Flappers (also known as Garconne) were a generation of young Western women in the 1920s who wore short skirts (just at the knee was short for that time period), bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior. Flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes in public, driving automobiles, treating sex in a casual manner, and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms.


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Examples of flapper clothing include:

  • Straight, up-and-down, knee-length or above, shift dresses, with no cleavage showing
    • For day: Heavy wool and tweed
    • For night: Fur, velvet, quilted satin, shimmering/shiny textured silk/rayon
  • Highly visible, sheer, light-colored silk/rayon stockings fastened just above the knee with lace-adorned garters
  • 2-3 inch Mary Jane heels with button fastenings in black, gold, silver, or nude
  • Colossal sparkly chandelier-style earrings
  • Cigarette holders
  • Hair cut in a shingle bob cut with bangs or a pixie cut
  • Close-fitting, pulled-down bell-shaped cloche hats to keep hair in place
  • Bar arms with bangles layered up each arm
  • Long ropes of pearls or glass beads
  • Close-fitting beaded caps
  • Toques with gigantic fake flowers or beaded motifs attached
  • Narrow, sparkly scarves worn cravat-style or around the head, secured at the side
  • Shawl-collar, wraparound coats
  • Velvet/fur opera coats
  • Fox/mink stoles complete with heads and eyes attached
    • Feather boa is an acceptable substitute if you are ill at ease with wearing fur
  • Small beaded bags
  • Horn-rimmed glasses
  • Kohl rimmed eyes, dark crimson cupid's bow lips, and bright cheeks with bright red blush

Key designers: Jeanne Lanvin, Callot Soeurs, Captain Edward Molyneux, Jean Patou, Paul Poiret


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