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Great Gatsby Costumes

People still feel the huge success of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel, 'The Great Gatsby', which inspires movies as well as fashion. Many people who dress up for Halloween, fashion photographs, and costume parties adopt the flapper look made popular by the 1922 setting of Fitzgerald's novel. When choosing a Gatsby costume for a special event or just for fun, there are a few vintage wardrobe pieces that instantly evoke the look and feel of this glamorous, raucous, and fast-moving historical period.


A women's flapper dress is the most important part of any Gatsby women's ensemble. Many females in the 1920s performed dances, such as the Shimmy and the Charleston, so an effective Gatsby flapper dress may feature long fringe that moves spasmodically while the wearer shows off her dance moves. A drop-waist dress is essential for this look, and Coco Chanel, the famous fashion designer from France, is responsible for this art deco silhouette. A Gatsby dress does not accentuate a woman's curves, but often focuses a viewer's eye to its ornamentation, such as light-catching beadwork.


Women's Great Gatsby costumes are not complete without fashionable headgear. Decorated cloche hats are the rage in Fitzgerald's book and with women trying to achieve the flawless Gatsby look. This headwear is particularly effective when a woman bobs her hair. Close fitting and decorated with beads, feathers, buckles, or other craftwork, a wearer pulls a cloche hat down to cover the forehead.


Gatsby costumes typically represent the novel's party scenes, and these nighttime gatherings are filled with images of women wearing ornate headbands, which can look vintage with the addition of pearls, precious and semi-precious jewels, feathers, or sequins. Popular headband styles of this era include tiaras, hair clips with long feather attached and pointing upwards, bandeaus decorated with brooches fastened to the fronts, or wrap-style headbands garnished with rhinestones or pearls.


Shoes are an important component of women's costumes, and vintage strap pumps evoke the style of the 1920s Gatsby flapper. 'T' strap shoes are an excellent fashion choice for the ensemble. The heels are shorter than the heels of many modern shoe styles, and these pumps include straps that stretch from the toes to the vamps, which gives the appearance of a letter 'T' on women's upper feet.

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