Homemade Flapper Costumes

Updated June 09, 2017

The flapper aesthetic consisted of knee-length sleeveless dresses, fishnet stockings, high heels, unsubtle make-up, flat chests, and short hair. While not very risque by modern standards, these women were the rebels of the 1920s. The flappers flaunted all the standards of how women were supposed to dress and act. Homemade flapper costumes allow for a lot of variance, while still all distinctly fitting into the fashion sense of this group.

Variation with Flapper Costumes

Homemade flapper costumes are capable of a great amount of variety because there are only a couple of basic parts of the costume that are truly necessary. As long as there is a proper style dress and a short hair style (hat or head scarves can also work), the costume will give the overall flapper look. Dress selection, jewellery, and accessories all allow for creating a number of distinctly different flapper costumes.


The flapper dress is rather simple. Any loose, sleeveless or short sleeve dress will work for a flapper costume. The skirt of the dress should end somewhere between just past the knees and calf length. Any longer or shorter will not usually give the flapper look. The dress should either be black or a bold, vibrant shade of any colour. Gray, earth tones, and white tend to be less common for a flapper dress unless the dress has a print pattern. The cheaper, easier option is to find a thrift store dress, but this style of dress can be made pretty easily. The link in the resource section shows how to make a proper style flapper dress.


The typical flapper hairstyle is just past ear length. Wigs are an easy option for anyone with longer or shorter hair. Another option is to just pull the hair back into a ponytail. Another option is to wrap longer hair into a headscarf. The hair should not be completely covered by the scarf, just use it to obscure the actual length. A sequinned piece of fabric that matches the dress colour works very well for this.


The legs for the costume are quite easy. Wearing black fishnet stocking and high heels matching the dress works well for this costume. The stockings can be left off the costume, but the shoes should be high heels. More comfortable flats worn with the costume should at least have the same general design of a high heel shoe.


There is a lot of room for accessories with this costume. Pearl necklaces in white or black are quite common with the flapper look. Wearing a number of different length necklaces tends to look quite good. Matching bracelets can be made by wrapping a necklace around the wrist. Scarves are another option for neck wear. Cigarette holders fit the overall look of a flapper. Another option is a hand fan matching the dress.

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About the Author

Matthew Anderson started as a writer and editor in 2003. He has written content used in a textbook published by Wiley Publishing, among other publications. Anderson majored in chemical engineering and has training in guitar performance, music theory and song composition.