I adore 1920s styles. They’re not easy for everyone to wear, but I think there’s something really beautiful about how they capture the transition from an earlier mode of dress to what we would now consider modernity. The clothes also reflect the changing status of women in society. Gone were the restrictive corsets (I mean, I actually like wearing a corset, but it’s also such a relief to take if off at the end of the day. I can’t even imagine having to lace into one virtually EVERY DAY of my adult life), the long, full skirts, the heavy mounds of hair piled up to emphasize a slender neck. I really can’t imagine just how light and free women must have felt when the new fashions took hold. Literally. Shucking 10 lbs of underwear will do that for you.
I feel like there’s a lot of love in the vintage community for 20s style, but there’s a much higher barrier of entry to it than there is to, say, 1950s style. For starters, there’s just way less of it. A dress from 1926 would be 90 years old this year. Pieces from that decade are out there, but they’re rare, they’re fragile, and they’re really expensive, particularly if they’re in a really wearable condition. On top of that, the 20s never really came back the way that other decades have. You can find 30s inspired looks from the 90s, and 40s and 50s inspired styles from the 80s, but there wasn’t really a point where people were like “let’s dress like it’s the 20s again!” in a widespread way. Certain details popped up in other eras – beading, fringing, dropped waists – but, at least in my experience, it’s unusual to come across a dress from a later era that truly feels like a 20s piece.
Given how much love there is among vintage and repro loving folks for the styles of the decade, I really hope more brands start producing clothes in that style. I feel like a lot of people would be more into trying to get the 20s look if it was a bit easier to do. Of course, I could be wrong, and people might enjoy looking at it way more than they like wearing it, but I know I eagerly snap up anything that reminds of me of the 20s.
Because it’s so unusual, it’s always really exciting to see someone who does 1920s looks, and does them well. Here are some of my favorite 20s loving Instagrammers for your inspirational style needs.
Mary Beth Hale (@domesticrebus)
This vintage seller creates some of the most amazing images of early 20th century vintage. Her photos are always beautifully lit, and I love how natural, not costume-y, she makes the clothes feel.
Kyeseung Cho (@cks7412)
I only recently started following this account, but I love his dapper style. Whether he's wearing a suit or more casual attire, he always looks perfectly put together and accessorized. I will definitely be taking some cues from his looks the next time I'm rocking some menswear.
Another vintage seller with absolutely impeccable personal style. I love scrolling through her account and admiring her sleek bob and wearable 20s outfits.
Easily one of the dreamiest, most aspirational accounts on Instagram for me. This gorgeous gal seems to have an entire squad of vintage vixens, and every photo she puts up is absolutely stunning. I had a hard time picking a favorite photo, but this Marlene inspired New Year's Eve outfit was just too fabulous not to choose.
Tallulah Wilde (@tallulah_wilde)
Vintage lover, burlesque dancer, and incredibly talented seamstress. Tallulah is yet another woman who makes me want to bob my hair, rouge my knees, and learn the Charleston. And speaking of rouging my knees...
I think more than anyone on this list, Isabella illustrates how well 1920s styles can mesh with a modern life. I love her playful sense of style, and how well she does 20s style with both womenswear and menswear.
Katherine Cole (@cestkcole)
How fabulous is this gorgeous creature? She really looks like an illustration from the 20s. I love her beautiful collection of 20s dresses, and she always polishes her looks off with the perfect accessories, hair, and makeup.
Dandy Wellington (@dandywellington)
This New York City band leader and fashion god is so perfectly on point that I assume other vintage loving men leave the room crying when he walks in. Here's a guy who's not afraid to experiment with different styles and colors, and it's really refreshing to see.
Jezabel Rico (@kikobellandvalentin)
So I actually know Jezabel slightly, and she is just as gorgeous in real life as she is in photos. She and her husband both consistently rock retro styles and dance to hot jazz, even with a baby in tow.
Leticia Mazariegos (@greengalosh)
This girl manages to put together the most stunning, period perfect 20s look. It's amazing! Her feed is an absolute treasure trove of not just her own looks, but beautiful 1920s inspiration.
Isabel Barense (@isabelbarense)
Such a jazz baby. Am I a little jealous that a 17 year old has a better wardrobe than I do? Would I cheerfully dropkick a puppy for a couple of pairs of her sunglasses? Will I keep asking questions that we all know the answer to is "yes?" Yes. I was not this cool at 17. Chances are, I will never be this cool. But hey, what's life without goals?
So what do you think of my little list? Any particular folks you'd add to this list of dapper flappers and dudes?