Excerpt taken from The Berg Companion to Fashion:
"The 1920s focused on the display of the slim, youthful body through the use of short skirts and dropped waists. Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and Jean Patou were particularly known for this youthful, sporty style. The flapper took this fashionable ideal to the extreme and wore the shortest skirts possible, low cloches, and negligible underwear. Evening dresses were sleeveless, flashy, and frequently featured slit skirts meant to enable active dancing. She bobbed her hair, wore obvious makeup, and sunbathed in skimpy, one-piece bathing suits. The “fast living” ethos of the 1920s was widely perceived to be a direct consequence of World War I. During wartime, many young women experienced freedoms previously unheard of, such as taking jobs, shortening skirts, driving cars, and cutting their hair. Competition for male attention was paramount since the pool of eligible men had been depleted during the war, and this probably contributed to the flashier fashions and aggressive behavior of many young women. Outrageous behavior and dress were seen as an investment against spinsterhood or, at the very least, boredom."
Sauro, Clare. "Flappers." The Berg Companion to Fashion. Ed. Valerie Steele. Oxford: Bloomsbury Academic, 2010. Bloomsbury Fashion Central. <http://dx.doi.org.libaccess.hccs.edu:2048/10.5040/9781474264716.0007401>.