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1920's Flapper Dresses | Find The Rebellious Flapper Within

Updated on December 29, 2009

I don't know about you, but I like the idea of the 1920's. It's been portrayed as a glamorous time filled with tassels and outrageous frills and willowy women named 'Bea' who ran fashion houses and had scandalous affairs with the dashing men who would come by. Women emerged briefly from their place in the kitchen to dance the night away in sordid Jazz houses, bare arms and legs scandalously flashing in wanton displays of frenetic dance.

It was a time in which women often wore their hair short, or coiffed so that it appeared short. Carefully tamed curls and waves adorned the heads of women who were no longer curvaceous and buxom, but instead lithe and slim. Straight shift style dresses added to the impression of rather shapeless women, whose nod to femininity was in the form of stark make up that emphasized the lips and eyes. In France, a flapper would often be referred to as garcone, or 'boy'.

Flappers were emancipated women, women who smoked with men, danced with men and concerned themselves little with the proprieties of the world.

You can fashion your own flapper fashions quite easily at home with simple materials and simple cuts. A long shift dress that comes to the mid calf is the perfect flapper dress. All you need is a little ornamentation in the form of sequins, or tassels and you are ready to dance the night away. For a more sophisticated flapper dress, employ higher quality materials such as silk, or even nylon.

The waist line can be marked with a sash or some such device, but the sash should remain lose. It is not seemly for a flapper to show that she has a distinguishable waist and hips, instead she must be free to move and lounge and dance without giving glimpses of parts that may identify her as being traditionally feminine.

In terms of accessories, strings of pearls, beads and feathers are all quite appropriate for the flapper in training. Remember, long and loose and flowing is the order of the day. The only exception to this is hair, which should be tightly controlled and neatly coiffed at all times.

Recalling the glamor of the past can free one in the present. Remembering that there are those who came long before you who reveled in earthly pleasures and are now gone on reminds us of the short span we have here on the planet and calls us to enjoy every moment that remains. Flapper women rebelled against the fashion norms of their time and started a powerful revolution that spread throughout the upper and middle classes with its wild, unrestrained joy. Find the flapper within!


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