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I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched The Great Gatsby featuring the yummy Leonardo DiCaprio.
Don’t get me wrong, the 1967 version with Robert Redford isn’t bad, but the costumes from the 2013 version absolutely blew me away! Proof of that is the Academy Award for costume design that the latest movie interpretation won.
I think the first two times I watched the movie, I barely heard the dialogue. I sat there with my mouth hanging open and grabbing my friend’s arm saying, “Look at that!” or “OMG! Look at that dress/hat/jewelry!”
I’m betting my friends and family were really happy when I bought the movie from Amazon Prime. I have literally lost count of how many times I’ve seen it, and I’m still in awe of the costumes.
If you’re like me and you want to either recreate some of the Great Gatsby outfits (as closely as possible), or you simply like certain aspects of some costume design and looking for something to wear to a wedding, a party, a cosplay event, Great Gatsby party, or even just to wow your friends, this article is for you.
While some may tell you that the costume design from this movie isn’t historically accurate, remember that the idea was to keep the flavor of the 1920s but give it more of an updated look.
One look at these Great Gatsby costumes and you’ll instantly feel the glamor, decadence, and elegant femininity that the flapper look was all about.
More than anything else, flappers wanted to feel free from the restrictions that their mothers and grandmothers were saddled with. Imagine floor-length dresses with petticoats or corsets and pantalets! Ugh!!
Gone also was the waist-length or longer hair that probably weighed several pounds!
Most flappers were employed, so they had their own cash to spend, and they were recently granted the right to vote. They didn’t want to be stuck at home, knitting blankets and booties. They wanted to be free, to dance, travel, and dress as they saw fit.
I believe that this movie conveys that feeling. While The Great Gatsby novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald may have been shocking at the time, I believe that women today take for granted the flappers who pioneered our right to dress as we please.
Let’s talk about the fabulous costume design from this movie version and how you can look just as drop-dead gorgeous as some of the stars in the Great Gatsby movie.
- Related Topic: Women’s Downton Abbey Dresses!
Great Gatsby Movie Costumes for Women
Catherine Martin, who happens to be the wife of Baz Luhrmann, was in charge of the film’s wardrobe. If I ever meet her in person, I will gush about what a tremendous job she did.
Martin went for more than just nostalgia but sexy, glittery, and vibrantly realistic. One thing that I love about this film is that it feels so right.
You look at what the women are wearing, and you want to wear something similar! It’s iconic 1920s, but it doesn’t feel old-fashioned or out of date at all.
Keeping that in mind, I think any woman would agree that looking this sexy and still come across as a true flapper of the times, you need to start with the perfect dress.
The perfect dress will depend on which character you have in mind. Is it the rich-and-proper Daisy Buchanan, the daring Myrtle Wilson, or the ultra-chic single girl Jordan Baker?
Go Classy Dressing Up Like Daisy Buchanan
Daisy was a stylish flapper, but being a wealthy, married woman, she had a bit more of a conservative look to her. Not dowdy by any means, but classy.
Note that Daisy is ladylike and would never show her knees. That would make dresses like this one
or this one a perfect choice as the base of your outfit.
Now that we have the dress, we can start adding the right accessories. Let’s start from the top down!
For the first dress, it would depend on whether you are going with the rose pink or the navy blue. For rose gold, a pink feathered headband, such as this one below would be perfection.
If you went with navy blue, a natural peacock feathered headband would work well (see our Peacock Feather Fans ).
Peacock feathers were the height of fashion during the Roaring 20s, so you’ll look 100 percent genuine.
For the second dress, I love this headband.
Not only does it match the dress, but its simplicity screams elegance.
Earrings should be long and dangly as that was the style.
For the rose gold dress, I love this pair of earrings.
These earrings are so beautiful, I would wear them anywhere, but paired with this dress, they would be a knockout.
If you went the way of the navy blue dress, go with something that will stand out, such as these earrings.
Remember that no one expected real diamonds even from wealthy girls like Daisy, which makes sense especially if you’re going to such outrageous parties.
For the black and gold dress, I think that something with a bit of gold in it would be the perfect match.
These earrings have enough sparkle to make them stand out, but the gold will catch everyone’s eye.
Don’t forget the necklace! No flapper would be well dressed without a lengthy necklace or two or three!
For the rose-gold dress, a pearl choker and necklace set would be a great choice. The pink in the choker is just enough to match the dress, but the pearls are what really shows off the neckline.
If you opted for the navy blue version, you can go with the classic double strand of pearls.
The black-and-gold dress should go with an extra set of pearls. I love this 5-strand necklace set that will shine against the black so beautifully.
Shoes are where most women trip up when dressing like a flapper. Most women did not have the luxury that we have now of owning several styles of shoes.
In the Jazz Age, women pretty much wore the same Mary Jane’s that they wore to the grocery stores. They might have a new set for dancing and an older pair for house work, but there weren’t a lot of options.
However, I did find some Mary Janes that have stayed true to the 1920s-inspired style but are a tiny bit updated.
With that rose-gold dress, check out this gorgeous pair of shoes.
Aren’t they gorgeous?! This pair still looks like Mary Jane’s, and the two-toned color is perfect for the Jazz Age! Don’t be afraid to show off your own version of the 1920s era fashion.
If you opted for the navy-blue dress, I think these would be the perfect choice.
The cutouts are super cute, and the styling is 100-percent Great Gatsby era.
The black-and-gold dress would do well with some black Mary Janes to make it look authentic. I think this pair would work perfectly for the vintage look you’re trying to achieve.
You can choose a handbag, but to be honest, most women didn’t really carry them just yet. Check out Carey Mulligan in all the photo shoots. You never see her with a handbag except in the very final scene where she and Tom are leaving town.
This bag is very much like the one Daisy Buchanan is holding in the final scene of The Great Gatsby 2013 film.
Oh yes, let’s not forget that Daisy seems to love fur shrugs.
This faux fur shrug or scarf would work perfectly with any Great Gatsby dress above, but if you would prefer a black one for the black-and-gold dress, this one is beautiful.
When trying to copy Daisy Buchanan from the Great Gatsby movie version, think bling but think classy.
Have Fun Dressing Up Like Myrtle Wilson
The fun thing with Myrtle is that you can go a little bit more “out there” and get a little wild. In the 2013 movie, Isla Fisher brought to life Myrtle’s style – Catherine Martin made sure of that!
Myrtle would most likely have no problem wearing a dress above the knee, but she would still want some flash and sass, so make sure your shortlist of Great Gatsby costumes matches that!
I think this dress in red would be a good choice.
Myrtle would definitely want to wear something with a little splash on her head, such as this peacock headband with rhinestones.
or this one
When it comes to earrings, nothing but the biggest drops would suit Myrtle. You could go with this set for the red dress
or this set for the blue one
This layered, knotted set of pearls would be the perfect necklace for Myrtle, regardless of which dress you decided to wear.
Myrtle would wear some classic shoes from her time period, and this is a great example of what she would wear
In her attempt to pass herself off as wealthy and classy, Myrtle would wear a big fur stole or shrug, such as this one.
Black goes with everything and this would really set off either the blue or the red dress.
When playing the part of Myrtle, you can go a little shorter with the skirt, a little deeper with the neckline, and don’t forget to go heavy on the makeup!
Look Sporty & Mysterious Like Jordan Baker
Jordan was a professional golfer, but since she had no family, she felt freer to expose more skin and dress a bit more wild.
Jordan wore women’s pants, but keep in mind that these were extremely rare.
There is no doubt that Jordan Baker, played by Elizabeth Debicki, is stunningly beautiful but also haughty and arrogant. Keep that in mind when choosing your outfit. You don’t care what anyone thinks, and you’re going to dress how you like.
That doesn’t mean that Jordan didn’t follow the rules of fashion, she just pushed them to the limit!
Start with a very revealing dress, such as this one
or this one
The best outfits always went with the best accessories, and one of the things I loved about Jordan’s outfits was her hats! They were nothing short of absolutely stunning.
While I couldn’t find anything to match that gorgeous black one she wore to Gatsby’s infamous parties in his West Egg mansion, you could try something like this fascinator.
or this one.
Or if you want to dance and don’t want to worry about your hairpiece, this would also work.
I also liked the earrings and necklaces that Elizabeth wore. They were feminine, but understated. I think these earrings would be a good addition.
If you’ve seen the movie as many times as I have, you’ll also notice that nearly all the accessories she wears are understated, like the single strand of pearls she wears in the opening of the movie.
We never do get a look at shoes in this movie, but I imagine that’s because they were pretty boring and basic all over the country.
For the Jordan Baker look, go with the Mary Jane cutouts for some extra style.
Great Gatsby Movie Costumes for Men
For men, this is an easy look to pull off. For parties, the overwhelming majority of men wore a tuxedo. No cummerbund and a bow tie were the standard look.
Whether you’ve decided to wear a Jay Gatsby, Tom Buchanan, or Nick Carraway costume, the job gets easier if you check out Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 movie version.
Leonardo DiCaprio made the character Jay Gatsby larger than life not only with his acting but his dapper look as well.
Tobey Maguire decided to play Nick Carraway differently. I’m thinking that, in the movie, they tried to make Nick look poor. However, if you read the Great Gatsby book, his family was quite well-off. Not on the same scale as Tom Buchanan, but he was hardly poor.
If you want to recreate the Nick Carraway look, use the navy blue yachting jacket with gold buttons, like this one
and a white pair of slacks like this one.
I would buy these a bit long and then cuff the bottoms.
Add a pair of two-toned Oxfords and you’d be set.
Oh yes, if you’ve decided to wear a suit, don’t forget the bowtie. In the movie, Nick is wearing what looks like a red and silver tie. I couldn’t find one exactly like that, but I think this one will pass.
For other men, you can pass as Tom Buchanan or Jay Gatsby by wearing the classic three-piece tuxedo with a bow tie.
Men may have it easy, but they certainly don’t get to have the fun that ladies do, right?
What about Plus Sized Outfits?
While the look of the 1920s was long and lean, that didn’t mean that there weren’t plus-sized ladies or that plus-sized women can’t get their Great Gatsby style on!
I’ve found lots of plus-sized flapper dresses, and the reviews are terrific! All of the following dresses are a bit stretchy. You should be able to order your regular size, but check the sizing charts just to be sure before you order.
You can try channeling your inner Daisy Buchanan with this flapper dress
or if you like, you could try this style
or even this beauty.
If Myrtle is more your style, there are lots of choices, including this gorgeous dress,
or my personal favorite in red.
Perhaps you fancy yourself as more of a Jordan Baker girl. You might find this dress right up your alley.
And if you’re looking for color, check out this fantastic style.
No matter which style or color you choose, don’t forget to accessorize! No proper flapper would be caught dead without a headband, necklace, earrings, and perhaps a couple of bracelets.
How Do I Choose the Right Accessories?
If all the choices leave your head spinning, I feel your pain! I seem to want to wear them all at the same time because they are all so beautiful!
You might find it easier to choose from accessory sets, such as this one
or this one
or this one, which would go with almost any outfit.
By choosing an accessory set, you don’t have to worry if you forgot a piece or which headband would be correct.
Remember that flappers didn’t mind mixing gold and silver or wearing a red dress with blue earrings. They believed that color was beautiful, regardless if it matched anything!
I know that lots of ladies today simply don’t feel comfortable without a handbag (we all have car keys and a phone, right?), but that’s not a problem.
Check out these gorgeous handbags!
- Black and Gold
- Peacock (Remember that Peacock was all the rage)
- Pink Pearls
I love every single one of the handbags from these times. They had so much class and splashy style you know that thought and creativity went into the design of each bag.
Catherine Martin did an excellent job of staying true to the flair and style of the Roaring 20s while giving the wardrobes an ever so slightly updated look.
While you may not be able to create a mirror image, you can recreate the style and colors that you see in this incredible movie.
Don’t get hung up on the details, however. The main point is to have fun, regardless of which character you decide to channel.
Get your Great Gatsby on, friends, and party like it’s the 1920s!
Written by Kerry Wisby – GatsbyFlapperGirl.com
Owner & Founder of GatsbyFlapperGirl.com
Kerry Wisby, a former teacher with a BA in English, is the founder of GatsbyFlapperGirl.com. With a passion for all things 1920s, including The Great Gatsby novel, her website is the ultimate source for Roaring Twenties fashion, history, and party ideas. Read more about Kerry here.