She was feminine but also broke through several gender barriers for her attire allowed her to participate in sports, including golf, roller skating, and bicycling. The young men of the world were being used as cannon fodder for an older generation's ideals and mistakes. She cut her hair, wore make-up, and went to petting parties. Inspired by Charles Dana Gibson's drawings, the Gibson Girl wore her long hair loosely on top of her head and wore a long straight skirt and a shirt with a high collar.
Most Americans tried their best to allow their children to enjoy their youth while they were slowly prepared for the trials and tribulations of adulthood.
Architecture and room decoration moved from the elaborate styles of the Victorian era to simpler design based on the homes and furniture of an earlier era.
(Imagine the difference between the busyness of a Victorian crazy quilt and the balanced symmetrical lines of a pieced block quilt.) Hand made items were idealized not only for their beauty but because of the values they represented.
The young soldiers found themselves inflicted with an "eat-drink-and-be-merry-for-tomorrow-we-die spirit." Far away from the society that raised them and faced with the reality of death, many searched (and found) extreme life experiences before they entered the battlefield.
When the war was over, the survivors went home and the world tried to return to normalcy.