Dressing in authentic men’s and women’s 1920s fashion isn’t easy. There was an unwritten vintage dress chart in those days. Debonair men had to dress a certain way for social occasions, and most men needed help. There was more to wearing those 1920s suit that had a sack-type tweed coat with wide lapels, and heavy tweed pants with a high waistline. Men had to learn when to leave the newsboy caps and bowler hats at home, and slip into a black tux, white, no collar shirt, and bow tie. They also had to top their 1920s suits off with a top hat and boutonniere.

1920s Great Gatsby Fashions: Loose Yet Lavish

1920s Great Gatsby fashion for women was all about getting loose in more ways than one. Dresses were shapeless and sleeveless, but somehow, they went well with the 1920s suits men wore. The dresses women wore included long and short slip gowns and dresses with touches of sequins, beading, feathers and fringe. Soft pastels and rich jewel tones made the gowns and dresses look expensive. The lavish accessories, like a headband or a diamond tiara, feather fan, long pearl necklace, silk shawl and gold arm bangles made most women look like silent movie stars.

20s Suits: An Aristocratic Flair

The 1920s suits that men wore didn’t have that same effect. Men embraced striped suits, with flashy neckties, and they wore homburg hats, instead of newsboys hats. The gold capped walking sticks gave men an aristocratic flair, but women in iconic flapper style took the prize for starting a creative fashion revolution.

All About the Flapper Look

The short, slinky, flapper look was hot back then. Dresses were loose, and they didn’t have sleeves, but some of the modest dresses had sleeves that draped over the shoulders to give modest women adequate coverage. Evening dresses showed as much skin as possible without crossing the line of modesty. The bareback look was popular and “hanky” hemline exposed the thighs when a woman sat down. The fringe on chiffon dresses swish and jingled, and that was the sound that made the flapper look so desirable.

Women are into the flapper look, today. Finding a dress in chiffon, silk or crepe is a great way to start. A matching sheer slip is a must, and elaborate beading will make the dress look expensive. Jazzing the dress up with sparkling accessories is also a great idea. The new flapper dress should be knee-length or longer, and it should be a loose fit which means wearing a size up is not a bad idea. Flapper dresses don’t hug the body curves.

Great Gatsby and the 20s Suit

The one absolute must-have for every man who wants to look like a 1920s, prohibition-era fashion guru is the famous three-piece suit. Vintage suits are still the bomb in the fashion world today, but they are not as heavy as their great-grandfather’s suits. The Great Gatsby would appreciate the lighter wool blends and the linen that doesn’t wrinkle as much. Pinstripe 1920s suits are back, big time, and the subtle plain double-breasted suits are retro masterpieces. There’s a three-piece suit for every budget, and all of them look dope with a cool dress shirt and a flashy tie.

The fashions of the Great Gatsby era are still popular because they remain fresh, bold and stylish. People host Great Gatsby parties just so they have an excuse to wear the flattering fashions of that day. If you want to look like a dapper character straight from an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, consider wearing a retro suit for men or a flapper dress for women. You’ll travel back in time while still looking your best today.

1920s Suits and Flapper Dresses: Dressing Like a Great Gatsby Character