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1920s Fashion Guide

Guide to 1920’s Fashions-
How to Get the Look

Got a 20's era Great Gatsby or Art Deco themed charity ball, prom or wedding to attend? Refer to this guide for inspiration and to help you put together a period correct look for your 1920s vintage themed event.

Youth and the early womens' rights movement had a heavy influence on fashion in the 20s. A woman’s curves were deemphasized as the restrictive corsets from the 1900s were discarded in favor of a more liberating silhouette.

Hemlines were calf length for much of the century. The over the knee “flapper” fashions were only in vogue for a couple of years. But have since become the iconic look of the decade.

Below are key fashion elements to consider for capturing an authentic 1920's Jazz Era look.


  • Long, lean straight silhouettes.i.e. shift style dresses.
  • Dropped waistlines.
  • Handkerchief hems or assymetrical hems.
  • Sheer dresses worn over slip liners.
  • Elaborate beading or fringe.
  • Asian and Egyptian motifs.
  • Kimonos.


  • Multiple strands of long beads or pearls.
  • Curved, louis heels, mary janes, T straps. Buckles or other ornaments.
  • Cloche hats
  • Feathered headbands
  • Fancy, bejeweled hair combs
  • Stockings rolled to below knees.
  • Long cigarette holders.
  • Tiny beaded evening bags.

Hair and Makeup

  • Short, bobbed hair, either straight with bangs or finger waved.
  • Longer hair was still worn, but was pulled back and tucked under to mimic the bobbed style.
  • Dark, smoky eyes. Kohl liner upper and lower lids.
  • Cupid Bow lips in deep reds or plum shades. Clara Bow, the famous "It Girl" was the actress who inspired this lip shape.
  • Rouged knees.

Blue Velvet Vintage sells beautiful hand beaded reproductions of 1920s flapper dresses and pretty hair accessories to go with them! Romantic dresses from our Nataya collection also offer some lovely choices for a romantic 1920s inspired look.