Ain’t No Party Like a Roaring 20s Party – 80 Great Gatsby Outfits that are the Bee’s Knees!

Von John Griffith / July 26 2018

In 2013 Baz Luhrmann’s eponymous adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby hit theaters, reviving the public’s appetite for everything associated with the roaring 20s. Now, 5 years later, Gatsby-themed parties are as popular as ever. There are 1920s style weddings, birthday celebrations, and even corporate parties. But why does this distant era still capture people’s imaginations? What was life like back then? And, most importantly, what should you wear to a roaring 20s inspired event? We have the answers to all of these questions, as well as a extensive gallery of 80 Great Gatsby outfits, that are simply the bee’s knees!

Naturally, we can’t discuss Great Gatsby outfits without honoring the man himself – Jay Gatsby, played by Leonardo Di Caprio

great gatsby outfits, leonardo di caprio as jay gatsby, dressed in a white suit, brown vest and grey shirt, yellow tie and holding a cane

So, what was life in the 1920s like? And what was the roaring 20s attire?

The 1920s were an exciting era, with an abundance of innovations and technological advancements. Rising from the ashes of the Great War, it ushered in a whirlwind of changes in the way people behaved, dressed, and thought. Wardrobes in particular went though a dramatic transformation. As more and more young women began pursuing work in sectors, hitherto perceived as exclusively male, the fashion industry needed to evolve, in other to accommodate their needs. Impractical, restrictive clothes, such as corsets, and long trailing gowns and skirts, were ditched in favor of loosely fitting and comfortable undergarments, and snappy, low-waisted dresses. Designers like Coco Chanel pioneered the liberating “garconne” (or boyish) look, which included baggy clothes, knickerbockers and dungarees, making it possible for women to freely enjoy outdoor activities and exercise.

Carrey Mulligan as Gatsby’s beloved, Daisy Buchanan, dressed in a typical flapper dress

carey mulligan as daisy buchanan, wearing a light cream, embroidered silk dress, with a cream tulle side bow, and t-bar shoes, sitting in an antique armchair, great gatsby outfits

What are the signature Great Gatsby outfits?

However, this revolutionary style change was not merely a quest for comfort – it was also a rebellion against the suffocating limitations imposed on women at the time. Members of the fairer sex wanted the whole world to know that they were were a fully  functional part of society, earned top doller, and could dress however they saw fit. In turn, society responded by giving them the name flappers, meaning bright and independent, but flaky and hedonistic young women. There is no definitive explanation how the term “flapper” came to be, but some believe it had to do with a type of loose fitting rain boots, which were a fad among teenage girls, and “flapped” when worn.

Meanwhile, men’s fashion was also evolving. Brightly colored and boldly patterned accessories became increasingly popular, as did baggy trousers and sports sweaters. Hats and shoes, scarves, pocket handkerchiefs, ties and trouser suspenders became available in a mind-boggling variety of colors and styles, helping each youth find an original look, that underlined their individuality.

Three dapper gents sporting 1920s attire

three men in great gatsby outfits, grey three-piece patterned tweed suits, colorful ties and straw hats, two antique gramophones nearby

What to wear to a Gatsby themed party?

Although there are numerous sites which offer Great Gatsby outfits and party costumes, many are either overpriced or not very authentic. But fear not – recreating the glamorous roaring 20s style at home is, in fact, a lot easier than it sounds! For ladies, the key is having suitable hairdos, make-up and accessories. But how do you get them just right? Well, we have a comprehensive, 4 step process to get you started:

  1. First of all, you need to style your hair in a chic 1920s do. Although the iconic hairstyle associated with the era is the bob, you don’t necessarily need to cut your hair. Here is a nifty tutorial, explaining how to create a fake “finger wave” bob:

    And it’s easy enough to do at home!

     2. Now it’s time to do your make up! Remember: red lipstick, bold blush, and dark eyeshadows are a must!

    How to get that gorgeous (and historically accurate) flapper make up:

    3. Once your hair and make up are ready, it’s time to choose suitable attire. Any free-flowing, sleeveless midi or mini dress, decorated with fringed details, lace, embroidery or sequins will do. Strappy, slip-style models and LBDs also acceptable. As for the shoes – Mary Janes with straps, or t-bar shoes are most appropriate, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can also go for regular high heels or sandals.

    4. Finally, the most important touch – the accessories! To get the best results, you should get a flapper headband and an oversized knotted pearl necklace. Luckily, they are available at very affordable prices in most party and costumes stores, and shouldn’t cost you more than $20.

     Voila! Your Gatsby-inspired outfit is ready!

    women dressed in 1920s costumes, dresses in white, coral pink and black, great gatsby outfits, long pearl necklace, vintage headbands and a cloche hat

How to dress for a Great Gatsby themed party?

Gents going to a 1920s themed event can either choose the classic dandy look, or go for something a little edgier, like a vintage gangster costume. In both cases, a quality three-piece-suit is a must. As with ladies, hair and accessories should not be underestimated. Those wishing to look as polished and refined as Gatsby, should opt for a slicked-back hairstyle, combined with a tie and a pocket handkerchief in bright, playful colors. The look can be completed with brogue shoes, and a straw flattop hat in summer. Those who wish to attend dressed as vintage gangsters, on the other hand, should generally try to stick to darker colors, and accessorize with a Peaky Blinders-style cap or a fedora.

Stylish 1920s gangsters – Tommy Shelby and his posse, from BBC’s Peaky Blinders 

characters from bbc's tv series peaky blinders, dressed in 1920s attire, dark three-piece suits, and wollen caps, great gatsby outfits, woolen winter coats

Another excellent tutorial, with Great Gatsby outfit ideas for couples:

Anabelle Wallis in a stunning embroidered 1920s gown

peach pink flapper dress, embroidered with white beads, worn with a cream satin coat, featuring a white lace trim, and crochet lace gloves, great gatsby outfits, annabelle wallis in peaky blinders

We hope you’ve found our tips useful! For more awesome style ideas, check out our fashion section. We have a great article on vintage wedding dresses, as well as lots of info on 50s, 80s and 90s clothing!

And now, enjoy our Great Gatsby outfits gallery!

A lookbook full of ideas

It’s hard not to love this indulgent, vintage glam!

room with three mirrors, gold details on its walls, three lit antique chandeliers, and an ornate carpet, with two women, dressed in great gatsby outfits, with furs and feathers

A flapper bride? Why not!

wedding gown in 1920s flapper style, featuring gold embroidery, and short sheer sleeves, great gatsby outfits, on a blonde young woman

Chic vintage preppy outfit for guys

great gatsby costumes, young man wearing a navy blue blazer, with rope-like trims, over white trousers, and a white shirt with a striped tie, brooks brothers label

You can never wear too much sparkle to a Gatsby themed event

ornamental diamante flapper headband, worn by a young woman, with 1920s make up and hairstyle, and several necklaces, great gatsby costumes, what to wear to a gatsby themed party

Stylish, charming and energetic – the quintessential flapper

gatsby dress in off-white, featuring art deco-style, silver colored embroidery, with beads and a fringed hem, on a laughing brunette woman

Vintage photo inspiration

roaring 20s dress, on a smiling woman, with a fur shawl and a hat, sitting next to a laughing man, in a vintage suit, authentic antique photo

authentic vintage images, in black and white, of three women, dressed in flapper outfits, with large feathers and headbands, roaring 20s dress

models from the 1920s, posing in revealing flapper dresses, featuring sheer details and embroidery, roaring 20s dress, long necklaces and bob cuts

Be the star of the party, in a stunning black sequin gown

sequined shimmering black flapper gown, with fringed hem, worn by a brunette woman, with black t-bar shoes, and long black gloves, gatsby dress

tulle hat in white and black, worn by a woman in black and white dress, smoking a cigarette, great gatsby costumes, in an antique car, next to a man smoking a cigar, what to wear to a gatsby themed party

black fringed dress, worn with long black satin gloves, decorated with diamante jewelry, on a woman with a black headband, featuring a red feather, great gatsby costumes, long pearl necklace

A gorgeous, and authentic-looking costume like this, can cost you $100 or more! (It’s totally worth it though!)

nude pink gatsby dress, featuring shiny silver embroidery, with art deco motifs, on a dark-haired young woman, wearing matching nude pink t-bar shoes

young men's great gatsby costumes, black trousers and shirt, worn with a striped vest, beige trousers and a pinstripe shirt, worn with a black vest, straw flattop hats

maxi dress in nude pink, with sheer sleeves, and gold embroidery, featuring art deco motifs and beads, worn by slim brunette woman, with a matching pink headband

If you’re looking for flawless 1920s style inspiration, re-watch Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby (2013)

still from baz luhrmann's the great gatsby, featuring leonardo di caprio and carey mulligan, in great gatsby costumes, surrounded by white flowers

images from the set of the great gatsby, leonardo di caprio, tobey maguire and others, dressed in great gatsby costumes, three piece suits, trousers with suspenders, straw flattop hats

sketch of the great gatsby, in a pale pink three piece suit, next to an image of leondardo di caprio, dressed in a similar outfit, great gatsby costumes, for the 2013 motion picture, great gatsby mens clothing

The ladies of Peaky Blinders

female characters from bbc's peaky blinders, wearing flapper-style attire, low-waisted dressed and wrap coats, roaring 20s dress ideas for parties

cillian murphy and two of his co-stars, dressed as 1920s british gangsters, standing in or next to an antique car, 20s mens fashion

elderly couple dressed in 1920s inspired clothes, kissing in front of a black antique car, red dress and black smocking

And here are some lovely 1920s hair and make up ideas:

nose stud and eyeliner, bright red lipstick and a silver flapper-style headband, worn by a young woman, in a white and red top

several chunky necklaces, and a black flapper headband, worn by a young woman, in sheer black lace top, and 1920s make up

close up of a woman's face, with cherry red lipstick, purple eyeshadow and fake lashes, and black hair, styled in a 1920s bob

How gorgeous is this cheery red lipstick?

wavy bobbed brunette hair, worn by a woman with 1920s make up, dark eyeshadow and red lipstick, backless dress covered with silver sequins

faux vintage photo, with a sepia tint, showing a close up of a woman's head, hair and make up styled like a 1920s flapper

feather in black, decorating the black headband, of a woman with 1920s flapper make up, painted eyebrows and smoky eyes, bright red lipstick

Her majesty the flapper!

digitally painted images, of two young women, with flapper style hair and make up, one wearing a brown dress, and the other a white slip

headdress in shimmering silver, on a woman with short black hair, and bold make up, wearing a beige and gold flapper gatsby dress, with pearls and beads

six young women, wearing evening dresses in different colors, decorated with vintage accessories, gatsby dress, feathered headbands and long gloves, a sheer lace shrug, and long pearl necklaces

Charming and creative suggestions for couples’ costumes

happy-looking couple, sitting next to each other, wearing a short-sleeved patterned shirt, and a black vest, and a white retro gown, straw hat and feathered headband


curly blonde woman, wearing a 1920s, art deco-inspired black dress, standing next to a man, in black trousers and white shirt, with suspenders and a bowtie, retro car in the background, great gatsby mens clothing

Vintage charm in white

fluffy white fur coat, worn over a white silky midi dress, by a brunette woman, with a small white hat, and nude colored pumps, leaning on a green, decorative metal fence

beads and silver embroidery, on a nude pink maxi dress, worn with lots of jewelry, by a brunette woman, standing next to a woman, in a white gatsby dress, with lace and embroidery

smiling women posing for a photo, one dressed in a midi, black roaring 20s dress, with t-bar shoes, a headband and long pearl necklaces, the other is in a similar dress in pale pink, how to dress up for a roaring 20s party

Travel back in time, to an age of wild parties and glamour!

bar decorated in 1920s art deco style, with three women in flapper gowns, and three men in smockings, roaring 20s dress, and sequined hats

mock-antique black and white photo, featuring laughing and talking young people, dressed in roaring 20s dress, and holding glasses

20s mens fashion, suspenders in black, a white shirt, and black trousers, worn by a smiling man, with stubble on his face, and one hand in his pocket

How to dress like Gatsby:

how to dress like jay gatsby, 20s mens fashion, white two-piece suit, brown vest and blue shirt, with a yellow patterned tie, two tone oxford shoes, yellow pocket handkerchief and a cane

party costume of a 1920s gangster, black and white pinstripe trousers, and matching vest, black shirt and a white tie, 20s mens fashion, a fedora and retro shoes

assortment of costumes and accessories, for a 1920s themed party, man in a retro gangster costume, woman in a black flapper dress and blonde wig, gloves and a feather boa

Authentic vintage flapper dresses

examples of roaring 20s dress, five gowns in brown and black, featuring low waists, fringe details and embroidery, worn by mannequins

collage showing three images of women, dressed in 1920s attire, cream embroidered dress, worn with a feathered pearl headband, white dress with pearls, carey mulligan with a pink flapper dress, how to dress up for a roaring 20s party

brick mansion, standing behind a croup of dancing people, all dressed in roaring 20s fashion, flapper dresses and headbands, trousers with suspenders and shirts

More Great Gatsby outfits to inspire you

cloche hat in white and black, and gold and pearl earrings, above six roaring 20s fashion inspired dresses, one worn by a blonde woman, with hands on her hips

vest in beige, patterned yellow tie, dark brown pocket handkerchief, two-tone oxford shoes, cufflinks and a blue shirt, 20s mens fashion, white and beige suit

full-body and close up images, of a woman in a black, gatsby inspired dresses, with long fringed hem, and silver art deco embroidery, she's wearing 1920s make up, and holding a long cigarette

Which dress would you choose?

teal and black, grey and pink, pale blue and cream, and sheer navy, gatsby inspired dresses, with silver art deco embroidery, fringe details and seqins

skirt with fringe in black, and a cream embroidered top, next to two gatsby inspired dresses, in gold and silver, surrounded by 1920s accessories

old page from a 20s mens fashion magazine, with eight color illustrations, of men in vintage suits and hats, holding coats and canes

Now THAT’S what you call dancing skills!

hall with a retro ornamental carpet, and a decorated ceiling, people dressed in roaring 20s fashion, dancing and flipping int he air

ten women in formal dresses, inspired by the 1920s, and accessorized with faux fur shawls, long pearl necklaces, headbands and other items

trousers in black, worn with suspenders, a white shirt and a beige vest, and a brown bowtie, 20s mens fashion, on a smiling man with a cap, and forearm tattoos

Ready to party!

cream and white and nude pink, elaborately embroidered gatsby inspired dresses, on four smiling women, with 1920s hairstyles and accessories, how to dress up for a roaring 20s party

convertible blue antique car, with brown leather interior, driven by a young woman with bobbed hair, hugged by a man in a mauve blazer, roaring 20s fashion, another couple in the background

dancing people dressed in roaring 20s fashion, on a green lawn near a house, set table in one corner, woman in a green, embroidered flapper dress, man in a smocking

Designer fashion inspired by the 1920s

contemporary clothes in pale pink and white, inspired by roaring 20s fashion, midi dress with a blazer, floaty floral dress with a cloche, pinstripe suit with a fedora

greyscale faux vintage photo, showing a group of women, all dressed in gatsby inspired dresses, with feather boas, long pearl necklaces, smiling and posing for the camera

friends dressed in roaring 20s inspired outfits, smiling at the camera, and holding drinks, flapper dressed with hats and headbands, smart trousers with vests and suspenders

Kids can join in the fun too: an adorable flapper outfit is a great idea for Halloween!

children and a young women, all wearing gatsby inspired dresses, in various colors and styles, accessorized with headbands and feather boas

red antique car, speeding on a bridge, inside are a group of black youths, drinking champagne and partying, dressed in roaring 20s fashion

advice on how to dress like gatsby, leonardo di carprio, in a black smocking, with shining lapels, white shirt and a bowtie, hands in his pockets, 20s mens fashion, black patent shoes

The ideal flapper dress – shimmering gold, Art Deco motifs, and a luxurious fringed hem!

sleeveless gatsby themed dress, in black and silver and gold, featuring a v-shaped neckline, and a long fringed gold hem

shots from two film adaptations of the great gatsby, showing mia furrow and carey mulligan, in gatsby inspired dresses and accessories, magazine cover and sketch, great gatsby themed party outfit

satin gatsby themed dress in brown, on a woman with flapper headdress, three young women in long 1920s gowns, close ups of models and actors in vintage makeup

Amazing combination between 1920s fashion and African art

gatsby inspired dresses, four black female models, wearing white and multicolored gowns, decorated with 1920s details, and bold floral motifs

group of women, each in a different gatsby themed dress, pale blue and silver, turquoise and black, pink and purple, red and gold, all with embroidery and fringe details

champagne flutes in the hands of three women, each dressed in a gatsby themed dress, pale peach silk with silver embroidery, black satin slip-style gown, in a room with classical decor

Great Gatsby outfits don’t get any cooler than this

white gatsby themed dress, with silver at deco embroidery, on a woman with 1920s flapper make up, and brunette hair styled in a mock-bob

evening gowns in black and beige, decorated with gold sequins, and shimmering embroidery, gatsby themed dress, on two young blonde women, holding clutch bags

young women with flowers in their hair, wearing gowns inspired by 1920s fashion, low waists and lace, embroidery and applique, gatsby themed dress

Two dapper gents going on a picnic

roaring 20s fashion, two smiling men, wearing cream and white 1920s suits, and falttop hats, walking on a street, one of them is holding a picnic basket, great gatsby themed party outfit

gatsby themed dress in peach pink, with cream-colored vintage lace trims, around its collar and hem, fastened with a metal brooches at the side

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