How to Dress for a 1920s Themed Wedding

Vintage themed weddings are a hot trend.  And why not?  Picking a favorite decade to  plan your special day around adds a whole new element of fun to the celebration.  And recently, due to the popularity of shows like Boardwalk Empire and Downton Abbey and the movie remake of the Great Gatsby, the Roaring Twenties has been on the minds of many brides to be.

The 1920s represent an era of decadence, glamour and liberation for women.   Fashion design was influenced by Art Deco and surrealism, jazz music and the discovery of King Tut’s tomb,  which caused a major trend toward anything with Egyptian motifs.    Coco Chanel was the designer whose creations most influenced womens’ fashion in the 20s, including the loose fitting chemise dress worn with long necklaces, which became the hallmark of  “the flapper” look.  Ladies’ looks for evening involved lots of intricate beading, fringe, and sequins with bejewelled turbans, feathered headbands and other decorative hair ornaments.

So if you’re lucky enough to be invited to a formal or “after 5”  1920s themed wedding,  you certainly can’t run out to your nearest costume store and grab one of those flimsy polyester numbers with rows of fringe.   Au contrare!  An occasion like this calls for puttin’ on the glitz,  with elegance and class of course!   This isn’t the time for being wishy washy about your outfit.  For a 1920’s evening wedding event you’ll want to show up looking authentic roaring twenties glam, meaning dressed something like Lady Dudley below. (In case you don’t know who she is, read more about her character here)

Lady Dudley from Downton Abbey

Lady Dudley from Downton Abbey

Coco Chanel once said “A girl should be two things. Classy and fabulous.”  So here are my recommendations for looking classy and fabulous for a formal dress 20’s themed wedding.

•Straight, somewhat loose fitting sleeveless cocktail dress covered with elaborate beading and sequin designs, preferably in a geometric deco type pattern. Some element of fringe is always a plus!  Does not have to be too short! Most women in the 1920s did not wear really short dresses.
•Long strands of pearls or other beads, either worn singly or in layers.
•Opera length gloves. Add a glitzy bracelet on one wrist.
•For the hair, chose a beautiful head scarf or turban and pin a sparkly brooch on it, wear an elegant beaded headband, perhaps with some feathers, or go with a dressy cloche hat trimmed in satin, bows or flowers.
•Find yourself a pair of patterned or fishnet stockings that will match your dress. Hosiery with embroidered designs or rhinestone decorations will work too.  Some flappers even wore stockings with designs on the knees!
•Shoes should have a curved (Louis) heel and be T strap or Mary Jane style.
•Carry a small purse with beaded design and/or fringe.
•For makeup tips to complete your authentic 1920’s look see this article.


For more 1920s style inspiration, see our YouTube video slideshow of our exclusive collection of beaded flapper dresses that are very popular for 1920s Old Hollywood and Gatsby themed weddings.  We sell  accessories and shoes to go with them too!


Have a glamorous day!

By | 2014-05-09T09:12:38-04:00 May 9th, 2014|Fashion|2 Comments

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Theresa, owner and chief classy dame at the Blue Velvet Vintage online boutique. Lover of mid century fashion and home decor, classic films, Old Hollywood, pretty dresses, red lipstick, swing dancing and retro culture in general. Between my ecommere site and vintage style blog my mission is to revive the eras of classy dressing and inspire women to add more glamour to their lives! So don't be shy! I love to hear from others who share my appreciation of the styles of the past.


  1. Theresa
    Theresa May 9, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Yes, Jessica that would be nice. I have looked for hosiery like that and still haven’t found any. I did see one young woman at a swing dance recently with black tights that had cat faces on the knees. A little too whimsical for someone my age I think, but they looked cute on her! So the search is on 🙂

  2. Avatar
    Jessica Cangiano May 9, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Absolutely lovely suggestions. It’s surprising, you know, what with all the unique hosiery on the market these days, that 1920s knee design styles haven’t come back into vogue, if even for a season. Perhaps they’ll have their moment in the spotlight again one of the days.

    ♥ Jessica

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