1920s Costuming Is Easy!
Most people will find it very easy to create a costume for this theme. Everyone has something 1920s in their closet. Men, look for bow ties, suspenders, fedoras, white t-shirts and wear it with a fitted vest for a quick 1920s costume. You can also find plenty of ‘Zoot-Suit’ styled apparel by shopping online or checking out your local thrift store. Here’s a great styling tip, think big and add a fat tie! For an authentic 1920s touch, think spats, (or spatter-dashes/spatter guards), which are covers that were designed to protected your shoes from weather or mud. Spats were a fashion staple of the 1920s, and soon became a symbol of wealth and eccentricity. So be sure to get your spats to look spectacular! Finish that dapper look by visiting your local florist, ask them to make you a boutonniere to pin to your coat lapel. It’s the perfect detail to complete that prohibition look!
**Rock that ‘gangster’ look, without alarming anyone with a set of brass knuckles, a bloody baseball bat, or better yet use a small violin case. Although ‘Tommy-Guns’ were the thing back then, these days it might frighten strangers. Remember, a gangster is all about attitude; so whatever you wear, wear it well!
Let’s Get Dressed Dolls!
Ladies, any little black dress does the trick, because in the1920’s it was all about the accessories! So take your favorite ‘LBD’ and add some extra long pearls. Make, (or buy), your headband with a feather, sequins/rhinestones, and some glittery elastic. Use some old jewelry to give your headband that just-right vintage look. Every flapper must have a feather boa – it’s a rule! So find one online cheap. Be sure to hang it for a few hours before the party to get it fluffy. Before you leave for the party, spray it with an inexpensive hairspray to keep it from shedding feathers all night! ((That’s our trade secret – SHHH!)) While shopping online, find a nice set of wrist-length gloves to match your boa. Shop for some antique-looking bracelets, and finish the look with a fabulous beaded cross-body or drawstring clutch. Don’t forget to wear bold red lipstick – because red was the only color worn in the 1920s! Browse Pinterest for some 1920’s inspired hair-dos that are just right for any flapper girl! Keep in mind that waves were ‘the bomb’ for both long, or short hair gals.
Not A Girly Girl?
Why not be a girly gangster? Just follow all the costume tips I offered for the men above! Raid your man’s closet and see what great things you can find! If you strike out there go to the local thrift store. I once bought a man’s pinstriped suit for $10 at a thrift store. I took it home and cut the legs off to make the pants into shorts. I have always sewn, so I hemmed the shorts into a 3” inseam. I also hemmed the arm length to fit me too. Don’t sew? No worries, I’ve got you covered! You can also use my all-time favorite, (I don’t sew product), Stitch Witchery! First cut the pant legs off to the right short length, leaving 1/2 inch for a pressed hem. Then follow the Stitch Witchery directions. It is the easiest and fastest way to hem anything! Just remember to use a damp cloth, (a paper towel works), between the garment and the iron while steaming the hem. Also, always lift the iron straight up and then back down again. Do not sweep side to side, or back and forth as if ironing normally; that will make the glue gather in clumps. Once the glue has set and dried, you can normally iron and press the garment. To finish my costume, I used my man’s gray shirt, added the BIG fat black tie and fedora, fishnet hose, and my favorite black pumps. My dear friend Michele, (who was a florist), made me a silk carnation boutonniere, which really made my costume oh-so girly gangster perfect! My whole costume was just under $50 and it was a real show stopper!
Smart 1920s Costuming!
Shop smart and save for your 1920s costume. Find great items on Amazon, eBay, or better yet – your local thrift shop! But remember to shop your closet first always! These two ladies each styled themselves for a 1920’s party very inexpensively. Ms. Anita Moulton, (left), found a silky A-line dress in her closet, added an antique pearl necklace, and made her own headband complete with a beautiful peacock feather! She said she spent a total of only $20, yet she looked like a million bucks!
Photo – Ms. Anita Moulton; Sewickley Heights Historical Center Event
Ms. Belinda Thompson, (right), had an ingenious idea! She shopped her closet and found this long ivory-tiered skirt. She pulled the skirt up to her chest and over it. Then she attached the skirt waistline to her bra with some pins. To add a little bling, she changed her bra straps into the glittery rhinestones ones you can buy at the fabric store! She added an off-white faux fur wrap and a glitzy beige/gold headband to complete her 1920’s style! Kudos to Belinda for the creative thinking that turned a layered skirt into 1920’s style dress with just a few pins! Way to go Belinda!
Photo – Ms. Belinda Thompson; Sewickley Heights Historical Center Event
Be A Frugal Flapper Girl!
Here’s the list of items I recently purchased to style Crystal Brennenman, our on-location brand ambassador and YouTube Vlogger. Crystal had a stunning costume and it cost less than $65. The links below link to where we purchased her dress and accessories.
Thank you for visiting our blog today, and good luck with your 1920s costume! Please like our video and subscribe to our channel for more fabulous party tips. If you are hosting a 1920’s party soon be sure to visit our Speakeasy blog for some great décor ideas….so that…Everybody Wins!
*Special thanks to Dana, and the Sewickley Heights History Center for letting us film on-location during their 1920’s Gatsby-inspired party!