The Simple Beauty of Flapper Fashion

Louise Brooks Flapper Fashion Icon
Flapper Fashion Icon: Louise Brooks

If you're like most people, flappers, gangsters, and jazz are the first things that come to mind when think about the 1920s.

The 1920s are remembered for their unique vibrancy, and an unmistakable love of life.

Life imitates art. . . yet in the 20's fashion tends to imitate life--nowhere is this more apparent than in flapper fashions.

The nightlife of the Jazz Age, with the wild dances like the Charleston, and the vibrancy of jazz music, fashion morphed into a stylish blend of design, beauty, and practicality.

The wonderful beaded flapper dresses allowed women to move freely while dancing and exposed her body in an alluring (and to some people immoral) way.

Flapper dresses were integral to the spectacle of the dance: arms, skirts, legs, and fabric all moving at once in a whir of activity and vitality.

Flappers could really move. . .

Fashion, music, and attitude blending together perfectly!

The music, movies, and books of the 1920's all demonstrate that America had sex on the brain.

The quintessential celebrity of the Jazz Age, Louise Brooks, pretty much summed up flapper attitudes when she said: "I like to drink and f*ck."

The favorite songs of the day were not as brash as Brooks, but certainly suggest the same preoccupation with sex: Hot Lips, I Need Lovin', and Nursing Kisses.

The New Yorker author, gadfly, and fair-weather flapper, Lois Long, had the same opinion as Brooks, "Tomorrow we may die, so let's get drunk and make love."

Flapper Fashion: Doing the Charleston
Flappers Doing The Charleston

Flapper fashion owes as much to the behaviors and attitudes of the women wearing them as the style of the clothes themselves.

What beautiful clothes they are: simple, sexy, and modern. They really don't look like what you imagine your grandma's outfits to look.

Flapper dresses and flapper jewelry go together like a hand and glove. . . short hemlines, slave bracelets, and bobbed hair, the flapper continues to reflect the liberated and fashion forward woman of today.

The famous song during the 1920's goes. . . She's a highly energetic, undissuadable, magnetic, peripatetic, athletic kind of girl.

The 1920s flapper cut a beautiful silhouette!

Flapper fashion captured in 1920's advertisement

Marked by a beautiful blend of grace and simplicity, flapper fashion made the most of a stripped down style and made fashion modern for a rapidly evolving society.

Flapper dresses used the new attitudes and standards of the modern woman to carve out it's own niche in the fashion world.

Coco Chanel, Paul Poiret, and other visionary fashion designers had pivotal roles in defining the flapper style.

Poiret made his mark by ridding modern fashion of the corset, Vionette made hers with the intricate cutting techniques, while Chanel simply redefined fashion.

Chanel's designs were never extravagant or overdone.

They took a new look at what it meant to be a woman in the modern world and built a brand new fashion around it. Her dresses were made for "flappers" because they allowed a woman to move, wouldn't fall apart when she danced, and were as appropriate for the outdoors as the indoors.

Both modern and flapper fashion owe a lot to the vision of Coco Chanel.

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