Honestly, this one speaks for itself. It’s hard to make thin brows work in your favor, but if you can then more power to you. These brows are not kind to just about any face shape, and the previous century can keep them for all we care.

5. Tax Evasion (for the rich). Not much has changed in the realm of the uber-wealthy deciding to forgo that pesky nuisance called the federal income tax. We’d, uh, like them to pay their dues pretty please. We promise they can do it. Let’s leave the large scale tax evasion to Al Capone. 


We hope to see you swing dancing to some new age jazz in this blooming decade (all while remaining unproblematic and au courant.) May your ’20s be as prosperous and as wonderful as you are. Grab a bottle of bootleg hooch and thrive!

Maya Cassady
Maya is a sophomore in the College with no intention of declaring a major anytime soon. Hopefully her love of music and movies makes up for it.

Lucy Cook
Lucy is a senior majoring in American Studies and minoring in Creative Writing. She was cursed by an evil amulet and hence is bound to write for this paper. Lucy is the Executive Leisure Editor.

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