Dressing 1920s is a challenge when you’re all tits and ass.
The magpie in me can’t get enough of unadulterated Gatsbyfied glamour. But when I remember that this style highlights my hangups, I always feel too fat to flap. Drop waists make me look gargantuan, short skirts make my knees nervous and I’m terrified of fringing – my body shakes way too much when I walk already. I will never be a flat-chested, willowy coat-hanger; a thought which makes me crave a stretchy wiggle dress and a nice, comforting slice of cake. However, there are ways to make gorgeous flapper frocks work even on the most voluptuous of women.
Here are my tips on how to rock 1920s style for curvy women:
- Traditionally, the flapper silhouette was straight up-and-down with no defined waist. That’s why it’s such a tricky look for curvy girls to pull off. If you have a more voluptuous body type, you look best when you show off those glorious curves rather than hide them in a shapeless frock. With that in mind, look for twenties style dresses that are more fitted on your top half. Here are a few gorgeous ones I’ve found that won’t swamp your feminine figure.
Ivory beaded flapper dress from Unique Vintage
- If you fall for a dress which doesn’t have a fitted top half, try sizing down to get a more body-skimming look.
- Online pinup superstore, Unique Vintage, stock some fabulous plus size flapper dresses, definitely worth a gander.
Plus size flapper dress from Unique Vintage
- If you want to define your waist a little more, consider a satin sash, or a beaded, chiffon scarf to keep the sense of retro glamour. Or look for a dress with one built-in.
Floaty, flouncy flapper dress from Unique Vintage
- With the right accessories you can get away with a frock that’s not quite period perfect. I recommend choosing a dress that flatters your figure and then really going to town on your finishing touches. Splash out on sparkly jewellery, a beautiful headdress, a faux fur stole and a beaded evening bag to ramp up the twenties vibe.
Beaded fringed handbag from Unique Vintage
Headpiece from Glitzy Secrets
- Flappers loved fringing. But if a whole dress is made up of tiered fringing, the effect can be a bit boxy and disguise your magnificent curves. If you find yourself drawn to fringing, consider sticking to it as a trim rather than covering your whole dress.
Fringed fitted flapper dress from Unique Vintage
- One tactic is to sneakily go a little more 1930s in your outfit. The thirties heralded voluptuous screen starlets wearing long, figure-hugging gowns. These full-length, full-on glamorous dresses look spectacular on curvy women.
Mermaid gown from Unique Vintage
- For a masterclass in 1920s style for a curvy figure, check out Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot. All her frocks are knee-length and glitzy. They show off her shape but in a more voluptuous, undulating way than her pointier pin-up styles.
“She’s like jell-o on springs!”
Here’s what I wore to a recent Roaring Twenties party.
Inspired by Her Royal Blondeness, I chose a sparkly dress that skims without sculpting. Although it’s not strictly speaking drop-waisted, the ruching at the hips gives a similar effect without wreaking havoc on my silhouette. Draped in imitation jewels and furs, I was ready to party like it was 1929 (before that whole stock market thing).
It turns out when I’m a flapper I love to pout…
I’m pretty demanding…
and I make sex faces while dancing….
So I’m exactly the same as always then.