How to Dress Like Women in the 1920s

by Aletha Reil ; Updated September 28, 2017

The women of the 1920s made a lasting impact on American society, completely transforming the American woman and fashion itself. The sense of liberation and independence these women exhibited internally came through in their external appearance. The women of the 1920s made such an impact on fashion that people today are still trying to replicate it. Whether you are attending a 1920s theme party, dressing up as a flapper for Halloween, or playing a role in a play, the style of dress worn by women in the 1920s is an easy one to replicate.

Pick your outfit. If you're going for a daywear look, choose flowered prints or ones with geometric patterns. Skirts should fall just below the knee, have pleats and be flouncy, while tops should be loose silks or sweaters with horizontal stripes. Look for knit suits as well, with either pants or skirts and a fitted blazer.

Wear beaded dresses or dresses with fringe, plunging necklines or backlines, and dropped waistlines to create a 1920s evening look.

Accessorize. Women of the 1920s did not hold back when it came to accessorizing. Add fitted gloves to your outfit, ideally ones that come as high as your shoulder. Put on a pair of nylon stockings and wear them like the 1920s women did, rolled down to just below the knee and add Mary Jane T-strap heels. Complete the look with a few long strands of pearls and a headpiece, such as a feathered headband or a cloche hat.

Style your hair. You cannot replicate the look of the 1920s completely without the hairstyle. Wear your hair short and cropped close to the head in a styled bob cut. You can create this look with the help of some hair gel. If your hair is longer and you're not wiling to cut it, wear a wig.

Apply heavy makeup. Women in the 1920s did not go light on their makeup. To recreate the popular flapper look, apply bright red lipstick and compact powder. Apply dark eyeliner in dark brown or black tones and smudge it to create the smoky eye look famous in the 1920s.

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About the Author

Aletha Reil has a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. She has been writing for more than three years and is currently working as a women's fitness columnist for a prominent website.