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How to Recreate Decades of Fashion: 1920s

Hey there, collegiettes! Welcome to the first installment of “How to Recreate Decades of Fashion.” This week, we’re getting started with the 1920s! 

A bit of history: After World War I, the style of women was more masculine—women wore blazers and blouses and trousers just like men. So, when it came to dressing femininely, the most desirable look was one that was a bit androgynous. Women gravitated towards having the look of flatter chests, shorter hair, broader shoulders, and a more boyish physique. 

This is why when we think of the twenties, we think of flappers. Even though that style didn’t come around until 1925, it’s the most iconic. Drop waist, short, sleeveless dresses that were beautifully and intricately beaded. Coco Chanel was especially popular in the late twenties. She liberated women’s clothing, created the concept of casual chic, and invented the little black dress. 

Here are a few ways to recreate a 1920s look with today’s fashion: 


Although pants were becoming popularized in the twenties, many women stuck to a surefire combo: skirts and tops. Sure, drop waist dresses were also popular, but the skirt/top combo is super easy to recreate.

1. Skirt

First, go for a flowy, pleated skirt that hits around the knee area. Since we’re living in the 21st century, you can pick soft or dark colors. I picked the one below out from Macy’s, but you can get these for a lot cheaper at Forever 21 sometimes. You can take the outfit to the next level by going for a leather pleated skirt like this one.

2. Top

So, as you can see in the picture, when women put together a skirt/top combo, they would pick a top that was long and hit them on or below their lower backside. I chose a light grey longer sweater from Target, but you could also go for a dressy sweatshirt for a more casual look. 

3. Shoes 

T-Strap heels were all the rage in the ’20s. When you go for shoes, go for a pop of color. If you go for the navy skirt like I picked, a mustard shoe like the one below is a must-have. If you go for blushy colors, red is always a great option.

4. Hat/Hair 

In the twenties, short hair was really popular. If you already have short hair, great! You’re one step ahead. Style it however you want, then I suggest pairing it with a cute, slim brimmed hat. If you have long hair, here is a great tutorial to pin it up. Here is an adorable cloche hat you can toss on to complete the look and close to the twenties style. 

5. Other accessories! 

Pearls were incredibly popular in the twenties! Go for a long pearl and tie it in a knot at the bottom, just wear a chain of longer necklaces, or go for a skinny scarf tied in a relaxed knot below the chest. Pop on some dangly bracelets to top it off! 



Here is where we get fun and fancy with the flapper look! Though the hemlines weren’t super duper short, that doesn’t mean we can’t wear them that way! Check out this look:


1. The Dress

Dark tones and jewel tones were the first choice when it came to nightlife in the 1920s. I picked this cream dress below from ModCloth because I thought it was updated, simple, and chic. ModCloth is the best place to go when looking for authentic decade-specific clothing. 

2. Shoes

This is where you can get super fun. Go for sparkly, t-strap, or peep toe. You can do a pop of color, or go for a monochromatic look. The ones below are also from ModCloth, but you can find similar styles at DSW. For the fancy look, I would recommend staying in the color scheme for the most authentic look. 

3. Hair

Follow the hair tutorial from the “Casual” section above, but instead of a hat, slide in a pretty comb or wear a sultry headband.  

4. Accessories

Go for some simple, matchy studs and some easy breezy bangle bracelets to complete the look! You can put on a velvet ribbon choker to make it a little more sexy/edgy. 

And there you have it, collegiettes! Next time you’re invited to a 1920s themed party, or if you’re just feeling like trying out a new and different vibe, go for one of these twenties-inspired looks! 


Zoe is a Senior at Boston University in the College of Communication, majoring in Public Relations and minoring in English and Psychology, and is the Campus Correspondent for her chapter. Originally from the Washington DC area, Zoe loves going to museums, concerts, and working at Baby Gap. In her free time, Zoe can be found crafting, watching Netflix, and scoping out the latest trends. Always catch her yelling enthusiastically about something, or making really corny jokes.
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