Thrifting for the Twenties

We love the Twenties! Well, we love the fashion, style, moxie, and a few other things. Don’t worry, we’re not excited about the racism, diseases, etc. We don’t yearn for the return of Prohibition and associated gang warfare. But the clothes? Yes, please!

Amandoll at Sea by Amanda Wood

Flapper clothes have been a mainstay of costumery for many years now, decades even. But those are cheaply made and not exactly accurate. Online retail stores selling mock ’20s styles are not uncommon, but prices can get pretty high because of all that sequins. What are we, made of money?

Today, we will help you if you too want to look very fabulous in your own amazing “roaring” twenties looks. Even better, add your own stylistic twist and make them modern. After all, we aren’t our great grandparents!


  • loose with straight lines
  • knee-length or longer
  • no fringe or super fancy details
  • layers or ruffles for going out

Remember that these garments were hand-sewn more often than not. Fringe and other intricate details would have been costly or impossible for the average person. Some of the most expensive dresses were beaded, if you want to lean toward that style.

Dollissa at Sea by Amanda Wood

Pick something that your sexiest friend would never wear, that they’d shout “I am not wearing that potato sack!!!!” about. If you don’t see the right style dress, find something simple in few colors, then grab some accessories.

For a less formal look, any knit sweater or vest with a straight skirt in muted colors will do. This should be relatively easy to find in any thrift store. This seems like it might have been the first era where women were able to dress comfortably. They did away with their corsets and needed to be able to dance wildly at a moment’s notice, so keep that in mind.


To go with a dress, you’ll want to find low-heeled shoes. Some favorites then were lace-up oxfords, mary janes, or the t-strap style. All of these styles are adorable, but may be hard to find when thrifting. If so, plain-looking pumps should do.

If you prefer flat shoes, oxfords and saddle shoes would go perfectly. Or any plain looking flat lace-up shoe in white, black, or brown. And get some nice stockings or tights while you’re at it — best not to get them in a thrift store of course. They would maybe show their knees back then but didn’t show off their whole bare stems


  • A hat is essential for any 1920s outfit, unless you’re going out for dinner and dancing when you’ll instead want a crown, headband, or other hair decoration.
  • Find a beaded purse that’s too small to hold more than lipstick and a cigarette. No lighter needed, as everyone should be falling over themselves trying to light your cigarette, you beautiful bitch.
  • Do not worry about where you will put your modern luxuries such as your phone. It should be used like the make up compacts of old: constantly in your hand so that you can look at your perfect face.
  • Put a thin belt around your hips. The goal is to make it look like you have no shape at all, like a cardboard tube.


Menfolk, to embody the class of the 1920s all you have to do is become clean shaven. Please, please start shaving again. We don’t care about the rest.

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