One of the most exciting decades in history when it comes to the world of fashion, the 1920s are famous for their excessive styles, luxurious accessories and flamboyant fashions. This is particularly true of women’s fashion, and the 1920s style flapper dress is now considered to be one of the most iconic dress styles in history.
Summing up the feeling of the decade, the 1920s flapper dress marked a significant change in women’s fashion. Instead of wearing corsets and heavy skirts, women began opting for more freeing, comfortable clothing. While for many women this meant incorporating trousers into their wardrobe, dresses and skirts also changed. Layers lessened, materials lightened and lengths were shortened - all of which can be seen in the 1920s flapper dress.
At Lily Ella, we’re celebrating the iconic flapper dress by taking a closer look at the most popular elements of the style. From the drop waist silhouette to the heavy beaded embellishments, we’ve incorporated some of the features of the classic flapper dress into our own 1920s style dresses. So, if you’re interested in seeing how these classic styles have evolved over the last 100 years, take a look at our beautiful 1920s style dresses below.
Drop Waist Dress
Characterised by a low sitting waist, the drop waist silhouette was the most popular style of dress during the 1920s, including the classic flapper dress the decade is best known for. The drop waist style gave the illusion of a longer torso and naturally emphasised the upper half of the body, perfect for ladies wanting to show off their arms and collarbones.
As times moved on and the silhouettes of dresses evolved through the decades, the drop waist dress fell out of favour and the fitted waist took over as the most fashionable silhouette. In order to reimagine the drop waist dress at Lily Ella, we’ve simulated the drop waist silhouette in our Shiloh dress by using a low hanging beaded overshawl. The beaded shawl finishes at the top of the hips, emphasising this point of the dress in the same way as the drop waist dress did - all while retaining the popular fitted waist silhouette of modern fashion.
Classic Beaded Flapper Dress
One of the key features of the classic flapper dress of the 1920s is the incredibly intricate beading that covered them. Often sewn in art deco style lines and shell patterns, this heavy beading brought layers of interest to the dress. Many of the more modern reincarnations of the 1920s flapper dress see this beading continue into stylish tassels. More than just a style choice, these beaded tassels add a little flare to the style, perfect for indulging in a little 1920s style dancing.
At Lily Ella, the classic beaded flapper dress of the 1920s has evolved into our stunning Hedy beaded top. Featuring the stunningly intricate art deco style beading that dominated women’s flapper dresses, the Hedy beaded blouse also has a scalloped finish on the short sleeves. Flatteringly fit and effortlessly elegant, this beaded top styles perfectly with our essential women’s jeans for a smart evening style.
1920s Style Dress
Women’s fashion of the 1920s was characterised by change. Instead of full bodied, restrictive corsets, long skirts and miles of fabric, women began wearing trousers, short skirts and relaxed fitting clothing. The 1920s flapper dress, one of the most well known styles of the decade, was part of this change in fashion - which explains the semi-fitted shape and shorter length of the style.
In order to bring the shape and fit of the 1920s flapper dress into this century, we made the Millie Dress. Cut in the same semi-fitted, knee length shape of 1920s style dresses, and made from an eye-catching broderie anglaise fabric to mimic the heavy beading of the flapper dress, the Millie dress balances comfort and extravagance in the same way as the dress it’s styled after. Also featuring a slight scalloped hem on the lace-detail short sleeves, our Millie dress is perfect for women looking for a modern take on the popular 1920s style dress.
Sleeveless Flapper Dress
Aside from the bold beading and decorative tassels which naturally grab attention, the shape of the classic flapper dress is essential to the overall look of 1920s fashion. Designed for comfort and freedom of movement, it’s no surprise that many 1920s flapper dresses were sleeveless.
While the Millie Dress mirrors the fit and length of the classic 1920s flapper dress, we’ve paid closer attention to the features that defined the shoulders and neck area of the dresses of the 1920s in our Valeria dress. Mimicking the sleeveless cut of many 1920s classic flapper dresses, the Valeria dress features wide-width straps and a scoop neck. Finished with decorative stitching, this 1920s style dress pays homage to the classic flapper by mimicking the heavy beading elements of the classic ladies dress through embroidered patterns.
Ladies 1920s Accessories
No classic flapper dress outfit is complete without the addition of a few stylish 1920s accessories. Whether it's the historically accurate cloche hat and round sunglasses for during the day or an elegant feather boa or beaded shawl for an evening, 1920s accessories were a must for any fashionable ladies outfit.
While we love the extravagant and dramatic style of 1920s accessories, we’ve toned things down a little with our beautiful beaded scarf. Simple and elegant, this beaded scarf is made from a sheer black fabric and is edged with delicate lines of silver beading. An elegant reincarnation of the beautiful beaded shawls and scarves of the roaring 20s, this beaded scarf styles effortlessly with a traditional flapper dress as well as more modern styles.
Add a 1920s style dress to your wardrobe at Lily Ella
Whether you’re looking for a modern take on the classic flapper dress or want something closer to the original designs, find beautiful 1920s style clothing for women online at Lily Ella.