How to achieve a 1920s look

If youre anything like me, then watching The Great Gatsby at the cinema this summer will have reignited a deep love for the 1920s! The films lead female character, Daisy Buchanan, simply oozes 1920s glamour. The good news is, its not that hard to recreate the look for yourself! Read on to find out how to emulate the fashion, jewellery, hair and makeup of the era almost 100 years on...

The Dress

When we think of womens fashion in the 1920s the first thing that springs to mind most often is the iconic flapper dress. A knee-length, dropped-waist dress, usually v-shaped at the front and back, and most definitely sleeveless; featuring one or more details including beads, lace, sequins, chiffon, fringes, flowers, satin and more the flapper dress paved the way for fashion as we know it today!

Achieve the look today with a dress that has no defined waist. You could even customise an under-dress slip to achieve the right look, and create a dropped waist by tying a scarf around your hips. Dont worry if you dont have a natural boyish figure, 1920s dresses were designed to hide your curves and give the impression of a boyish figure. You can put away the push-up bra too, this look works best when you let your dcolletage do the talking.

The Shoes

Stilettos hadnt been invented in the 1920s, heel were a much more modest height, along the lines of what we might call a kitten heel today. To get the look right youll ideally want to be wearing a pair of round-toe, mid-heeled shoes with a t-bar strap or a buckle fastening.

Flapper shoes tended to have quite a chunky heel as they were designed to be worn for dancing. One simply cant do the Charleston properly in a pair of stilettos! If it looks like a cross between a Mary Jane and a tap dancing shoe then youre on the right tracks.

The Hair and Makeup

The classic short bob is the most iconic hairstyle associated with the 1920s. In keeping with the androgyny of the fashion trends of the era, many women opted to have their hair cut and styled into a short bob. To bob or not to bob was the big style dilemma of the era; despite it being the height of fashion, it was actually deemed a drastic and unladylike cut by many!

Long hair can be worn in a low bun or chignon, neatly pinned in to place allowing enough room for the classic flapper style headband to be worn. And of course, excessive makeup was the order of the day in the 1920s as women celebrated a much more liberal way of life in post-war society.

The Accessories

  • Headwear: A hat or headband is essential in completing a 20s look. Try a wide-brimmed hat that sits low over the brow line, or a crocheted skullcap adorned with beads. Pin you hair back and hide it all under the hat for an authentic look.
  • Stockings: Stockings were worn to come just below the knee to show just a touch of flesh where the dress ends and the stockings begin!
  • Scarf and gloves: A long, skinny scarf or a feather boa paired with long satin gloves ooze quintessential 1920s flapper style.
  • Jewellery: A string of pearls, the longer the better, or several different strings of different lengths, create the perfect look. Chunky, Art Deco jewellery is the order of the day for a truly 1920s look!