The image of the flapper with the short fringed dress and feathered headband dominates the cultural iconography of the 1920s woman. While some women did dress that way, it wasn't the only fashion choice for the era, and alternatives to that look exist. Creating a homemade costume to represent the 1920s will require work and planning, as the pieces aren't likely to be found in the closet.
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Clothing styles in the 1920s were very different from modern clothing. For that reason, unless a closet full of archive clothing is available, sewing will likely be required. In addition to flapper dresses, skirts and dresses cut just below the knee will also work. Shirt dresses were also common, as were striped sweaters. A boyish figure was the goal of the decade, so choose a look with that in mind.
For evening dresses, silk, velvets, chiffon and taffeta were all used. By the mid part of the decade, bead work was often added to dresses. In addition, appliques. embroidery and fringe were all fashionable. Asian influence was often represented through the colour red. Prints featuring small flowers were common. Geometric patterns also featured along with stripes. Egyptian culture was trendy, so incorporating Egyptian patterns wouldn't be out of the question.
Make-up and Hair
Skin stains (for false tanning) were first hitting the market, but tanning lotions were also emerging. Lip stick was available in more colours than in previous decades. Rouge and eye shadow were also in vogue. In terms of hair, a short shingle cut, flat and close to the head was popular. Parts were either on the side or the centre. Another 1920s look was to have a single curl at each ear, pulled to the front of the face. Stockings were often worn below the knees with rouge applied to the knees.
Plain felt cloche hats in the same colour as the dress were pulled down to just above the eyes with the brim pulled up in both the front and back. For evening wear, combs and scarves replaced the hat. Long necklaces and cigarette holders were also often seen. A cultural fascination with Egyptian art was often reflected in jewellery choices of the era. Oriental scarves with fringe and ankle strap shoes with Cuban heels were the height of fashion.
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