Whilst things are looking rather dire at the moment with Covid, there is hope that in the coming years we will emerge into a new period of prosperity and celebration, compared to the high times of the Roaring 20’s after WW1. People have always been interested in the glamour of the 1920’s; and fascination has only increased with the popularity of TV shows such as Peaky Blinders and Boardwalk Empire, as well as cult classics like The Great Gatsby. If you want to get dressed up to the nines for a Jazz age party, or just want to capture the elegance of the flapper girl’s, here is our guide to emulating 1920’s style.
Bright, bold makeup
The 1920’s was when the cosmetics industry truly took off. Women no longer felt the need to strive for a natural appearance, and striving for elegance and caring about your appearance became a declaration of self-worth.
For parties and special events, the look to go for was smokey eyes, long lashes, rosy cheeks and a bold lip.
There were lots of cosmetic innovations in this period. Eyeliner first became widely available in the 1920’s, and the idea of emphasizing one’s eyes emerged. The invention of the swivel lipstick happened, and the rise of bright and bold lipstick began.
Freedom with your hair
After the first world war, the days of long flowing locks of hair being associated with purity and innocence were gone. A woman’s hair was now seen as a status symbol, and the trends women followed were signs of her newfound freedoms.
Having shorter hair with waves or a tight bob, depending on your preferences, was the way to be fashionable at the time.
Men’s fashion didn’t exactly revolutionise in the 1920’s period, but there were slight changes. Tailored suits and well fitting formal clothes were still considered the pinnacle of style; but as people gained more income they began to build a collection of suits, including those made of brighter colours than the classic black or navy suit that was worn by most people.
There was a change with hats though. Prior to the 1920’s, a fedora style hat was seen as a feminine item, and that any proper gentleman would not be seen without a bowler hat. However as the Jazz age went on, fedora hats became seen as a more practical and fun choice of head gear to a bowler, and became associated with style when paired with a good suit.
Glitz and Glamour
With booming economies and more purchasing power in the 1920’s, it was out with conservative dresses and drab clothing, and in with extravagant and glamorous gowns that showed off your wealth and beauty.
This spliced gold dress and headband covered in jewels, worn by Hollywood legend and Silent film icon Gloria Swanson, is a prime example.
So try to wear garments that have bright colours or shiny accents.
Sex Appeal through fashion
As mentioned earlier, after the war the idea of maintaining one’s purity and suppressing your sexuality was replaced with the idea of expression and revelling in the sexual aspect of life. This undoubtedly influenced women’s fashion, with long conservative dresses being replaced with flowy flappers dresses to accentuate your movement and short skirts to show off your legs.
Rather than trying to contain or hide one’s skin, 1920’s clothes aimed to celebrate your body and have fun; so that is exactly what you want to do when emulating the style from the time. You can now quite easily find modern dresses that are inspired by the flapper dresses of the past.
To accessorise your 1920’s clothes, you’ll need to match them with jewellery pieces that were fit for the Jazz age. Why not learn about some items that do exactly that, in our Peaky Blinders inspired look at jewellery trends from the roaring twenties.