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Roaring ’20s Theme Party Style Guide

9th December 2016 | JD Parties | JD Parties Staff
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Christmas is one of our favourited times of the year! It’s not just a great time to enjoy family and friends, but it’s when every company hosts their Christmas party. We get our own chance to dress up and have a blast mingling with coworkers and friends, celebrating the season in style.

Christmas parties can be a great chance to go all out with the fun. But why not try spicing it up by adding a theme into the mix? Instead of going the route of the classic Christmas office party, you can have a blast by introducing a theme—complete with costumes, décor, and even theme-consistent food and drinks.

The Roaring 20s is one of the themes we love to use for our parties. There’s nothing that can quite match the glitz and glamor of the 1920s in New York City, with the bright lights, uptempo music, and elegant outfits.

The most important part of the Roaring 20s theme is finding the right outfit. If you’re not sure what to wear to a Roaring 20s party, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got a complete style guide to the perfect outfits for you.

The Dress

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The classic “flapper dress” ended above knee level. The dress wouldn’t be complete without a lot  of sequins, beads, lace, fringe, and feathers—everything to draw attention to yourself.

The gowns were usually made with jewel tones and soft pastel-coloured fabrics, and they tended to be sleeveless and shapeless (the dropped waistline).

The Tuxedo

For men, the answer to the question of what to wear to a Roaring 20s party is simple: a tuxedo, of course!

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While women were all about exposing as many of their beautiful assets as possible, the men dressed for elegance and refinement. Tuxedos and dinner jackets are the staple of the era, rather than the stuffy tailcoats and suit jackets worn in that time.

Remember, for the men it’s about the perfect blend of refinement, luxury, and relaxation. The outfit should be comfortable, but fancy enough that it says “Look at my wealth”. Dinner jackets, tuxedos, and smoking jackets with
an elegant pair of suit trousers will be the perfect option.

The Hats

When it comes to finding what to wear to a Roaring 20s party, there is nothing that completes the outfit more efficiently than a hat. The right hat can turn even a modern suit or gown into a costume that is era-compatible.

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For Men: The Homburg hat was the popular choice at the time. Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack didn’t make the fedora popular for another few decades, but the Homburg hat was the headwear of choice for the elegant man. Homburg hats aren’t as easy to find nowadays, but you will be able to find fedoras or bowler hats.

For Women: Women in the 1920s had no end of headgear options. The classic was the cloth headband studded with precious stones and with a feather sticking out the top. The cloche and wide-brimmed hat were both highly popular options at the time, and they screamed “we like to party” when worn with the flapper dress.

Of course, if you don’t want to go with a hat, you can always opt for one of the hair styles popular in the Roaring 20s. Women would often cut their hair in a tight bob (you can go faux bob if you don’t want to cut your hair), or use tight curls or marcel waving.

There are plenty of YouTube videos to help you figure out how to do these hairstyles at home, or you can get to a salon and have them help you prepare your hair in this classic style!

The Accessories

No party girl or guy in the 1920s would be complete without their accessories! The right accessories would enhance the elegance of the outfit while adding a touch of flair. You have to have a few important elements to complete your costume.

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For Men: With the guys, it’s all about adding a dash of colour to the elegance of your outfit. That means using brightly-coloured ties, handkerchiefs with bright, bold patterns, and gold- or ivory-handled canes. The cane or walking stick was a very popular accessory for men, so it’s one of the best elements to complete the costume.

For Women: Women carried a lot of fancy accessories in the days of the Roaring 20s. No one could get by without their lacy, frilly cloth fan, a popular affectation at the time.

For a purse, smaller is always better. Women in the 1920s tended to carry smaller purses, usually something with bright sequins, beadwork, or needlepoint. Look for a clutch or miniature purse that is bright and jewelled to complete your outfit.

Of course, no flapper girl costume is complete without a scarf or shawl. The women liked to cover up in a pretense of modesty. You’ll need a scarf or gauzy shawl to drape lazily around your neck. It’s the perfect complement to your outfit!

A few more accessories to consider: a pair of forearm-length gloves and a parasol. They scream of elegance, and will be just what you need to finish the look.

The Jewellery

In the Roaring 20s, men didn’t wear jewellery—save for the occasional ring or the gold pocketwatch. If you have a pocketwatch on a chain, it will be an excellent addition to your costume. Hang the chain from your middle button and put the pocketwatch in your suit pocket. A fancy tie clip and cuff links are all you need to make yourself truly look the part.

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For women, the most common accessory in this era was a pearl necklace—often the longer the better! Beaded tassel necklaces are another good option for the outfit, or a multi-strand pearl bracelet.

Your headgear will need something to give it sparkle and shine, such as a fancy pin or brooch. You can also use a brooch on your flapper dress to give it more colour.

What do you think of these outfit ideas? Do they seem hard to complete, or are they something you think you can put together?

The Roaring 20s is one of our favourite party themes


Got any more Roaring 20s ideas you want to share? Tweet them to @JDParties. We’re looking forward to seeing you dressed for our Roaring 20s shared party!


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