I hope you’ll agree with me when I say:
Finding a classy and authentic Gatsby female attire can be quite challenging!
• Gatsby Attire for Women
When I was getting ready for my first Gatsby party, I had no idea where to start with finding my outfit.
I ended up finding everything I needed online and rocking that perfect 1920’s flapper girl look that I so badly wanted to recreate.
Here are the must-have items every flapper girl needs to look flawless for any Gatsby themed party!
• What to Wear to a Great Gatsby Party?
Here are some Great Gatsby costume ideas for women:
The dress is such a crucial part of dressing like a character straight out of The Great Gatsby movie.
The shinier, and more fun the dress, the better!
Remember, you are embodying the freedom, non-conformist, and rebellious spirit of the 1920s!
Certain things make 20’s fashion dresses stand out, and replicate the style of the era.
First of all, let’s look at the different types of dresses you can find for your party. And if you a looking from some inspirations on Men’s outfits – check out my full article here!
• Classic Great Gatsby Dresses
These dresses are perfect for a Gatsby themed party or any occasion, and my go-to whenever my friends invite me to these parties.
I’ve started collecting different dresses just to switch it up at each party I go to.
Choose a 20’s dress that is any color you’d like.
Whether it’s dark green, red, nude, black, or blue, whatever color is your favorite, you choose!
Most dresses of the time were in those darker colors, I love a dark green, red, or black as my go-to Gatsby dress.
I have dresses in all three colors!
Choosing a dress with Art Deco designs and covered in beads is sure going to embody the roaring 1920’s spirit of glitz and glamour.
My Great Gatsby dresses have a lot of beautiful designs that wrap around the bodice of the dress.
I love how it makes me feel when I wear it!
For the fringe – a long waterfall fringe down to the knee is my favorite length.
The fringe will shimmy as you walk and dance for a perfect Gatsby party.
• Black-Tie Evening Great Gatsby Dress
A floor-length dress is essential for a fancy evening dinner that is Gatsby inspired.
I love wearing these dresses on an extra formal night, whether it’s a black-tie formal party or I just feel like dressing up, wearing a floor-length dress makes me feel elegant!
One thing I love about the 1920’s floor-length gowns is the long Art Deco style lines that go all the way to the floor, in either a straight or slightly curved body-hugging fit.
A more modern take is a mermaid hem that elegantly drapes down to the floor.
I love how many different styles there are!
• Choosing the Length of your Great Gatsby Dress
Length is important, not just because of the occasion, but also it was a political statement!
If you want to stay as true to 1920’s fashion as possible, then a dress at calf length is perfect.
The time was still a little bit hesitant on showing very much leg!
I love a knee-length dress.
I find that this is a more modern take on the classic flapper dress, and is just as flattering!
A dress can also be a bit shorter if you are comfortable, with the fringe coming down to your knee for some extra flirty fun.
• The Fringe Gatsby Dress
Fringe is what made the flapper dress so popular.
It sparkled, glimmered, and shimmered as women danced the night away in speakeasies and underground parties.
For your fringe, a classic knee-length black fringe is going to be a crowd-pleaser!
If you want to dazzle you can choose anything sparkly, such as sequins and beads.
Either way, you will shine!
• Plus Size Great Gatsby Dresses
Any woman can sport the classic flapper dress!
The great thing about flapper style dresses is that the look is extremely flattering on everyone.
One of my suggestions is choosing a style that is going to accentuate your curves, and flaunt your incredible dancing!
For this look, find a dress that tucks in at your waist, and flares out at your hips to create that gorgeous hourglass shape.
As always, sport some fringe on your dress to create a fun Gatsby-inspired look.
Art deco designs and beads are also essential on your dress, adding vertical lines can create and emphasize your silhouette, and adding a shawl or cape on top completes this look.
• What’s underneath?
Very often I will wear a slip underneath since usually, a Gatsby-style party will have tons of dancing.
Something lightweight but also modest makes me feel more comfortable.
Stockings are also essential!
Did you know that nude stockings were still considered risque at the time?
But for this day and age, nude stockings, or any neutral color such as black or white, is just fine!
• Flapper Shoes
Now time for the shoes!
Popular shoes in the era are mary janes, t-straps, oxfords, and peep toes.
Personally, I love mary janes!
These shoes are basically a round-toed heeled shoe with a strap over the top of your foot.
They are comfortable, adorable, and with a low heel, they are easily my favorite shoes to dance the night away in!
I must have at least 3 pairs of mary janes with different heel lengths.
I just have to decide how much dancing I plan to do while I’m getting ready.
• For more 1920s Shoes: Flapper Shoes
• Great Gatsby Headpieces
Headpieces are a staple for every 1920s attire for women!
Most of the ones I own are adorned with jewels, rhinestones, and beads to sparkle.
I like to match the band of my headband to the color of my dress (black dress, black headband), and choose a brooch or a jewel that will be laid on the side of my head.
A great accessory for your headpiece is a feather!
I love wearing feathers in my headpieces, it truly makes me feel lavish like any Gatsby party.
(For more headbands and headpieces, read this article)
Another popular accessory for your hair is an Art Deco comb.
Beautiful and shimmery just like everything in the 1920s, these combs can be adorned with diamonds and beads.
An interesting take to the popular headband!
• Flapper Purses
Evening dresses are not complete without a fun, 1920’s style bag!
I love choosing bags in Art Deco style designs, adorned with beads and sequins.
A simple black or white envelope style bag will do for this type of outfit, and I like to choose flapper purses that are fairly small and easy to carry.
A long strap is perfect for casually throwing your purse over your shoulder while socializing with all of your friends at your party!
• Flapper Jewelry
Flapper girls loved to wear fun, sparkly jewelry that glitzed under the stars!
Here are a few Jewelry ideas that I always pair with my flapper outfit:
Pearls: Long strand pearls are an absolute must for your Gatsby outfit!
The longer the string the better, that you can wrap multiple times and layer around your neck as the ultimate accessory for your party.
The term ‘dripping in pearls’ is exactly what you are after!
Earrings: Earrings are always my favorite part of an outfit, and I absolutely love the 1920’s style chandelier earrings.
The more rhinestones the better, sure to sparkle all night long.
You can choose different Art Deco designs with these earrings as well to complete the roaring 20’s look.
Bracelet: A decorate rhinestone bracelet was a popular piece that I pair with the rest of my jewelry.
These bracelets could be attached to a ring on your finger, which I find to be a really interesting take on wearing any normal bracelet!
You can also wear it alone.
Either way, it will surely make a statement!
• Cigarette Holder
Any 1920’s style outfit would not be complete without a cigarette holder!
In the 1920’s, many of these holders were very opulent, with designs engraved onto the stem.
I personally love a simple design in either black or white, with maybe a few engravings on the stem.
Hold this cigarette holder all night or put it in your purse to really add spice to your outfit!
• Flapper Accessories Set
• Capes & Faux Fur
Capes: A beaded cape is a must for any evening outfit!
My favorite is one covered in rhinestones in Art Deco patterns that cover just above your elbows.
Perfect for a warmer night or to dress up and make your flapper dress even more glamorous!
Choose any color you like, and sheer fabric can make this accessory even more luxurious!
Boa/Fur: How fun is it to wear a feather boa or faux fur!
For colder nights, a faux fur shawl over your shoulders is a chic way to keep warm.
• Gatsby Flapper Turban
A turban is a great accessory that can dress up or dress down any look, and anybody can flaunt them!
A great turban I like to wear is a turban with feathers or jewels to make a statement.
I always love to coordinate the color of my dress with my turban, but of course choosing whichever color is what is going to make you feel best.
You can pull them all the way down your forehead to your eyebrows to get a really authentic 1920’s flapper girl look.
Again, choosing a turban in matching colors is my absolute favorite way to create a seamless outfit.
• Flapper Hairstyles
I like to wear a wig just to create that extra authentic look.
It’s also fun choosing different colored hair as well.
Sometimes I choose to be a brunette with a bob cut or a platinum blonde with slight curls.
It really depends on what you feel like wearing, it’s all about what you want during this time!
If you are going for a Daisy Buchanan look – her platinum blonde bob is a must!
• Flapper Girl Makeup
Makeup is one of my favorite parts of dressing up like a flapper girl!
Since a Gatsby party is all about being as glamorous as possible, making your makeup as fun and sultry as possible is a must!
Here’s my go-to makeup look when I am getting ready for a Gatsby party.
Foundation: Flapper girls loved having natural skin.
I like to keep my foundation as light as possible, with just a bit of matte powder to help my makeup stay on all night.
Blush: Putting blush on in a perfect circle on your cheek is a fashionable look!
I love to create a rosy cheek with a mauve colored blush.
Eyebrows: I always like to fill in my brows, but when I am getting ready for a Gatsby party I’ll make my brows as arched and dark as possible.
The thinner they are, the better!
Eyeshadow: A smokey eye is my absolute favorite eye look for this type of party.
Black eyeshadow or smudged pencil creates that dreamy, party look that will match any 1920’s outfit!
Eyeliner & Mascara: I like to wear my eyeliner and mascara on my top eyelashes/lid to make my eyes pop.
Lipstick: A bright red lipstick is a classic flapper look.
I like to overdraw my lips just a bit and create that adorable cupid’s bow with my lipsticks.
Voila! You are looking exactly like a 1920’s flapper girl, who is ready to dance the night away at her Gatsby party!
• Daisy Buchanan Outfits
A Classic Gatsby Dress: This dress, glimmering with sequins, glitter, and fringe, in a tubular shape to create that classic ‘boyish’ figure look so popular in the 1920’s.
The colors typically are in white, gold, and light blue, with touches of nude in the details.
Hair: Platinum blonde hair in a short bob, with slight curls or straight.
Headband: Daisy’s headband was glamourous, with rhinestones, and a decorative headpiece parted off to the side.
Pearls: Long necklace of pearls that are layered with different sized beads.
A decorative piece at the end is a nice detail that goes along perfectly with Daisy’s look.
Earrings: Pearl earrings with many layers was Daisy’s favorite earrings to wear.
Bracelet: A decorative rhinestone bracelet (maybe even real diamonds for Daisy!) was a popular piece that she wore.
These bracelets could be attached to a ring on her finger, or worn alone.
Shoes: Daisy danced the night away in mary janes with a low heel.
Perfect for all the 1920’s dances and dancing till sunrise at Gatsby parties.
Faux fur: Daisy loved to wear fur around her neck in either style as a jacket or a neck wrap.
I prefer using faux fur, in either white or grey for an elegant piece that can be great for keeping warm!
There you have it, the perfect Daisy Buchanan costume that will surely turn heads, and maybe help you meet your very own Jay Gatsby!
• The Great Gatsby Movie
If you haven’t already seen the movie ‘The Great Gatsby’, here’s a quick synopsis.
It was originally a novel written in 1925 by F. Scott. Fitzgerald, who was famous for writing about the popular ‘Jazz Age’ of the 20’s decade.
A fictional story about the characters Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan, the novel represents the decadent parties of the 1920s, Jay Gatsby’s obsession with Daisy, and perfectly depicts the lifestyle of the Jazz Age that F. Scott. Fitzgerald was so inspired by.
Both Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan are famous characters in the novel that inspire so many parties and costume ideas.
Jay Gatsby was an incredibly rich man who was famous for his parties, and Daisy was his love interest.
Together they have a romantic affair over the summer of 1922, and eventually cause a lot of trouble, for Daisy is married, and Gatsby has his hands in illegal business.
This book was then adapted into a few films, one of the most recent starred Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway.
It was highly praised and the perfect picture of what the Roaring Twenties was like, and the freedom and also problems of the time.
For Gatsby parties, dressing up as Daisy Buchanan is an incredibly popular costume idea.
Daisy had the romantic rendezvous with Jay Gatsby, and she is so much fun to dress up as.
Although in the novel she was considered naive, spoiled, and a party animal, she is an interesting dynamic character.
I’ve dressed up as Daisy at multiple Halloween parties, and she is a great costume character to be, especially when trying to find your Gatsby.
Now you know a bit about The Great Gatsby, which is considered an incredible piece of literary fiction even today, the 1920’s decade is a time that fascinates so many people, including me!
But, why is this decade so inspiring for many people?
What is the history behind it?
And why would anybody want to dress in 1920’s fashion?!
• Women’s Gatsby Outfits -1920’s Fashion History
Did you know, that 1920 was the year that women earned the right to vote?
As long ago as 1920 seems, it really was just in a blink of an eye in human history.
With this newfound freedom that women fought so hard for, a new type of lifestyle began to arise.
Women were no longer constricted by societal norms, their voices could be heard, and a right to choose was taken very seriously.
Because of this newfound freedom women really began to rebel against society’s norms and dress however they liked.
From this, the ‘flapper girl’ was born.
A flapper girl is a woman who does what she feels like!
Short, bob style hair, no constraining corset, and the enjoyment of music, art, and dance was the lifestyle of a flapper.
Typically a flapper girl was young, hip, and she made up her own mind about how she lived her life.
How inspiring is that!
So, where did the term originate?
To be honest, no one is really sure.
Perhaps it was based on young women who were ready to take flight and flap their wings.
Another theory is the term dates all the way back to World War I, when flappers were known as prostitutes.
But the term eventually evolved into women, who aesthetically had a boyish figure, but their attitude was more along the lines of, ‘I will not take no for an answer.’
Either way, the term is now a staple of the 1920’s fashion look and the perfect costume idea for anyone who is looking for a fun party outfit.
But, there were varying terms within the ‘flapper girl’, and we can separate the different degrees of them by semi-flapper, flapper, and super flapper.
By the mid-1920s most women considered themselves flappers, usually college-aged women who rode in fast cars, dressed however they felt like and were young, hip, and enjoying city life.
With the distribution of magazines all over the country, young women all over wanted the newest fashion trends, cut their hair short, and expressed themselves with new lingo such as, ‘The Cats Meow’, ‘Scram – go fly a kite’, and ‘Heebie Jeebies’.
Incorporating all these historical elements on what makes a flapper girl ‘authentic’ is such a fun part of dressing up, and exactly why I love dressing up in 1920’s fashion!
• Great Gatsby Outfits
I love dressing up for Gatsby themed parties, and I know you will too!
It is surely going to turn heads and knock the socks off the rest of your friends at your party.
I hope that this guide was useful for you, and helps you to pick out your favorite pieces for a great night at a Great Gatsby event.
Whether you are attending a wedding, dinner party, Halloween party, or simply just want a Flapper Girl costume idea, dressing up in 1920’s fashion is a fun way to embody the era of the time.
Remember to let loose a little bit, and have the care-free attitude of an age that revolutionized so much!
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