Puttin’ on the Ritz: My 1920s Look

Welcome to Scarlet Thread Sunday, the day I share something I’ve learned in the labyrinth of life.

Today I’m not sharing wisdom really, but rather a fun experience and photos.

We have some friends who host an annual swing dance party. The theme was the 1920s. To get that authentic look, I researched the Roaring ’20s online. Rather than just going with the typical flapper costume, I tried to get a feel for what the fashion of the time was really like.

Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford, before she was Mommy Dearest
by Bain News Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Alice Joyce 1920s flapper dress
Now that is a gorgeous dress!
by Bain News Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I also consulted photographs from my grandmother’s collection–many of which showed persons we couldn’t identify. But they demonstrate the fashions of the time.

Sample photos from my grandmother
Photos from my grandmother (who was a flapper in the 1920s)

I also looked up hair and make-up tips for the 1920s look. And I found a video that was especially helpful:

My husband and I didn’t pull off the look quite so well that we got a call to appear in the sequel to The Great Gatsby (no, of course there’s no sequel) or the next season of Downton Abbey. But we did have fun getting dressed up and dancing to swing music from the 1920s.

Here’s the result:

20's party 2

Julie & husband dressed up

Enough of that flashback. Now let’s talk about the more recent past: my weekly progress report for the writing challenge called A Round of Words in 80 Days.

ROW80 Update

Finish YA contemporary novel, SHARING HUNTER, by completing three chapters each week. Bam! Knocked this one out this week. 

Take Short Stories 101 course from Young Adult RWA. The assignment from last week was to expand our 1,000-word short story to anything under 10,000 words. I managed to write about half of the expansion, and I’m pleased with that.

10 8 fiction books and 2 1 nonfiction books. I finished A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers and started Dangerous and Unseemly by K.B. Owen.

So how was your week? Did you dress up for Halloween, or some other costume event? What’s your favorite decade for fashion?

25 thoughts on “Puttin’ on the Ritz: My 1920s Look

  1. l dld dress up for Halloween. l was supposed to go to a party and parade at work, but dldn’t get to go to work that day because l got an appointment at the eye doctor for my dad on Halloween and had to go with him. So l dressed up to go visit them at the nursing home and was dressed up at the eye doctor’s office. That wasn’t too bad because others were in costume, too.

    Cool pics. We’ve got some of those in my mom and dad’s old photo albums. Since l am now the proud owner of 8 flash drives, l’m going to start saving them. l’ll have one for all the photos.

    This week l: went back to the old house and got some boxes of stuff for the charity yard sale at work
    Started NaNoWri and have written about 550 words (l plan to make up for that after l get back from the grocery)
    Finished reading “Red Velvet Cupcake Murder” by Joann Fluke and “Hopeless” by Colleen Hoover. Starting my SlL’s book about becoming Southern (she’s from the east coast)
    Got a haircut (at last!) and highlights (first time for highlights, l really started to go gray after my parents went to the nursing home
    Heard a lot of interesting stuff at the beauty shop that could go into books or short stories

    1. That sounds like a productive week! (And I had to look up Red Velvet Cupcake Murder, since I’m a mystery fan. Looks interesting!)

      You should definitely keep those old photo albums. I love looking through old photos of my grandparents. It helps me feel connected to them, all these years later.

      Thanks, Nancy!

  2. Mother (your grandmother) would LOVE that you put those pictures in about her ventures in the 20s — it was good to see them again. She certainly would have been proud to see her granddaughter and grandson-in-law paying homage to those times, and I know she’d be especially proud to see that her fur piece found such a great use in the 21st century!!

    1. Thanks, Mom. That fur piece is beautiful (and that animal’s been dead for ages; no reason not to wear its fur now). Grandma was rather stylish back then, and I could still kick myself for not keeping her entire hat collection!

  3. Can I like this more than once?! Julie Glover, you are soooo beautiful! I love your flapper look and the research you did. How cool your grandma was a flapper and you have those beautiful pictures of her. I didn’t even recognize Joan Crawford in that photo! I love the 20’s and their fashion. I think you’d make a great new character on Downton Abbey! What would your flapper name be? Trixie Darling? Beebee Cunningham? Do tell!

    P.S. If you’ve never read Flappers and Philosophers by F. Scott Fitzgerald, check it out! Great collection of short stories and my favorite is The Offshore Pirate!

    1. Ha! I like the idea of a flapper name. I was thinking Zelda or Fanny, until I remembered how popular flower names were back then! (My grandmother was named after one.) So how about Daisy, Violet, Rose, or Lily? 🙂

      I will pick up Flappers and Philosophers. I’m not familiar with it.

      And if Downton Abbey will have me, I’M ON!!!

      1. l love Joanne Fluke’s books. My cousln would llke those old plcs, but they’re mlne unless she wants to brlng her own scanner and scan them herself. l’m not lettlng them out of my slght. LOL! Some of them are prlceless lke the plcture of my great grandparents and the one of my mom when she was a llttle glrl and they dressed her up llke one of the Llttle Rascals. And there’s a classlc of my aunt holdlng the Amerlcan flag…her son has one copy and l have the other.

  4. What a fun idea for a party and you two look awesome! I’m not a Halloween person, prefer to view the night from the Celtic New Year angle.

    Fantastic week Julie! Wishing you more of the same this week!

  5. You looked great. I would love to have taken swing dancing when my hubby and I were young. It would have been so much fun. Now we’d just fracture something. 🙂
    Congrats on your writing and reading success. I hope it continues as the weeks fly by. (It’s Wednesday again. Can you believe it?)

    1. Thank you! Now I didn’t say that my hubby and I are any good at swing dancing! LOL. We’ve had a few lessons, and only know enough to not step on each other.

      And no, I can’t believe it’s Wednesday! How did that happen?!!!

  6. That does look like fun! Not only the dressing up,, but all that lovely research! =D

    I was born between the first moon landing and Woodstock. Guess it figures that I am very drawn to 60s dress, especially the hippie look…

    I’m really not much for fashion, but my daughter is. It’s fun seeing that world through her 9 year old eyes….soon. she’ll be getting her ears pierced, it seems.

    I’m doing well on my Nano goals, but not so well on blogging, this wee. Something had to give, and it was blogging. I think I can be very OK with that. I am loving my NaNo story, it’s flowing well, and other parts of life needed me more.

    Thanks for sharing your adventure with us! =D

    1. Yes, put the writing first. When I have a big writing project, I sometimes load up on blog post drafts ahead of time, because I know I won’t be able to blog regularly. (But sometimes, that doesn’t happen either.)

      The 1960s were such a mix of fashion, I think. Some of it I love, and a few things I’m like, “What were they thinking?!” Regardless, I’d love to have some Nancy Sinatra boots. Thanks for coming by!

  7. Love the old pictures and your costumes. Looks like the both of you would have fit in. I hope you kept away from the bathtub gin. : )

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