FINISHING TOUCHES: 1920S EVENING STYLE

Posted by: Sarah Spenser on July 14, 2016

Filed under: Staff Recommendations


Finishing touches really lift an outfit, and if you have a specific period you're dressing to, you'll want to get it right. In this blog I'm going to give you some simple finishing touches to add to your outfit with your flapper dress (or flapper style dress).

More than anything, though, you should look like you, from the 1920s. Not you in a 1920s costume. Because there is a big difference.

Hair: 

Don't worry if you don't have a bob as short and crisp as Louise Brooks. If you do have an existing bob/cut above your shoulders, just have it sharpened up with a fresh trim before the party. If you have longer hair, and a bit of time, practice setting your hair in pin curls and lightly brush them out for a Marcel Wave. Got more hair than you know what to do with? Sweep it all into a low bun, to the side of the nape of your neck. 

Make up:

This may be the key finishing touch if it's the only one you can easily do. Keep your foundation pale and even, and if you use blush you'll want it on the apples of your cheek. No contouring!

For me, the key to this look is thin, straight brows. If you're not brave enough to pluck your brows into oblivion, I can't say I blame you. Cover your natural brows with concealer and foundation, and draw them in with a pencil.

Keep the eyes simple. Black kohl liner pencil smudged and mascara is all you need. You can go full on smokey eye if you like, although it's not necessary if it's not what you'd normally do. If you go for colour, make it blue. May I be clear here though: no flicked eye liner!

The final piece in the puzzle is a matte red lip with a pointed cupids bow. Make sure you're using lip balm in the run up to the party though, as matte lippies can dry out your pout. Don't be afraid to cover up your natural lips with foundation and then draw them in with lip pencil, before filling in with lipstick.

Shoes:

Here is where you effort can come undone. Please! If your shoes are not comfortable, then the whole look is ruined! People won't see your beautiful outfit, they'll see you jiffling uncomfortably, or only notice the fact you're walking oddly. If you struggle regularly to find nice shoes, then go for a simple court shoe, Mary Jane or T-Bar in black, with the highest heel height you are comfortable with. 

I'll just take this opportunity to point out that we have some seriously beautiful shoes of this period that will shock you with how comfortable they are.

Handbag:

This is a real chance of you to indulge in a divine occasion bag! Google 'vintage flapper bag' and enjoy salivating over the jewelled, shimmering, chain mail style designs! The majority of those bags are made by heritage brand Whiting and Davis, who have been making these creations since 1867 and are still going strong! Now, guess who is the exclusive UK stockist of them....

Jewellery: 

When I'm styling a 1920s outfit in store, the way I tend to approach it is to put on ALL the sparkles and pearls, and then slowly take things off piece by piece, until the level of glitz is one that my model is comfortable with. Remember, you want to look like you from the 1920s, not you in a costume.

A good motto is 'as well as, not instead of'.... so start with a short sparkly chain AND a long set of pearls. Choose statement earrings AND diamante hair slides. Go for a sparkly bracelet and a cocktail ring.

 

Forehead bands are a lovely addition- but remember that it is a commitment to wear. Make sure it's securely fixed to your hair (like with some secret elastic and pins), and try to find one that looks more ornate and real. Sequinned headbands are all well and good but not my cup of tea.

Happy accessorising!


Posted by

Sarah Spenser

Our London store manager and general knowledgeable person, Sarah has lots of opinions on lots of things! She's known by our customers for her straight no-nonsense talk and keen eye for an excellently put together outfit. She hosts most of the Top-to-Toe appointments and runs the London team Instagram. (@RevivalRetro_TeamLondon)