1920s Costume – Dress & Hair

I’ve been to a dozen 1920s themed parties, and reinvent my look each time.  There are certain themes in attire, hair, and makeup that truly define the 1920s.  Here’s your guide to dressing up for a 1920s themed party.

1920s costumes

1920s Clothing

You could buy one of those cheesy costumes from Party City.  I’m guilty of doing that once, but it was unflattering and certainly my least favorite flapper look.

I advise you raid your own wardrobe or a thrift shop instead, look for the following:

  • Black dresses
  • Dresses with gold detail
  • Tiered dresses
  • Dresses with fringe
  • Dresses with scallops at the bottom
  • Dresses with sequins

Basically, you’re looking for ornate dresses or the complete opposite, the LBD which you can spruce up with accessories.

1920s Hair

Look One 

First I curled by hair.  Then,  I twisted the front section back to create a quiff.  I pinned the rest of the hair to one side.  I then placed a headband directly behind the twist.

Look Two

The headband around my head is from Forever 21!  I saw it on the mannequin and had to have it.    When placing the headband around the head, it’s all about positioning.  You want it to start at the top of your forehead and wrap around the top of your hair at a downward angle so the back of the band falls in the middle of your head.

My hair is long and curly in this style.  I know it’s not exactly 1920s, but you still want to look good and feel like yourself!

Look Three

I tried hard to follow the Gatsby inspired finger wave tutorial below.  But as usual, it didn’t come out anything like the picture.  I didn’t have the hair clips required nor the brain capacity to figure out the back  twists.  I’ll do a tutorial on how to achieve my version.  For the most part though, I attempted an s curl with a straightening iron, braided the ends, then tucked them under.

For the hair piece, I used a broken necklace.  I secured it to one side of my head with bobby pins.

1920s Hair Tutorials

I curated the below 1920s hair tutorials to get you started on achieving your own Gatsby party look!


1.  Gatsby Inspired Finger Waves

2.  Gatsby Curls Updo

3.  Rolled Updo Tutorial

You’re all going to look like a total Betty at your 1920s themed party.

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