Flapper Girl

Flapper Girl – get the look!

Over the last week, I’ve been focusing on the iconic flapper girl style. Before I continue to explore the 1920’s wardrobe in detail, here’s the key items to achieve a flapper look – perfect for that Gatsby inspired theme party!
All items are on sale on ebay.

You can also look extensively at this style here.


Flapper Slang

Along with their new trends and social statements, flapper girls invented their own slang, flapper_julysome of which still makes an appearance in our vocabulary today.

Some of it is indicative of these women’s growing liberation: “handcuff” was a slang term for engagement ring, “hush money” was allowance from a father, and “dropping the pilot” meant getting a divorce.

This generation even had their own magazine,“The Flapper”, whose tagline was “Not for Old Fogies”, that catered to the movement.

Read on below to get in touch with your inner flapper and brush up on the lingo from the 1920s. Are you a tomato, a hopper or a Trotzky?

flapper slang


Flapper Girls Photographs

Here’s some amazing original 1920’s photos showing the flapper girl style. I love finding original vintage photographs with good quality. You can see everything in such detail!
You can find these and more on my pinterest and tumblr. Enjoy! x

Fashion Photography by Edward Steichen in the 1920s and 1930s (4)




Etymology of the word “flapper”

a6d837816db0fec8f6d0bcef06731bd3There is debate over what the etymology of the word “flapper” really is.

Perhaps from flapper “young wild-duck or partridge” (1747), with reference to flapping wings while learning to fly, of which many late 19th century examples are listed in Wright’s “English Dialect Dictionary” (1900), including one that defines it as “A young partridge unable to fly. Applied in joke to a girl of the bread-and-butter age.”

But other suggested sources are late 19th century northern English dialectal use for “teen-age girl” (on notion of one with the hair not yet put up), or an earlier meaning “prostitute” (1889), which is perhaps from dialectal flap “young woman of loose character” (1610s).

Any or all of these might have converged in the 1920s sense. Wright also has flappy, of persons, “wild, unsteady, flighty,” with the note that it was also “Applied to a person’s character, as ‘a flappy lass,'” and further on he lists flappy sket (n.) “an immoral woman.”

In Britain the word took on political tones in reference to the debate over voting rights.

In the years following World War I, the word was increasingly used to describe a fashionably dressed, impulsive young woman and by the 1920s, it was used to describe “modern” young women who broke traditional rules of both appearance and behavior.

“Flapper” is the popular press catch-word for an adult woman worker, aged twenty-one to thirty, when it is a question of giving her the vote under the same conditions as men of the same age. [“Punch,” Nov. 30, 1927]

Sources: |

Zelda Fitzgerald

Today’s post is dedicated to Zelda Fitzgerald. I must confess I didn’t know much about her (apart from being F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife and muse), even though she was one of the biggest icons of the 1920’s.

I have seen many pictures of her and I also knew she was famous for her incredible beauty and charisma. So, I decided to do a little research about her actual personal life and found this.

When you start reading, it kind of suggests that you’re about to be amazed. Being married with the great Scott, you probably expect a life full of excitement and fulfilment. However, a few paragraphs down – what a surprising twist!

I was really amazed and shocked at the same time. I definitely recommend to read more about her extraordinary life.

She will always be “the first flapper”.


“I don’t want to live, I want to love first and live incidentally.”
Zelda Fitzgerald

More pictures here.

Flapper Girl Fashion


The old “S” silhouette from the end of the 19th century was replaced by a more sophisticated and daring style. The hair got shorter, the line became more simplified and curves were hidden.

Women intended to stand out showing off their slim and young figure through the use of the shortest skirts possible (although they never revealed the knee), lower V shape necklines and dropped waists.

Flappers were the definition of the modern women of the 20th century.

flapper girl images


Chemise / Slip Dress:

  • shapeless and loose fit shift dress
  • low waist and straight line to enable active dancing
  • more feminine fabrics weighed down with elegant bead work and/or pleats. Silk was the favoured fabric in chiffon, velvet and taffeta . For the working class girl – the new fabric Rayon – an artificial silk, was the alternative.
  • shorter hemlines than before but never revealing the knee
  • thin straps or sleeveless to create a revealing look.
flapper dress images
Amazing original 1920’s dresses found on

Hair, make-up:

  • short sleek hair – Bob cut, Eton crop and Shingle bob
  • red lips
  • heavily rouged cheeks
  • dark eyes, especially Kohl-rimmed, were the style
  • flappers were also rumoured to rouge their knees, and this is a part of the greater emphasis on legs crucial to the flapper persona

flapper hair images

Accessories and Shoes:

Accessories were a key part of the 1920’s look. The accessories were extravagant, big and opulent.

  • beaded bags and embellished head bands with designs taken from Art Deco and Egyptian style
  • pearls made famous by Coco Chanel
  • any accessories that flaunted outrageous behaviour, like the jewelled cigarette holder and ornate compact, were also popular
  • cloche hat
  • jewellery usually consisted of art deco pieces, especially many layers of beaded necklaces. Pins, rings, and brooches came into style
  • horn-rimmed glasses were also popular
  • evening shoes worn with daywear – cuban style and mary jane style
flapper acc shoesimages
All true vintage accessories found on

And that’s it for today! My next series of posts will be showing the key features of the 1920’s women’s wardrobe (tops, bottoms, outerwear, etc).

In the meantime, I would like to share with you my new Pinterest page where you can find all images from my research that I will be posting ont the blog. Follow me: 🙂

Have a nice weekend! X

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