How To Dress Great, Like Gatsby

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Trendy Lime is celebrating the release of Baz Lurhmann’s long-awaited film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby on May 9 with a special pre-premiere and cocktail party, held a full day before the movie’s public release. One of the best parts of the Great Gatsby (and the thing we’re most looking forward to seeing in the movie!) is the amazingly glamorous 1920s fashion worn by the privileged class of Jay Gatsby’s world. We’re asking guests to dress up in their Jazz Age finest for our soiree and movie screening, so we’re going to give a quick primer on 1920s fashion for those of you not already obsessed with flapper fashion.

The Mood Was Up and So Were the Clothes

The Great Gatsby was published in 1925 and takes place in an opulent and very fashionable world. The period of the early ‘20s is often referred as the “Roaring ‘20s,” because it was a time of prosperity and high social and cultural activity. The period occurred in the happy times right after World War I, but well before the Great Depression, so it was a time of frivolity, celebrity, and glamour. Naturally, good times called for good clothes, and the ladies and gentlemen dressed in a way that reflected the mood of the day.

Women’s fashions in the 1920s not only reflected the glamour of the times, but also represented the shift towards women’s equality and the movement that would eventually become modern feminism. Skirts got shorter and shoulders were bared, but women also favored the “flapper” look, which created a more boyish silhouette and flattened the bust and skimmed over the waist and hips. Wide-legged trousers also became popular with women. Since the era was still about celebration, ladies added glamour with cloche hats, sequined headbands, and long strands of beads.

Men also went for a more glamorous and modern look. Suit jackets, which had been much longer in previous decades, were shorter and often worn with belts, inspired by military uniforms.  As the decade progressed, men also began to wear wider trousers, often with pinstripes. A sportier look also became quite popular, with short pants and straw boater hats.