Friday, March 5, 2010

Guest post: Why flappers are amazing

This post was contributed by Sara Bimmel, who writes about Halloween costumes over at

If I had to pick just one favorite idea or concept from the 1920s, it would be the flapper. Obvious, right? Flappers have always been fascinating to me—their jewelry, their wanton looks, those perfectly styled coifs . . . I’ve tried mixing “the flapper look” into my own style too many times to count, but it always turns out to be a spectacular failure. I’m convinced no modern woman can possibly look like an authentic flapper unless she’s being professionally styled in a period movie with a huge budget. Still, that’s no reason not to celebrate the real flappers of the ‘20s!

At the tender age of just over 20, the Swede Greta Garbo was starring in a number of blockbuster hits: Flesh and the Devil, Love, and The Mysterious Lady. She was scouted out by a director for her screen presence, and I think I have to agree with that—this flapper lady always seems to look cool, confident, and sexy, no matter how much lipstick she’s wearing or how big her hat is.

Clara Bow, star of the film It, was the same age as Greta but had a different look about her. Clara was a bit rougher around the edges, but to me, she exemplifies the flapper with that bob and a little bit of a mischievous look in her eye, as if she’s always going to one-up you. Like Greta, she always looked gorgeous and confident, no matter what she was wearing—a tough feat when some of those get-ups look like full-out costumes.

Despite her unsexy first name, Norma Shearer, star of Lady of the Night, had absolutely exquisite flapper hair and managed to become a screen icon of the ‘20s. She also looked hot in sequins and enormous hats—feats that few now-living ladies can pull off.

Louise Brooks debuted the classic bob style and had a Betty Page look about her. She starred in A Girl in Every Port and Beggars of Life, although her biggest accomplishment may have been making a typical haircut for a 12-year-old look smokin’ hot on a grown woman.

So there you have it. Those flappers of the 1920s are still awesome, 90 years later. Writing this post has even inspired me to give it another go . . . now where’s my pearl necklace?

[Lolita's note: Seriously folks - check out! Lovely site. Personally, I think I will go as a German beer maid next Halloween. Costumes in the category gangsters/flappers are here.]

Do the Charleston!


Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist! said...

great post, I enjoyed the pictures. the 1920s/Jazz Age, along with the late 1970s punk explosion, are my two favourite decades of the 20th century-- and I would like to visit both decades if I had a time machine.

Christopher said...

I think girls possibly had more fun than guys in the 1920s..

Sally said...

Great post!! I love the flapper look so I always love reading about it and I really enjoyed all the photos!