What is a flapper costume? Well, the word “flapper” is actually slang that was used in the 1920s to describe ladies who were rebels against socially acceptable behavior and the traditional role of women.
girl in pink flapper costume
The cute pink flapper costume on the left would have caused many a lady to swoon in shock one hundred years ago!
In the fashion world, flappers refused to dress all prim and proper with traditional corsets and pantaloons.
Rather, they chose to wear short, tight, flashy skirts dresses, with lingerie such as garter-held silk stockings!
Some styles were even boyish which smashed the breasts and hid their feminine figure – can you imagine!
They even left their arms bare, which was a huge shock to society.
Bobbed hair was in style with the flappers, although you can still create the flapper look with longer hair – maybe it should be swept back and up or kept back with a hair band.
Horn-rimmed glasses, heavy makeup, and excessively high heels all added to the flapper look too.
How to create a flapper costume…
Jazz showgirl style is the most popular fashion for flapper costume, and here we’re talking fringe or pleated frill edgings, sequins, sparkly jewelry, boa scarves, and beads.
black sequin flapper costume with boa
You can choose any kind of color theme – even this sequin and black fringed flapper costume looks stunning.
Notice the hairband and hair fascinator? These can add instant character to your costume!
The flapper dress
Dresses are usually straight so that they don’t accentuate the female figure.
They are often strapless or with spaghetti straps and they are usually above the knee, although you don’t have to stick to that rule… after all, flappers are all about breaking rules aren’t they!
No sleeves please – flappers love bare arms!
A well dressed flapper takes care with her accessories!
Lingerie, like garter belts and thigh-high panty hose.
Feather boas also add to the look along with elbow gloves and jewelry like bracelets, necklaces and gaudily huge rings.
A cigarette holder tops off the look and high heels are a must… although little girls can get away with anything pretty!
A 20’s style handbag is also vital for a modern-day flapper. This could be a beaded bag, with a clasp, and metal chain or beaded handle.
How to look like a flapper – hair and face
flapper style for hair and face
I love the pic above, as this flapper looks quite determined! See how the polka headband and bead bracelet complement each other?
Check out the 1920s kiss curls! Could your girl fashion some wonderful curls like that under her headband?
A hair style can be easily created with a flapper bob-style wig, if you like.
Shaped and colored eyebrows, striking eye makeup, and unmissable crimson lips are one way of completing your look!
For younger girls wearing a flapper costume, a little eye makeup, lipstick, and nail varnish will be exciting additions 🙂
Anything jazz-style goes along with sequined fedoras and such.
As far as behavior, well, that is totally up to you. A couple or a brother and sister might dress up as a flapper and gangster as the styles go hand in hand. Flappers are a lot like modern-day show girls, so if you’ve ever been to Broadway plays or to shows in Las Vegas, I’m sure you can come up with some original ideas for a flapper costume.
Famous flappers and more!
Colleen Moore, who starred in Flaming Youth, is remembered as one of the first flapper celebrities. She was followed by Mary Pickford, Clara Bow and Louise Brooks.
These actresses and film makers brought the flapper style and social choices to the stage and screen.
Jazz was the music genre of choice and the behavior of such ladies was deemed bizarre by society in general at that time.
Rather than appropriate one-on-one courting, they chose to date many, and were known to hang out at nightclubs where they engaged in drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and provocative dancing.
The flappers helped change the traditional role idea of women as they began to work outside of the home, began to drive cars, engaged in sports, and advocated women’s rights.
Would your little girl or teen like to wear a flapper costume? Let them know something about its fascinating vintage past, won’t you?