Vintage Style Dresses: The 1920s Flapper Dress

For any fan of vintage clothing, the Flapper Dress is one of the most revered and sought after styles. Originating in the roaring 20s Jazz Age as a style the ladies could dance all over the city in, they conjure up luxurious ideas of grand excess in a time of innovation and artistic development. It also helps that they’re incredibly gorgeous.

The allure of the Flapper is the sheer amount of detail they exhibit. Embellished with sequins, tassels and feathers, they reflected the brash, outgoing nature of the new woman. With their sleek bobs, vibrant lipstick and witty conversation, the Flapper Girls ushered in an age of relative independence and rebellion on the part of the fairer sex. No longer confined to the background, these women became the life and soul of the party, dancing and drinking the night away. Who wouldn’t want to reference such a fun attitude? Even today the Flapper dress is a symbol of joyful partying, of being different and comfortable with yourself.

For these reasons, the Flapper style has experienced something of a revival in recent years Various versions of the flapper dress have appeared sporadically on the high street and the catwalk, and TV dramas such as Boardwalk Empire have introduced a whole new generation to the Golden Age. The long awaited release of The Great Gatsby movie in 2013 has also provided ample inspiration, with Miuccia Prada working with the film’s costume department to bring archived Prada dresses into the wardrobe of Daisy Buchanan, portrayed by the stunning Carey Mulligan. The practicality of the dress cut, combined with the opulence of the embellishments mean that it is a style that brings together comfort with stunning aesthetics.

The flapper dress is best suited for a less curvy figure, similar to the 60s shift. The straight up and down cut suits an athletic frame most, although you are likely to find dresses that will work with any body in the high street stores now, as body conventions have certainly changed in 90 years! Keep this in mind, however, if you go for a vintage piece. Sizing will be a lot smaller and the construction of the garments will be less flexible, since manmade stretchy fibres were not available at the time of their design. It may be easier then, to opt for a contemporary product when dipping your toe into the flapper trend; find a piece you love easily, get used to the style, and then if you fall hard for the Flapper girl identity, you can go thrifting and eventually find your perfectly unique vintage outfit.

The majority of flapper dresses are sleeveless or have subtle cap sleeves that don’t provide much more coverage. If you want to wear your flapper in the colder months you will therefore want to find a complementary bolero, perhaps in lace or sequined; alternatively you can make a contrast with a grungy biker jacket for a unique take on a classic style. The 1920s was also a time when more women began to experiment with heels. Naturally, they were a lot shorter than the majority of styles currently around. Good news, however; the block heel is coming back into fashion for autumn/winter 2012, with many stores stocking one or two inch heels to help you keep dancing until morning.

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