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Bringing Back Vintage

Monday, September 11, 2017

A glorious time for women, the 1920s were great for the world of fashion, which flourished. If you have been looking to adopt this new style in your wardrobe, Aakriti Patni tells you how

The 1920s was a glorious era for women’s rights. Bringing with it the end of World War 1, the 1920s saw not only an escalation of technology — motor cars, aviation and radios made waves — it also brought a change for the modern woman. Gaining independence financially, the modern woman was finally able to vote, get jobs and go on dates with the person of her choice. Supporting the new found image and power women had gained, the fashion trends moulded themselves to suit the modern woman’s personality.

Forgoing the characteristic look from the Victorian age (the heavy ball gowns, gloves and bonnets), women’s clothing was free-spirited and embraced their independence. Flapper dresses, cloche hats, art deco jewellery, beaded headbands and even bobbed hair, all began to dominate the fashion scene. Iconic fashion brands such as Coco Chanel, Lavin and Givenchy turned the fashion world on its head with their little black dresses, quaint hats and beaded pearl necklaces. Fresh air was breathed into the fashion world, as the art deco and expressionist movements began to influence the styles and trends of the 1920s. Free-flowing lines, vibrant colours and definitive cuts began characterising women’s wear.

An iconic era in fashion that did not return, a time that, it can be said, comprised of the golden years of fashion, the 1920s were truly revolutionary, and the classic 1920s look is perhaps not what you would wish to execute today. Yet it remains one of the trendiest and most fashionable looks. We look at Downtown Abbey’s Lady Mary in envy, with her dapper hairstyle, trendy dress and oh-so-stylish pearls, wishing we could have lived in that era. While we may not be able to go back in time, we can have history brought to us, with a few simple tricks. Here’s how to model the 1920s look.


The classic hat of the 1920s, the cloche hat was chic and elegant. A bell-shaped hat with adornments of flowers and feathers, it completed the woman’s look. Topping their day dresses with a touch of cuteness, it was the saving grace from the traditional bonnet and allowed women to accessorise fashionably. Popular period dramas based in the 1920s, such as Downtown Abbey and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, quite often have their heroines sporting the look of a flapper day dress with a delicate cloche hat. While recreating the vintage look, you can opt for a wide- brimmed hat, a close-fitting wide headband or a crocheted skullcap.

Patterned hats

Complete your vintage look with this adorable deep maroon cloche hat. Adorned with flowers on the side and layering on the body of the hat with a velvet finish, this is a typical 1920s cloche hat. Pair it with a soft, pastel dress, preferably in a soft pink shade; if you prefer a bolder look, put it on with a white shimmery dress for a formal evening look.

Pick it up for: Rs. 4,160 on


Heels were a no-no back then. No woman would be seen sporting heels when out for night of dancing. What can be best described as the classic Mary Jane shoes now, the 1920s shoes were rife with closed toes, a strap or buckle running across the foot and with a tiny heel or no heel at all. To complete your vintage look successfully, put your feet into the contemporary yet classic Mary Jane style shoes with minimal heel.

Mary Jane pumps 

A shoe that perfectly complements the glitz and glamour of your dress. Plain black with a strapped buckle, these shoes come with the slightest heel to satisfy those who simply cannot do without them. So, they serve as the perfect pair of shoes to wear with your black flapper dress, allowing you to sway to the beat.

Pick it up for: Rs. 20,590 on


The classic flapper dress from the 1920s was characterised by its straight a-line cut with a dropped waist and no sleeves. The dress was not supposed to show off the curves of a woman’s body; rather it was supposed to give a straight, flat outlook. But the dull cut of the dress was perked up with the shimmer and glitz with which the dress was usually adorned. Often worn as formal dresses, these were typically seen at parties, they were of darker tones and shades, and they were embellished with glittering beads, gold and sliver mesh work and deep V-shaped necklines. The day dresses, worn for afternoon tea parties and other gatherings, were simpler and seen in softer, pastel hue colours and with soft patterns, if not completely plain. 

Champagne feather fringes

A dab of art deco meets contemporary charm in this classic champagne-coloured flapper dress. Adorned with a dizzying geometric pattern and the traditional look of the ruffled tassels, this dress is quintessentially 1920s. With a matching attached underslip, this dress will be the perfect choice if you are trying to imitate the great 1920s era. You could also go for the classic black-sequenced flapper dress.

Pick it up for: Rs. 12,680 from


Unlike the previous fashion rules and etiquettes, the 1920s featured many accessories for women to spruce up their outfit. But soft, delicate jewellery such as dainty necklaces, wasn’t one of them. Rather, long strings of pearls or beaded chunky necklaces were in style. Long and skinny scarves and even long but elegant bows were sported by many women during the day and at night. Gloves were an essential part of the formal evening attrite and usually three-fourth satin or velvet gloves were worn for an authentic and traditional feel.

Satin touch

Another perfect accessory to complete your look with is the satin glove. You can opt for elbow-length or opera-length gloves to achieve the quintessential 1920s style, but we like these black stain elbow-length gloves from Light In The Box because they would simply lend the elegant touch that your outfit requires. While 1920s outfits shimmery and adorned with patterns and embellishments, the accessories, such as gloves, are on the minimalistic side, balancing your look.

Pick it up for: Rs. 671 on

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