1920s Costumes Tips

Read these 16 1920s Costumes Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Costume tips and hundreds of other topics.

1920s Costumes Tips has been rated 3.4 out of 5 based on 1091 ratings and 1 user reviews.
How should I dress as a Flapper?

Flapper Costumes

Fashion statements for Flapper costumes:

  • Dress: Low-waisted, sleeveless dress, called a "shift"
  • Hemline: just above or below the knee
  • Long fringe: on dress, purse
  • Shoes: heels in black satin, T-strap or Mary Jane styles
  • Makeup: outrageous eye liner and red lipstick
  • Makeup extra: gold compact for powder
  • Hair: short bob, either slicked down or curly
  • Hat: cloche pulled down tight over short hair
  • Silhouette: flat chest, boyish figure
  • Boa: any color
  • Beads: extra-long "pearls"
  • Ultra cool: long cigarette filter
  • Purse: black-fringed with long strap
Flapper costumes include straight, low-waisted dress just above or below the knee, long fringe on dress and black purse, black T-strap heels, eye liner and red lipstick, and a cloche hat pulled down tight over a bob haircut. Don't forget the boa, powder compact, long "pearls," and ultra-cool long cigarette holder.

Tell me about the Roaring Twenties.

The Roaring Twenties

The 1919 end of World War I, plus the 1920 women's right to vote, brought in a new prosperity and giddiness. In addition, Prohibition brought in illegal alcohol, trade, Gangsters and drinking establishments called Speakeasies. Young women, Flappers, bared their legs and arms, shocking their elders. Other shockers were applying makeup in public, short "bob" haircuts, and going around with men of questionable character.

What do I need for a Gangster Halloween Costume?

Gangster Halloween Costumes

Here are must-haves for your Gangster Halloween Costume:

  • Zoot Suit: loose, double-breasted with pinstripes
  • Shirt: Dark
  • Tie: White
  • Mustache: straight, just above the lips
  • Shoes: black and white "spats"
  • Hat: black or white fedora
  • Aromatic extra: cigar clamped between your teeth
For your Gangster Halloween costume, put on a Zoot Suit, spats, fedora, dark shirt and white tie. And don't forget your cigar and thin mustache!

What are some costumes from fashions of the 1920s?

Fashions of the 1920s

After the war when women's dress became more mannish for 1920s costumes, each year seemed to get more severe in line which almost emphasized the feminine woman beneath. Female clothes became looser and more shapeless in fit. The bust was suppressed, the waist disappeared, the shoulders became broader and hair shorter and shorter. Narrow boyish hips were preferred. The silhouette emphasized a flattened chest and womanly curves were eliminated as the line became more simplified.

Where can I get 1920s patterns?

Your Own 1920s Garb From Your Closet

You decided last minute to go with the 1920s theme for your costume party, but waiting until the last minute causes one problem: you don't have a costume. Don't worry - it's likely you have everything you need in your closet.

Any one-colored knee-length dress with thin straps will do. Avoid the patterns and go for simplicity - the key is to accessorize. After you have your dress, find a pair of shoes with a heel with a round toe. Remember, Jimmy Choo didn't make shoes in the 1920s, so your favorite stiletto heels might not make the cut. But like most women, you probably have a pair of black pumps tucked away in your closet. Next, head to the jewelry box and think "pearls." If you have a long pearl necklace that's great, but if not, combine a few necklaces of different lengths together. For makeup, dark eyeliner and lipstick was in fashion.

You might have just worn it to the office for the boardroom meeting, but your suit can double as a gangster outfit. The most important accessory for this costume is the hat, so if you don't have a hat that will work, consult your friends and family for a loan.

What did maids and butlers wear in the 1920s?

1920s Maids and Butlers

Instead of flapper costumes or the 20s gangster costume, you can dress as the maid or butler of a fashionable house.

Your maid roaring 20s costume will probably include a long white checkered cotton apron, possibly with flower designs. Add a basic black top and white cap from all the classic movies of the 1920s and 1930s.

Are Flapper Halloween costumes in style?

Flapper Halloween Costumes

For 1920s costume ideas, women may dress in flapper Halloween costumes, gangster molls or a Charleston queen, adorning herself with costume accessories like a flapper headband, a feather boa, an expanding cigarette holder, armbands, long white gloves, garters, oriental fans, fish net tights and a feather fan.

Tell me about 1920s costumes.

1920s Costumes

Nothing brings back the 1920s like Flapper and Gangster costumes. To dress up as a flapper, you'll need a straight dress, lots of long fringe, ultra-modern cigarette holder, and a cloche hat pulled down tight over a bob hairstyle. The gangster wears a cool expression along with his zoot suit and spats. 1920s costumes are easy to put together. They're lots of fun to wear. Plus, they represent the gaiety of the Roaring Twenties.

You'll be the life of the party with your 1920s costumes. Flapper and gangster costumes perfectly represent the gaiety of the Roaring Twenties. 1920s costumes are easy to put together and lots of fun to wear.

Where can I find gangster Halloween costumes?

Gangster Halloween Costumes

For 1920s costume ideas, men can dress in gangster Halloween costumes in fancy gangster suits, complete with costume accessories like vinyl spats, a fake cigarette puff, a gangster tie, a shoulder holster, a pocket watch, a gangster primafelt hat, a Tommy 10 gun, a dollar sign necklace and a zoot suit chain.

Are 1920's flapper dresses good for Halloween costumes?

1920s Flapper Dresses

People often mistakenly assume that all dresses day and evening were short in every year of the twenties and that 1920s flapper costumes were the only fashion style of the twenties. Dress and coat lengths were actually calf length and quite long for most of the decade. Shortness is a popular misconception reinforced by the availability of moving film of the Charleston dance which shows very visible knees and legs on the dancing flappers.

Skirts only revealed the knee briefly between 1926 and 1928, and this was the only period when evening dresses were short in line with day dress lengths. This was the flapper period.

I'm going to a Twenties party. What are some conversation starters?

Conversation Starters

Need some good conversation starters at your 1920s costume party. Take the lead with some of our fun facts from history:

  • The "Great Gatsby" was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • The end of World War I (1914-1919) brought in a new era of prosperity and giddiness.
  • The booming stock market came to a crash in 1929.
  • Women started wearing nylons
    # Alcohol Prohibition ushered in the illegal alcohol trade.
  • Gangsters and organized crime protected the illegal booze business
  • The 1920s brought in the Jazz Age.
  • The Charleston was the dance of choice.
  • Women were called Flappers because they were like baby birds just getting started.
  • Flappers were also called Garconnes, French for "boys," because of the boyish fashion silhouette.

I’d like to dress as a gangster moll, what do I wear?

Gangster Moll Roaring 20s Costume

Flapper costumes aren't the only 20s costumes available for women. Don your fedora and go as a female gangster! Wear hip-hugger Zoot suit pants and a double-breasted jacket. You're dressed to kill with a gangster tie on the outside, thigh-high stockings and a garter belt underneath. For a seductive showgirl twist on the traditional 1920s costumes, try a midriff-baring cropped top and miniskirt with thigh-highs and stiletto heels.

Can I make costumes from the roaring twenties fashion?

Roaring Twenties Fashion

Part of the 1920s costumes included that women wore cloche costume hats. A cloche hat told everyone that you had short hair. It was only possible to get a close fitting cloche on the skull if the hair was cropped short and flat. The cloche hat affected body posture as it was pulled well over the eyes which meant young women held their heads at a specific angle in order to see where they were going. Foreheads were unfashionable in the 1920s.

How can I dress as a showgirl, like in “Chicago”?

Roaring Twenties Showgirls

Get the man in your life to dress in a 1920s gangster costume, but beware...his Zoot suit buttons will pop when he sees you in your 1920s showgirl apparel. As flashy as flapper costumes, 1920s showgirl finery can look as exotic as the 1920s costumes in the risqué Casino de Paris revue with lots of feathers and barely-there lingerie, not to mention tons of jewelry and, of course, high heels.

You'll probably choose an outfit similar to the white sequined roaring twenties costumes Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger wear at the end of “Chicago.” A Parisian showgirl roaring 20s costume just might be too hot for your 20s gangster to handle!

Can fashion history in the 1920s help my costume design?

Fashion History in the 1920s

The roaring twenties saw a universal fashion for short hair a more radical move beyond the curtain styles of the war era. Hair was first bobbed, then shingled, then Eton cropped in 1926-1927. An Eton crop was considered daring and shocked some older citizens, since hair had always been thought a woman's crowning glory. Only maiden aunts and elderly dowagers avoided the severe shorter styles, but by the 1930s softer waved hairstyles were a refreshing change.

What kind of bathing suits did people wear in the 1920s?

1920s Bathing Suits

Skip the 20s gangster costume. Even a gangster has to have a day at the beach. Likewise, leave the flapper costumes at home. Even the daring cigarette-holder-toting ankle-exposing women wore bathing suits that covered most of the body. 1920s costumes for the beach featured horizontal stripes, usually white and another color. Both men and women can wear these roaring twenties costumes. In a room full of flappers and zoot suits, your “day at the beach” roaring 20s costume will stand out.

Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Costume Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Phyllis Serbes