Looking for some tips on accessorising for one of our 1920s speakeasy events or a Gatsby party? Good news! As part of our blog series covering tips, ideas and inspiration on dressing for a 1920s event, this post will cover Accessories for the Flapper - How to accessorise 20s-style! The great thing is that whilst the majority of these are inexpensive, they make a huge difference to the overall look, so it’s an fabulous way to dress to impress 1920s style without the need to spend a great deal. Another great thing is - you can go as far as you choose (or as your budget allows) with accessories, you could for instance just go for a 20s headband and some beads or pearls - which would look fantastic! Or if you're wanting to go all-out, you could have a headband, pearls, beads, a 20s bag or purse and some elegant evening gloves - So however far you want to go with the accessories, we'll have some tips and suggestions to help your 1920s outfit look incredible!
The accessories are at the heart of any great 20s outfit: The beautiful sequined and jewelled headbands and headpieces; the beaded necklaces, pearls and art deco jewellery; the elegant evening gloves and the elaborate evening bags and purses... But there’s much more to it than simply creating a beautiful look. To flappers of the day accessories were a way to showcase their daring style, their rejection of the outdated and restrictive ‘norms’ and ‘morals’ of the day - Their glamourous flair showcased in their dress and in their accessories was a display of identity and rebellion! The accessories we’ll cover here are suited to evening wear for 1920s parties (so they are ideal for our events!).
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The 1920s Headband or Headpiece
We’ll start with our favourite - The 1920s style headband is (in our opinion!) the best accessory for a flapper at a 20s party. The style is often instantly recognisable as 1920s - it's both elaborate and glamorous with feathers, plenty of sparkle and with beautiful Art Deco touches! Here are some of our favourites available to buy in the UK, just click on the image to view the product:
With jewels, pearls, feathers, and a stunning art deco design in black & gold, this is one of our favourite 20s headpieces. It's both elaborate and glamorous and would be a fabulous addition, and would suit most dress colours.
Click here to view this 1920s Headpiece - Currently £11.99
This black and silver feather and jewel headpiece is another impressive option. The jewel, crystals and ostrich feather make a glitzy but elegant statement. This one's also a very versatile option: it will compliment most 20s style dresses dresses, regardless of colour, especially when worn with pearls.
Click here to view this Ostrich feather headband - Currently £15.99
This pastel pink peacock feather and jewelled headband looks fabulous when worn with long white evening gloves and pearls, and goes beautifully with white or pink dresses in particular!
Click here to view this pastel pink flapper headpiece - Currently £10.99
A glitzy beaded flapper headpiece, adorned with crystals, jewels and pearls! A stand-out headpiece!
Click here to view this stunning crystal 1920s headpiece - Currently £9.99
20s Pearls, Beads and Jewellery
Pearls and beads were an extremely popular form of neckwear among flappers of the 20s. It was the introduction of imitation pearls and the use of coloured glass and plastic in beads (rather than using precious stones!) along with industrialisation which meant that both imitation pearls and beads could be mass produced and as a result became widely available and affordable as a fashion item to many!
The way in which pearls were worn varied quite a bit - Whilst some flappers wore a single string of pearls, others wore multiple strings in long strands, whereas others chose to tie a knot in them! But regardless of how you choose to wear them, pearls and beads are an iconic part of 1920s fashion and compliment 1920s dresses and headbands beautifully. Just a note on beads - we actually found it very difficult to find many options that were affordable but it's always worth looking out for them, especially when visiting charity shops - look out for rounded coloured beads in glass or plastic! But here are some of our suggestions on what to look for:
These are high quality imitation pearls - you'll find quite often with very cheap 'pearls' they'll snap with ease and also look very plastic. These ones however aren't like that. Some of our 1920s character actors have worn strings of these particular imitation pearls and we were so impressed - they looked fantastic (we particularly like that they aren't bright white!), they were long enough to double (or even triple) over to create a multi-strand look, and they were extremely durable!
Click here to view these pearls - Currently £8.49
If you'd prefer beads to pearls, these black beads are a good option. They're high-quality and like the pearls above are long enough to double or triple over into a multi-strand look!
Click here to view this 20s style beaded necklace - Currently £8.99
Long Evening Gloves
Long opera gloves of silk or satin in black or white and which extended past the elbow were a popular form of evening wear during the 20s, but only really for parties and formal occasions - they certainly weren't regular day wear. Whilst they were popular, not all flappers wore them, so it's not an essential part of a 1920s look - Really it comes down to your own personal preference whether you like the look of the long evening glove or not! If you do, here are some suggestions:
These long white opera satin gloves, a traditional option will add a touch of formal elegance to your 1920s outfit.
Click here to view these formal opera gloves - Currently £6.99
Similar to the option above, but in black. Long black satin opera gloves were another popular option for flappers of the 20s.
Click here to view these formal opera gloves in black - Currently £7.81
Handbags and Purses for the Flapper
Handbags of the 1920s were clutch bags and like the dresses of the period they were highly elaborate with Art Deco designs, jewels, and sequins. Sometimes the bags were constructed from mesh metal - something which suited the geometric characteristics of Art Deco! They were certainly a fashion item first and foremost and a practical item second - though it must have been useful to the flapper of the 20s to have a place to store a little cash and powder whilst on the go! There are some stunning examples of 1920s clutch bags available, here are some of our favourites:
This is a stunning example of a Flapper Clutch bag. The vibrant colours of the peacock design in shimmering sequins and beads just screams 1920s. Probably our favourite of all the bags we've seen! (If you're also looking for a dress - we think it would look fabulous with this dress in Green)
Click here to view it - Currently £28.99.
A beautiful pearl, bead and sequin 20s style clutch bag. This one's extremely versatile - it'll look fabulous with most 20s style dresses, regardless of their colour!
Click here to view this pearl, bead and sequin 20s clutch bag - Currently £29.99
This ornately beaded and sequinned clutch bag is another beautiful example of an elegant and glamorous bag, perfect for the 20s flapper!
Click here to view this 20s style handbag- Currently £18.98
And so we've reached the end of this article! We really hope it has given you some ideas or inspiration and hope it's been useful as you build your own flapper outfit! It's worth bearing in mind that these are just suggestions and examples of the types of accessories that were popular among flappers of the 20s - there isn't one set way to dress 1920s style: some flappers may have preferred triple (or even more!) strands of beads with long white evening gloves, others may have preferred a single strand of pearls and no evening gloves - flappers of the 20s would have had their own personal styles and preferences - just as we do today! So don't stress about it! See this as guidance, a starting point, and just pick out elements that you like!
Our pop-up 1920s Speakeasy (with roaring 20s live jazz, swing dance & cocktails!) is currently touring the UK, our next event will be in NEWCASTLE in April 2019, click here for more information or to secure your place. So we hope to see you at one of our 1920s events soon!
If you haven't yet seen our article on tips and ideas for 20s flapper dresses, check it out here.
We are of course more always more than happy to help with any questions or concerns on dressing for our events (or other people's 1920s events!) - just get in touch via the contact us page and we'll be happy to help!