So you found an event notification in your Facebook feed, and it’s for a Great Gatsby party. You seem to remember reading The Great Gatsby back in high school…something about the jazz age and the American dream. What really comes to mind was the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. And most importantly, the 20s fashion on display. Carey Mulligan in her flapper dress and Leo’s Gatsby suit, the sets awash with art deco fashion, and flapper girls galore.
Sparkly flapper dresses, glittery jewelry, and studded heels are just the beginning (our larger Great Gatsby party collection can be found here). So read on, to find out just what to wear to a Great Gatsby party…
What to Wear to a Great Gatsby Party
The Flapper Dress
How to dress like a flapper? Well this flapper girl staple is absolutely a necessity for anyone looking for an authentic first step into the fashion of the 1920s. In an era of women becoming more independent and embracing their own lifestyles, the free-flowing natural style of the dress was an embodiment of the personality of the Jazz age. You can go with the classic flapper party dress or a modern interpretation. Great Gatsby dress selection at picVpic.com
You have a lot of good options here. To be more authentic to fashion of the 1920s, you should go with t-strap heels or Mary Jane heels to match your Great Gatsby dress. Colors for a Great Gatsby party should be within some guidelines though: black, gold, silver, and nude heels are all perfect. You can go simple on this one or really embrace your inner Great Gatsby party flapper girl and really bedazzle to your heart’s content. A pair of classic pumps would also serve you well.
The Necessary Accessory
Arguably the most important part of a Great Gatsby costume for any Gatsby party are the accessories: hats, headbands, earrings, necklaces, gloves, the list goes on. But one thing is for sure, you’ll need more than one. We’ll start with hats, a forgotten item but the absolutely most iconic one of 20s fashion. Usually adorned with a flower motif, a cloche was the hat-style of choice. If you are not a big fan of hats, go with one of the stylish headbands that was just as popular at the time (and in the summer, maybe a smarter choice) to complete your Great Gatsby costume. How to dress like a flapper for a Great Gatsby party? Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize.
As Art Deco fashion was in vogue at the time, and much of the jewelry followed that style. A style characterized as having geometric designs, vivid colors, and sleek shapes, it was found not only in flapper dresses but often in necklaces as well (which were often bombastic strings of pearl and gemstones). Earrings followed in similar fashion but were often also in the style of drop earrings, suggesting movement, fluidity, and modernism. Any of these choices will look stunning with your Great Gatsby dress. Gatsby party art deco jewelry selection at picVpic.com
Men are a little more simple. For a Great Gatsby party, we mean. The basics are to look sharp, have slim fits, and follow the Art Deco style that women and all followers of fashion did during the 1920’s. And make sure to use a slick hair gel or pomade, your hair should be absolutely glistening to match your Great Gatsby costume.
You should stick to a well-fitting and slim three-piece suit for a Great Gatsby party. That means with a waistcoat (which could and should be a different pattern/color than the rest of the suit) under the jacket. Colors are a bit more open, but going with black, white or cream, dark blue is a safe bet for a Great Gatsby costume. Feel free to experiment and be a bit dapper with a darker red, lighter blue, or even darker or lighter green. Patterning as well is up to the user, again geometric designs such as those popularized by Art Deco fashion can be a great choice. Vertical stripes, paisley, checkerboard, nearly anything you can imagine would be appropriate. What is so great about this period and Gatsby style in particular is that it is playful and dapper, so be adventurous! If it’s summer go for a casual linen suit so you can make it through the night without air conditioning. Or if you prefer simplicity, a black suit with a white shirt and black bow-tie should do just fine.
Always go with a tie, or bow-tie. Just like the suit, in 20s fashion there were often stripes, paisley patterns, checkers, and all kinds of crazy tie designs. Bold and mismatched colors (with the suit jacket) were popular. The regal Windsor knot was in-fashion at the time, and should be your go-to know for any Gatsby party. Bow-tie selection at picVpic.com
For the most Great Gatsby party style look, go for a two-tone derby shoe. Though if not available, a (very clean) white or black pair of shoes, wingtips or oxfords preferably. Cleanliness is everything, and your footwear really needs to sparkle and shine to make you Great Gatsby costume stand out in the crowd.
The Hat (a Great Gatsby party must)
Ah yes, the hat. What every man, distinguished politician to newspaper vendor, wore back in “those days”. While today not as popular, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of hats recently, though one must approach with caution. In the 20s, many types of hats were popular, from street boy flat caps to formal top hats. For our purposes, straw hats, boater hats, and fedoras tended to be the most in vogue among the ‘in-crowd’ of a well-to-do party among the Gatsby elite. Crisp colors were in, with sharp whites, reds, and blues among the favorites. This is a must for a Great Gatsby party.