Great Gatsby Fashion

‘This time I’m sure I’ve done it!’ Doctor James cried.

‘This time I shall not fail, this time I will go back into the past and this time my time machine will work without fail and this time I will beat that dreaded time traveler, my rival…fashioneyesta’ he gagged the last word snickering with disgust as he flicked through the computer screen surveying her last triumph. There she stood looking completely smug with her vintage rolls and 1940s finds. Her last trip to the 1940s had been a complete success and now she was about to do it again!

Meanwhile, over  at Emily Davison sat drinking a mug of twinings afternoon tea, giggling historically. Her eyes sparking as the turned over the final page of The Great Gatsby, she had been on a fashion time journey once before and she was determined not to fail her readers. She thought of what the 1920s era may hold for her wardrobe flapper dresses, long sets of pears, head bands and not forgetting all of those wondrous dancing shoes for the many Jazz evenings. This time she was about to embark back to the 1920s and he would be the one left behind. It was insulting, a man of his age being outwitted by an 18 year old fashion blogger. But, she would do it and she would become for one solitary day, a Gatsby Girl…..


Story’s over readers, I know I know it is sad. But, theres plenty more stories where that came from and besides we are meant to be talking fashion after all.

So, it comes as no surprise that I should of course point out that whenever a new film emerges from the media woodwork fashion always follows suit to copy what the film stars wear in their blockbuster screening. It was the same when Tim Burton’s was released as was when the hit sensation Gangster Squad with the beautiful Emma Stone serving as it’s leading lady.

Film Poster
Film Poster

Now it is the turn of The Great Gatsby, which was initially written at a time of decadence, art deco, jewels galore, great wealth and stylish women. In todays feature I am going to show you how you can recreate looks from the roaring 20s at an affordable price and in easy ways.

Stay reading, get sending in your questions and comments and I hope you enjoy.

What was worn?

Cartoon Image of 1920s women's fashion
Cartoon Image of 1920s women’s fashion


The 20s was a period in history that was on the cusp of the fashion clim to prosperity. The 20s was a truly Glamorous and frivolous period in history, there was a high amount of wealth in many of the leading countries such as the

UK, America, and France. New imports of exotic clothes were increasingly prominent into Western countries, this was a time of decadence, new styles, shorter dresses and even shorter haircuts.

Women of the era were in favour of the Le Garconne look, shorter boyish haircuts cuts and dresses that were straight lose and revealed bare arms. This, new revolutionary look was considered as a highly sexy style which revealed women in an Athletic manner.

For this look, the looser the better, beading, embellishment and geometric prints could be seen on many of the dresses worn by the girls at the Charleston Jazz evenings.

The earlier part of the 20s played host to Edwardian style blouses with a great deal of

Paul Poiret
Paul Poiret

ruffles, corsets, lace up boots, and shorter hemlines were in favour. Paul Poiret created a revolutionary style dress known as the ‘hobble’ dress.

The latter part of the 20s, from around 1925-1929 to be exact, women began to favour more exotic flares to their outfits. They favoured kimonos and oriental fans to give them that exotic edge.

Women of the 20s also wore a great deal of velvet, coats with fur trimmings and silk scarves and pyjamas. Women of the 20s would have favoured silk and will plain sweaters teamed with silk bottoms or sailor pants.

The Years of the Flapper

Image of a 1920s Geometric Flapper Dress
Image of a 1920s Geometric Flapper Dress

What do you think of when you hear those words The Roaring 20s? Do you, like me instantly think of those wonderful, heavily embellished flapper dresses?

If you do then you are a true fashioneyesta, the women of this era were renowned for their commitment to fashion trends. Putting on their make up in public, taping up their breasts so as to appear more boyish and youthful to suit the trend.

The dresses were the icon of the drastic fashion changes that had occurred within that decade, the waistlines of these dresses had drastically dropped and the hemline had risen 35 cm to be a shocking length at just below the knee. A classic flapper dress was lose fitting, armless, exposed the chest and back, beading was used to make the material hang in a better fashion and disguise the opacity of the dress’s material.

Day dresses were more simple than this, usually consisting of minimal embellishments, tone tone fabrics, paneling, biased cuts, and channel style three-peice suits and cardigans.


The period was all about decadence and being in short, a complete and utter show off. Even down to the soft furnishings, like in Eltham Palace. The image on the right shows Eltham Palace completely decked out in Art Deco style furniture, persian rugs and ornaments.

How to Spot a Flapper

Flapper Dresses
Flapper Dresses

You’re in a vintage fair, a charity shop, or a car boot and you want to know how to spot a flapper dress. Am I right? Well here are a few tips to help you in the quest of finding one.

  • Look for Egyptian, Oriental, and Art Deco designs and patterns. Prints like Paisley prints patterns with intricate designs and bold lines running through them.
  • Look for dresses with uneven and split hems.
  • Pockets, buttons and belts were hugely popular with these style dresses.
  • Knife pleats and panelled pleats were highly prominent with these style dresses. A knife pleat is basically a skirt or dress that has a lot of smaller pleats in it.
  • Look for dresses with low-cut necklines, backs and thin straps. 
  • Embroidery and embellishments are also something tactile to remember when searching for garments.
  • Narrow scarves that were attached to the dresses were also incorporated into the style of the dress.

What To Wear Now?

Well the good news for anyone who is interested in this look, the high street stores, eBay, Not on the High Street and virtually every fashion store will not disappoint you. The Gatsby look is very easy to recreate and here are a few tips and tricks on how to do it.

The modern Gatsby Woman has a drastically different body shape, not every women has the boyish shape as favoured by the 20s women. Instead go for elements of the flapper trend in embellished tops, crochet gloves, and statement hair accessories.

If you are going for a nigh out and want to recreate this look go for a simple lose fitting dress, whist paring it with an embellished Kimono. Kimonos have seen a massive come back this season with the Eastern Promise trend. The east meets west fusion that is occurring in fashion perfectly liaises with Gatsby Fashion. You could go for an embellished kimono and a simple blouse, even a ruffled blouse, whist pairing it with some tailored trousers to give it that sophisticated look.

Investing in silk items, or silk look alike, items for the trend such as trousers in a geometric or art deco pattern. Whist paring it with a simple sweater and adding a 20s style brooch, the 20s era were huge fans of statement brooches such as art deco designs and animals. Dragonflies, elephants, dogs, and fans were all huge aspects of the trend.

Outfit One: You Old Flapper! 


Dress: Silver Blue knife pleat, lose fitting Charleston style dress from: Old Spitalfields Market

Shoes: Brown leather T Bar shoes from Next (old stock)

Ring: Art Deco style ring in Geometric design from Eltham Palace Gift Shop

Gloves: Crochet White Glove from the V&A Gift Shop

Earrings: Pearl Droplet earrings (given to me by my mum)

Necklace: Black and white three set beaded necklace (given to me by my nan)

This outfit was really a classic recreation of the Gatsby era, Knife pleating is a iconic pleat in many of the maxi skirts that we see today. The dress has embellished gems on the neckline which is rounded and slightly revealing.

Outfit Two: Dark and Mysterious 


Dress: Black Lace v back dress with embellishment to the rounded neckline

From: Dorothy Perkins

Price: £15

Link: Click here 

Gloves: Black leather long gloves with quilted detailing from Tie Rack (old stock.)

Bag: Black shell shaped snap shut clutch bag with additional strap from Yumi (old stock.)

Earrings: Pearl Droplet earrings (given to me by my mum.)

Necklace: Black and white three set beaded necklace (given to me by my nan.)

Shoes: Brown leather T Bar shoes from Next (old stock.)

Outfit Three: Embellish Me! 


Top: Lose fitting, embellished, art deco style top in nude colour from New Look (unavailable online at present.)

From: New Look

Price: £25

Under Top: Flesh colour vest from Primark.

Trousers: Beige Chinos from ASOS (old stock.)

Shoes: Brown leather T Bar shoes from Next (old stock.)

Earrings: Pearl Droplet earrings (given to me by my mum.)

Ring: Swarovski Crystal Prima Ring

Price: £109

Link: Click here

Description: Geometric style pure crystal ring with three main crystals in rectangular shapes.

Outfit Four: Kimonos are a Girl’s Best Friend

Longshot of Outfit
Longshot of Outfit

Top: Lose fitting, embellished, art deco style top in nude colour from New Look (unavailable online at present.)

From: New Look

Price: £25

Under Top: Flesh colour vest from Primark.

Trousers: Beige Chinos from Asos (old stock.)

Shoes: Brown leather T Bar shoes from Next (old stock.)

Earrings: Pearl Droplet earrings (given to me by my mum.)

Ring: Swarovski Crystal Prima Ring

Price: £109

Link: Click here

Description: Geometric style pure crystal ring with three main crystals in rectangular shapes.

Kimono: Light Aqua Blue Kimono style jacket with silver embellishments in a leaf pattern and lose fitted sleeves.

From: 18 and East

Price: £34.99

Link: Click here

Gatsby Hair

Gatsby girls were all about having short, boyish cuts that embodied youthfulness and energy. So, if you are a short haired girl, this look is perfect for you.

gatsby theme

However, if you, like me, have long hair there are other methods of having the Gatsby style hair. Wavy hair was also a huge hair trend, fringes were hugely popular with later styles. Hair accessorise are also another important factor of the era wearing bold statement headbands was a quintessential aspect to the Gatsby Girl’s outfit.

  1. Curl your hair using a curling wand (ideally a Babyliss curling wand from BeautyBay for £22.95 is a good option click here to view) but any narrow curling iron will do. Take care when using this, I would advise you to use a heat protection glove especially if you are visually impaired.
  2. Once your hair is curled spray in a generous amount off hairspray to keep it in place.
  3. Section your hair into three sections of about a third each. Tie one in a ponytail at the back of your hair and the other two secure with hair pins at the top of your head (as if you were clipping it out of your face.)
  4. Take small sections of your hair and role them into a small curl, this is what we call a pin curl. 
  5. Secure it to your your with bobby pins, these can be found in any good beauty of pharmacy store.
  6. Once you have done the two front sections, take the ponytail and section is off as you did you the two front sections and repeat the process.
  7. Once that is done you can add a more glitzy pin to the front of your hair style to make it look more Gatsby.
  8. Voila! All set

Or…you can just complete section one and two of the process and simply add a Gatsby style headband. The choice is completely yours, I did both and equally like them.

Gatsby Make Up


For my make up I am wearing a deep red lipstick, light liquid foundation, a peachy blusher, green eyeshadow in a smokey technique and a black mascara. Gatsby girls favoured defined eyebrows and statement lips.

What I Used


Benefit Cosmetics Oxygen Foundation

Price: 25.50

From: Boots

Link: Click here

Smooch Cosmetics Peachy Blusher 

Price: £8.50

Link: Click here


Smooch Cosmetics Dirty Martini Eyeshadow Duo

Price: £9.50

Link: Click here  

Smooch Cosmetics Black Lash Mascara

Price: £8.95

Link: Click here

Benefit Cosmetics Brow-Zings: Brow Shaping Kit 

Price: 23.50

From: House of Fraser

Link: Click here 


Smooch Cosmetics Crimson Fire Lipstick

Price: £7.50

Link: Click here

For a more extensive review on Smooch Make up click here.

Fashioneyesta’s Top Picks

Tatty Devine Lady & Dog Brooch

Price: £45

Lady & Dog Brooch from Tatty dEVINE
Lady & Dog Brooch from Tatty Devine

Link: Click here

Description: Black two piece brooch attached by a gold chain. The brooch depicts the outline of a women in a dress and high heels, walking her lurcher dog. This was an icon during the 20s and many brooches mimicked this.

Elizabeth Kate Silk Dragonfly Scarf


Price: £145

Link: Click here

Description: Colourful dragonfly print scarf, dragonflies vary in size and are in bright colours of pink and green with little gems painted onto their bodies. The base colour is navy, making this scarf ideal to wear with any colour. Bold, eye catching and versatile, this scarf is perfect for the trend.

New Look Gatsby Style Headband (as seen in outfit number four) 

Price: £3.50

Link: Click here

Description: Gold colour material headband with faux gemstone embellishment and pink feather making the garment very tactile to the touch. To be worn in the style of a garland around the head.

Swarovski Crystal Prima Ring

Price: £109

Link: Click here

Description: Geometric style pure crystal ring with three main crystals in rectangular shapes.

Miss Selfridge Flapper Style Dress

Miss Selfridge Flapper Dress
Miss Selfridge Flapper Dress

Price: £129

Link: Click here

Description: A silver coloured flapper style dress. The dress is lose fitting, sleeveless with a dipped hemline that is even at two ends and resides upwards. The dress also has  an open back in salute of the Le Garcomme ladies. The dress has a Art Deco embellished pattern making the dress very tactile.

Living Paintings salute the Era 


Ah what a coincidence!

Well it just so happens that my charity Living Paintings and subsequently my online neighbours have produced a wonderful tactile and audio book Cinderella with a twist. But, with a twist, the tale is set in the glamorous period of the 1920s.

Fashioneyesta interacting with the book
Fashioneyesta interacting with the book

The book is aimed at teens and children and is a truly fantastic recreation of a classic tale in a new way. It is perfect for any visually impaired person who wants to know more about 1920s fashion and home furnishings.

Social Links


Phone Number: 01635299771

Twitter: @LivingPaintings

So there you have it, I am stepped once again stepped into the past and returned with the knowledge of how to dress and look like a Gatsby girl. I hope you enjoyed it, please feel free to comment, vote on this feature’s poll, and most importantly ask any questions on advise should you need it.

Posted by

Emily is a Masters Degree Student, Writer, Journalist, YouTuber and blogger who runs the blog and YouTube channel

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