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1920s Costume Ideas

Updated on June 3, 2014

Best Flapper Costumes and Other 1920s Costume Ideas

Movies like Chicago and The Great Gatsby have made the 1920s a popular era to emulate, and as a result, flapper, gangster, and Great Gatsby costumes have become commonplace at Halloween and costume parties. Some parties and weddings are even 1920s-themed, and guests are encouraged to come in costume! Although such a request might seem intimidating, don't worry - there are lots of great flapper and 1920s costume ideas to be found online.

1920s Costumes for Women

If you want the traditional flapper look of a short, sassy, fringed dress and a sequined headband with a plume of feather stuck through it, this is exactly the costume for you. One of the most popular flapper costumes on Amazon with more than 200 ratings and an average of four stars, this costume comes in either red or black. You can also buy additional accessories to complete the look, such as a cigarette holder, feather boa, and a long beaded necklace. The costume is good quality but it does run small, so check sizing charts and consider ordering a size larger than you normally would. Remember when you are brainstorming 1920s costume ideas that the fashion of the decade was a boyish figure with narrow hips and a flat bosom -- the straight cut of this costume reflects that style, and may not accommodate curvier figures unless you order a size larger than your norm.

1920s Great Gatsby Dresses

If you like the super short hemline and fringed look of the typical 1920s costume ideas, but you want something a little different to set your dress apart, check out this sexy flapper dress. The silver fabric, one shoulder design, and asymmetrical hem will earn you looks wherever you go! Like many flapper costumes, however, you are advised to order a size or two larger than you usually would -- the dress does have some stretch, but the size runs a bit small, as a straight cut through the hips is typical of most flapper-style dresses.

Anna-Kaci Women's Flapper Dress with Infinity Braid and a Scalloped Petal Hem

Dresses from the 20s

If you want a dress that is a little more elegant than the usual 1920s costume, check out this beautiful flapper dress with infinity braid detailing and a scalloped petal hem. With an average of more than four stars, the only real complaint about this dress is that - like many 1920s costumes - you might want to order a size larger than usual to account for the very straight cut of the flapper style dress. The off-white color is a nice change from the usual red or black dresses you see with 1920s costumes, however, and more suited to a Gatsby theme.

Great Gatsby Flapper Dress

At $59.99, this costume is a little pricier than many of the other 1920s costume ideas, but it's a great look and worth mentioning. The dropped waist and slightly longer hemline is truer to the era than many other flapper costumes on the market, and the plain black bodice and gold and black fringed skirt combine simple elegance with flapper pizzazz. Best of all, the sizing is truer than many of the other 1920s costume dresses on the market. You will have to accessorize the dress yourself to complete your costume, however, as it doesn't come with a headband the way many other flapper costumes do.

'Great Gatsby' Replica Art Deco Headpiece or Headband

As the title mentions, this Gatsby-themed headpiece would be as perfect as a wedding tiara for a 1920s-themed wedding as it is for a Gatsby or flapper costume. The headpiece looks just like the one worn by Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, and the majority of its 50 reviews are 5 stars. This beautiful piece is so well made that it can pass for real jewelry instead of just a cheap costume accessory!

Great Gatsby Outfit Ideas

If you are looking for 1920s costume ideas, you have probably already discovered that while there are plenty of beautiful and sexy flapper dresses and costumes available, shoes are harder to find. These gorgeous satin dance shoes have a slightly lower, fatter heel that is more correct for a 1920s costume, and gorgeous T-strap style and fancy detailing that make them perfect for many of the flapper dresses you find online.

1920s Gangster Costumes for Men

Every moll needs a gangster to escort her to her party! Men's 1920s costume ideas are harder to find, but this costume by California Costumes is an excellent choice. The pin-striped, double-breasted suit is classic 1920s gangster style. The costume only comes with pants, jacket, and a dickey with tie, however, leaving you to complete it with a hat, shoes, and whatever other accessories you choose, such as a 1920s gangster-style gun.

Buying Tips When Shopping for 1920s Costume Ideas

It's fun to shop for 1920s costume ideas for costume parties or 1920s-themed events, but there are a few things you should know before you get started:

  • Be sure to check measurements. New costumes usually have sizing charts. If you are buying vintage clothing online and you cannot try it on to check the fit, be sure to ask the seller for measurements if they haven't already provided them.
  • Buy a size larger than you normally would. Most flapper dresses are done in the style of the times, which was straight lines designed for boyish figures: flat bosoms and narrow hips. As a result, these dresses can be baggy through the waist and tight over the hips. For your dress to hang correctly over your hips, you might need to order a size or two larger than your norm -- be sure to check other buyers' ratings to see what they have to say about the sizing!
  • Don't forget the accessories! With 1920s costume ideas, the accessories are equally as important as the costume itself. For men, a gangster hat or straw boater, a hip flask, and a gun are par for the course. For women, the perfect flapper outfit should include long strings of beads, a feather boa, scarf, or some other type of wrap, a headband with a feather or a cloche hat, stockings, and T-strap shoes. A cigarette holder and a thigh flask or garter flask is another great idea to top off your costume.

Putting together a 1920s costume is a lot of fun, whether you are dressing up for Halloween, a costume party, a dinner party, or some other event. Once you get started shopping for 1920s costume ideas, your biggest problem will be narrowing your choices down to just one costume!


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