Women and teens in the 1920’s flapper era had several options for accessorizing their outfits. Regardless of if the accessory was jewelry, hats, shoes or bags the colors were pastels in summer, rich jewel tones for evening, or the Art deco color palette of red, black, and jade green. Here are the typical accessories that a woman wore with her dress.
If you think all women wore only black or nude colored stockings and hosiery in the 1920’s, think again. Black stockings dominated the early years for wear during the day followed but dark nude stockings the rest of the decade. Rising dress lengths exposed legs giving women an opportunity to show off some fun style. Silk stockings came in all sorts of geometric patterns, art deco images, and Asian inspired dragons and butterflies. If a woman was not bold enough to wear patterned stockings then she would wear stockings that would match her dress. Most dresses were pastel colors so stockings came in peach, pink, light green, blue, silver and white.
All stockings had seems. They were very subtle seams not bulky like most seamed costume stockings are today. They were also thigh high and held up by ornate garters around the top or garter belts with clip type holds. Stockings fit rather loosely. It wasn’t uncommon to see them bunch up at the ankles.
If a lady was really daring she joined the “flapper girl” style and rolled down her stockings to just below her knees. This was the “in” style if she dared to defy strict upbringing.
Tip: Whatever you buy don’t get fishnets unless you want to look like a scandalous 1920’s showgirl.
1920s Women’s Hats and Hair Jewelry
The 1920’s hat icon was the cloche. These round shaped, snug fitting, helmet like felt or straw hats came so far down the forehead that visibility was only possible by lifting the chin up so she had to look down on people. This made 1920’s women seem smug or snooty when in reality it was just a fashion fad. Early cloche hats had a wide brim to them, while the mid 20’s cloches had a 1 to 3 inch brim and the late 20s non at all. A few sun hat cloche varieties had very wide side brims and very narrow front and back brims.
Hat decorations were simple art geometric ribbon shapes or abstract embroidered designs. A hat pin also worn as a brooch pin and add a little extra gem or even feather to a hat.
Cloche hats are back in fashion. Many new styles of “cloche” hats cane be worn with vintage 1920’s clothing. Shop for the best new cloche hats online.
The turban style hat was similar to the cloche. It was made of wrapped fabric circling the head and adorned with flowers, gems and feathers on one side. The fabric usually matched the dress and was typically an evening hat rather than day wear.
Necklaces came in two varieties beaded or ribbon chokers and long strands of glass beads and pearls. Sometimes these long strands of gems also became used as loose belts hanging from the hips.
Earrings are long drops for both day and evening. The chandelier shape was a particular favorite. Gem colors often matched dresses and or other accessories. Bracelets were a major fashion accessories in the 20’s from cuffs to battalions of bangles. They were thick and usually made of gold or bright colored plastic like materials. Bracelets worn on the upper arm were called slave bracelets. Read more about 1920s jewelry here.
Shop 1920’s style jewelry here.
Shoe Clips were worn in the 1920’s with bold geometric shapes and precious stones. These fancy additions spiced up dull or outdated shoes. It was pretty common to repaint old shoes and add these shoe clips to make them seem new again. Shop 1920s style shoes and shoe clips.
With flimsy dresses and exposed shoulders, women needed something fashionable to keep their shoulders warm. Shoulder wraps made of animal furs like fox and mink (often with heads and feet still intact) were a wealthy woman’s pride and joy. The less wealthy used large silk triangular scarves wrapped and tied to one side with a brooch. Silk scarves were worn for day and evening wear and were intricately detailed with Asian prints and hand beaded designs. See some gorgeous reproduction wraps here.
1920s Hand Bags
Much like the previous decades, fancy hand beaded handbags were carried by women for formal events. They held a little makeup or bobby pins for fixing fly away hair. These little bags were intricately hand beaded with purse clips made of gold. The could either be strapless or have a short single strange gold chain strap. Some amazing inspired and reproduction purses can be found online. Read more about purses and bags of the roaring twenties.
Headbands and Hair Jewelry
Hats covered up cute bob haircuts so the alternative was to wear a ribbon tied tight around your upper forehead and down behind the back of your head with a bow. Ribbon colors usually matched your dress.
It was also common to wear a wide silk scarf like bands wrapped around the head but exposing the crown. These, like narrow ribbons, were sometime adorned with beads and feathers on the right side.
Hair jewelry was popular, particularly gold or gem tiaras and jeweled headbands that sat across the eyebrows were all the rage. Long strands of pearls were also used to create hair jewelry. These were strung around the head, over the top, and around buns of hair and connected with gems, feathers or more jewelry. Strands of small jewels that covered the head entirely were called skull caps. They fit snugly over slicked back bobbed hair. The style reminds me of Egyptian headwear worn by Pharaohs queens. Fittingly, King Tuts tomb was discovered in the 1920s and anything ancient Egypt was a fashion trend.
Learn more about the different styles of 1920’s headbands. Shop some nice 1920’s “flapper” style here: