Wanna dress like alluring flappers in the 1920s? I hear you! Whether you’re seeking a sexy flapper costume for Halloween, a flapper party, a Great Gatsby party, a 1920s theme party, or a Roaring Twenties party, this is the right place for you!
In this post, I will give you some awesome ideas for you to look like the captivating flappers in the 1920s by showing you all the clothes and accessories you can potentially wear for the day!
At the end of the post, I will let you know where you can find and buy all the flapper costumes and accessories!
Before we start, I want to say this content may not be entirely historically accurate. I know it is important to be historically accurate but I also support the idea that everyone’s costume can be flexible and has each person’s unique style.
Besides, lots of flapper dresses and accessories today are inspired by 1920s fashion yet produced in modern style to please modern consumers. Therefore, you may see some fashion items in this post that are slightly different from the ones in the 1920s.
I am here to offer you the flapper costume ideas as much as possible. At the end of the day, it’s your choice to either wear a historically accurate flapper costume or add your personal ideas and create a 1920s-inspired modern flapper outfit. What really matters is that you enjoy what you wear and the moment.
Alright, let’s begin!
- Sexy Flapper Costume Ideas
- Items For Flapper Costumes (Quick Links)
- Where To Buy Flapper Dresses & Accessories?
- You May Also Be Interested In…
Sexy Flapper Costume Ideas
Bobbed Hair (short hair) was one of the biggest features of the flappers in the 1920s. The good news is that there were no certain regulations or limitations about bobbed hair in the 1920s, which means you can style it freely. It can be straight, it can be wavy, it can be curly, you can have bangs, and you can have no bangs. As long as it’s short, it will be ok.
If you already have a short hairstyle, that’s great! You’re ready to put on some flapper hats or flapper headpieces! If your hair is long, the easiest way is to wear a bobbed hairstyle wig. If you don’t want to wear a wig, alternatively, you can try a Faux Bob hairstyle without getting a haircut. It’s possible and it’s beautiful! You just need a little bit of skill to do that. Or at least style a low bun. That will be fine too. Keeping your hair long is not recommended for a flapper look but I won’t stop you from doing it if that’s what you want.
If you have no idea what 1920s bobbed hairstyles look like, here are some examples for you.
Usually, the length of the flappers’ bobbed hair is above the chin. (I think that’s why their style looks so sharp!)
Oh, I have to tell you this: Finger Wave is SO classic and gorgeous when it comes to 1920s wavy hair.
And by the way, I personally really like Daisy Buchanan’s hairstyle from the movie The Great Gatsby (2013) which is about the story in the 1920s. What about you? What’s your favorite bobbed hairstyle?
Cloche hats were not the only type of hats women wore in the 1920s. But they were definitely the trendiest and most iconic hats of the 1920s. If you want to wear a hat with your flapper outfit, just go for the cloche hat. Cloche hats can be designed in hundreds of different ways, so it could be fun to find the one that you like and fits you the most. By the way, I can’t express how much I love the way it looks from the side. It just looks SO CHIC with the bobbed hair.
If you want to wear a different hat, try a turban hat. It has an exotic vibe that will distinguish you from people who wear cloche hats. A simple turban hat can be worn in the daytime, and for the nighttime, it’s nice to wear a dressy turban hat.
Flapper headband is another essential that defines flappers in the 1920s. You can choose a flapper headband with or without feathers. Either way, you’re going to look stunning. My suggestion is to pick a flapper headband with feathers if you want to grab more attention. And if you don’t want to be the center of attraction, get one without feathers.
Here is a small tip: Try matching the color of the band, feather, or gemstone on your headband with the color of your flapper dress or other accessories. Then your flapper look will be very harmonious. For example, peacock feathers have a green tone, so headbands with peacock feathers match well with green dresses. On the other hand, you can also try wearing a headband with a special color as an accent, regardless of what you’re going to wear.
Also, make sure that your headband looks good with your hair color. It is better to avoid wearing a black headband when you have black hair unless you want to be understated. Because if you do so, your headband will be hard to see.
Beaded skullcaps are unique headpieces that are sure to turn heads when you wear them. If you’re an adventurous person, giving this item a try is definitely worth it! I strongly encourage you to wear a beaded skullcap, as there aren’t many opportunities to wear such a glamorous headpiece, aside from 1920s theme parties, which are perfect occasions to do so. So don’t miss out on this great chance to make a statement!
Although the images of flappers (rebellious) and tiaras (high-class and refined) are somehow conflicting, just letting you know that, flappers could wear tiaras too. And they did. (Some flappers wore tiara styles of headbands)
The tiaras flappers wore may not be as delicate and spectacular as the tiaras royal family wore, but still, they looked gorgeous on flappers’ heads and had an unusual aura when worn with the flapper dresses. And you know what? You can be like them as well.
Hair Comb, Hair Clip, Hair Pin
Even a small piece of Art Deco hair comb, hair clip, or hair pin can help you complete the flapper look. They are not as dramatic as other flapper headpieces so they are good for women who want to look understated yet pretty. Oh, and don’t forget to consider a feathered one!
Headwrap or Headscarf
Isn’t it kind of boring to wear the same flapper headband every time you attend a 1920s theme party? I think flappers in the 1920s felt the same way. That’s why there were so many different types of flapper headpieces to wear!
Headwraps or headscarves can give you a fresh look. It can be plain, printed, or silky. You can have slightly different looks with your headscarf depending on how you wear it. One of my favorite ways is to leave the bottom of the scarf on one side of the shoulders, just like one of Daisy’s looks from the movie The Great Gatsby (2013). (It’s so fashionable!)
Sometimes, you can make your own turban hat by using the same headscarf you have. (Killing two birds with one stone!) In addition, you can add a shiny hair clip on your headwrap or headscarf to have a new look!
Typical flapper dresses in the 1920s were straight, loose-fit, knee-length, sleeveless, sequined, beaded, fringed, Art Deco patterned, and sometimes see-through. But as I said at the beginning of this post, a lot of flapper dresses are modernized today. If you want to be historically accurate, you can get an authentic one at vintage shops. (It could be pricey, though)
For me, I may choose a 1920s-inspired flapper dress that looks like the Typical Flapper Dresses, just like the ones right below.
If you want to try something different, you can wear these Modern Flapper Dresses which have short sleeves, above knee length, etc.
And here are Plus Size Flapper Dresses for some readers!
Flapper Shawl & Wrap
These flapper shawls and wraps will keep you warm a little bit when you have a night out. And they complement your flapper look as well. When you wear different shawls or wraps, your impression will slightly change. So think about which one will work best for you!
Shawl or Capelet
The materials and designs of the evening shawls resemble the flapper dresses I talked about earlier. Try matching the color and style of the shawl and your dress, and you’re gonna look amazing!
Fur Stole, Fur Wrap, Fur Collar
Fur stoles, fur wraps, and fur collars are great items to present a luxurious look, which matches well with the theme of the Roaring Twenties.
A feather boa is also something fun to wear. I think it will be lovely to match the color of the feather boa and the color of the feather on your headband or feather fan. Besides, you can try boas made of other materials, like the one in the first picture below.
Fur Trimmed Coat
Fur-trimmed coats were the most distinctive 1920s coats I found. There was fur on the collar, sometimes on the cuffs and hemline. Mostly, they were straight, slim, and long. (about knee-length or longer)
Unlike the splendid flapper dresses, the coats were relatively plain. I like the contrast because when you take off the coat and people see your dazzling dress, they will be wowed.
Don’t be stressed about finding exactly the same coat as the ones in the 1920s. It will be fine to wear a long plain coat that has fur trims on the collar or cuffs, and the rest of the details can be flexible.
Opera Coat or Kimono Robe
Asian motifs were trending in the 1920s. For example, some opera coats had large sleeves like kimono. Some robes the flappers wore had kimono silhouettes and Asian-inspired prints. It may sound conflicting to wear a Western dress and an Asian robe together, but if you find a good match, it’s gonna look exceptionally stylish!
1920s Style Mary Jane Shoes
Try to find a pair of Mary Jane shoes that have these features for your flapper costume:
- Round Toe or Almond Toe
- Low Heel
- The shape of the heels is between block heels and stiletto heels
A lot of women in the 1920s wore this specific type of shoes. (They were like basics) They look very different from what we call Mary Jane shoes nowadays. But the vintage look they have is very fascinating. (Honestly, I thought this type of shoe was ugly. I think that’s because I saw the shoes from today’s beauty standards. But the more I get to know about 1920s fashion, I am getting more obsessed with these shoes!)
Aside from the basic single-strap Mary Jane shoes, Cutout Mary Jane Shoes and Cross Strap Mary Jane Shoes can be your alternatives.
T-Strap (T-Bar) Shoes
Another popular type of shoe that women enjoyed wearing in the 1920s was the T-strap (T-bar) shoe.
1920s evening bags were so small that they hardly contained a lot of things. Instead of practical bags, they were more like fancy little bags. Although mini bags are preferable, I think a medium-sized bag is ok for your flapper costume if you need to carry many things when you go out. (Large bags are not recommended)
Most importantly, make sure to carry an exquisite handbag or clutch that is beaded, made of metal mesh, or embroidered to match your 1920s flapper look.
Metal Mesh Bag
You can also try rhinestone bags which look similar to metal mesh bags.
Never skip flapper jewelry because it is as indispensable as flapper dresses. You don’t have to wear all of them at once, but at least try to wear some of them.
Long Pearl Necklace or Long Beaded Necklace
Long pearl necklaces or long beaded necklaces are the most basic flapper jewelry we can get for our flapper costumes. And I have some tips for you:
- Be bold. Wear multiple layers of pearl necklace instead of a single strand, just like Coco Chanel. (She made wearing long pearl necklaces so so popular!)
- Another way is to knot the long pearl necklace to make it look like a sautoir (which I will mention below).
- You can create a new look by wearing a long pearl/beaded necklace and a choker together. It’s very chic.
- Long pearl necklaces or long beaded necklaces can be your headpieces as well. I saw some flappers did that, and ladies in Downton Abbey did that too!
Here are various ways to wear a long pearl necklace. Try some of them and have fun!
Sautoir is a type of long pearl or beaded necklace that usually has a tassel or pendant at the end. It was another necklace that women enjoyed wearing in the 1920s.
Art Deco drop earrings, dangle earrings, and chandelier earrings are always the right ones when it comes to 1920s flapper earrings. When you have a bobbed hairstyle, people will see your exquisite earrings when they see you. It makes you look way more attractive than wearing no earrings. And imagine the earrings swing when you dance. How fun is that!
Just like layered pearl/beaded necklaces, wearing layered bracelets was common at that time. This type of flapper bracelet which is combined with a ring in the picture below is quite popular possibly because Daisy wore that in the movie The Great Gatsby (2013).
Some flappers also wore arm cuffs, arm bracelets, or armlets. I haven’t seen a lot of “modern flappers” wearing arm cuffs, so you may attract some attention when you wear them.
Since Art Deco and Egyptian styles heavily influenced 1920s fashion, jewelry with geometric shapes or snake motifs will be suitable for your flapper costume. Guess what? You never know how beautiful it is until you put it on your bare arm!
I wouldn’t recommend wearing an arm cuff and a bracelet on the same side, nor wearing two arm cuffs on both sides. Instead, try wearing an arm cuff on one side and a bracelet on the other side. That will look so much better.
Brooch or Corsage
I noticed that women in the 1920s often wore brooches or corsages on their jackets, coats, and dresses, mostly on the lapels or somewhere around the shoulders and waist. I think we can incorporate this trend into our fashion choices, particularly with flower designs.
I also found these cute vintage-style brooches which have flappers’ pictures on them. Although they are not what flappers actually wore in the past, they are still awesome items to adorn your flapper costumes.
Pearl Body Jewelry
American actress Colleen Moore was one of the fashion icons who popularized the flapper look. In her silent film Flaming Youth (1923), she wore this captivating pearl body jewelry (or it might be part of the dress). I was thinking, we could wear similar pearl body jewelry and achieve stunning flapper looks, just like her!
Gloves are optional since numerous flappers didn’t wear gloves. But that doesn’t mean women in the 1920s didn’t wear gloves at all. It depended on their social status and occasions. If you search for some pictures of ladies in the British drama Downton Abbey, you will see they had classic flapper looks with evening gloves. So it’s your choice to wear gloves with your flapper costume or not.
Gloves made of silk/satin, velvet, lace, and sheer are great. They can elevate your elegance and allure. You can either wear plain gloves or wear a bracelet on top of the glove. If the gloves are made of lace, patterned, or embellished, then I suggest not wearing any bracelets.
Feather fans were one of the common accessories back then. When you look at the 1920s vintage photos, you will realize most of the feather fans women were holding were pretty big. They were so big that they might be too exaggerated for modern people like us. It will be inconvenient to carry too. For us, we can just hold small feather fans that still have a dramatic effect as the vintage ones have. In addition to feather fans, some Lace Fans and Paper Fans are also nice for your flapper costume.
Women in the 1920s pretty much always wore stockings when they went out. Although you don’t necessarily have to wear stockings with your flapper costume, it’s highly recommended. Here is why:
- Whether the stockings are nude or colored, they make your legs look prettier.
- Colored stockings can match your flapper dress or accessories.
- Especially the stockings with back seams, which were popular in the 1920s, can get you an authentic vintage look.
Fishnet stockings are what showgirls loved to wear in the 1920s. You can wear them if you want an impactful flapper look.
Stocking and garters are usually a set. Garters are also not a must-have because they will be hidden under the dress. But if you want to FEEL the vintage vibe, why not? Especially when you have such cute and sexy garters.
Hip Flask or Flask Garters
Producing, importing, transporting, and selling alcohol was not allowed during Prohibition in the United States (1920-1933). That means it was almost impossible to drink alcohol unless someone wanted to break the law. Flappers didn’t care. They drank whenever they wanted, but secretly. They did whatever it took to drink. One of the ways was to hide hip flasks in their garters. If you want to be naughty like flappers in the 1920s or just have some fun, consider carrying a hip flask or wearing flask garters.
Don’t these flask garters look so ravishing?
Smoking with cigarette holders was usual for flappers in the 1920s. It was not only because using a cigarette holder could keep ashes from falling on their beautiful flapper dresses (and many other practical reasons) but also because they wanted to smoke in a fashionable way. Therefore, cigarette holders were one of their daily essentials.
Cigarette holders are great items for taking vintage photos. Even if you’re not a smoker, you can just hold a cigarette holder with a fake cigarette. Like I said earlier, the most important thing is to have fun.
Cigarette cases are not only items that store cigarettes but also fashionable accessories for smokers. And for 1920s flappers who smoked, cigarette cases were must-haves!
If you’re a smoker, here are some fancy cigarette cases for you. Let’s impress people at the party when you take your cigarette case out of your purse!
If you’re a non-smoker, I think it is a cute little box to store something else! Like cash, debit/credit cards, etc. It’s a nice item to grab attention and let people think you have good taste in fashion.
Flapper Costume Set & Flapper Jewelry Set
It’s kind of overwhelming and stressful to pick each piece one by one and get all of them for your flapper costume, right? I feel you! If you don’t want to think too much about the outfit, or you just want to get your flapper costume as quickly as possible, here is a solution for you! Check out these beautiful flapper costume sets and flapper jewelry sets. Ordering one of those will save you so much time and energy!
Flapper Costume Set
Flapper Jewelry Set
Items For Flapper Costumes (Quick Links)
This gallery includes the items for flapper costumes you have seen above, plus other extra items. If you want to see the details or buy any of them, you can simply click it and you will see the product page.
Where To Buy Flapper Dresses & Accessories?
I found some nice places to shop for flapper costumes and accessories while I was writing this post and I want to share those places with you. If you haven’t seen any item you like in this post, maybe you will find it in the shops below!
For Flapper Costumes & Accessories:
- Gatsbylady Europe
- La Vie Delight
- Lily’s Romance
- Haus of Denim & Lace (Kimono Robe)
- twogirlstudio (Kimono Robe)
For Flapper Hats:
- Felt Point (Cloche Hat)
- shixiaoying (Cloche Hat)
- Rona Handmade Turbans (Turban Hat)
- Jazzafine (Turban Hat)
- My Retro Palace (Turban Hat)
For Flapper Headpieces & Jewelry:
- Six Feathers Studio
- All From Earth
- Lady Tribeca
- Mimi’s Vintage Jewelry
- Lily and Eva
For Other Flapper Accessories:
- Paramount Wigs (Wig)
- I’m With The Band (Headwrap)
- WithLoveLana (Headscarf)
- flydreamfeathers (Feather Boa)
- The Glove Girl (Gloves)
- Irma Boutique (Shoes)
Thank you so much for reading this post to the end! I’m sure there are more sexy flapper costume ideas that are not in this post yet. But at least I hope this post can inspire you a little bit!
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