Vintage Patterns - Vintage Fabric - Vintage Style
1920s | Dresses

Getting Ready for a 1920’s Revival

March 22, 2012

1920s fashion Do your retro sewing plans include 1920’s clothing this year? With the Artist winning the Academy Award for best picture, Ralph Lauren’s 1920’s inspired spring line, and the upcoming remake of the Great Gatsby movie we are in for a 1920’s revival. Once I started to see the trend (at about the same time I bought my vintage house build in 1920) I immediately got to work researching my next fashion history book: 1920’s Style Guide.

As part of my research I came across a great little booklet written by 20’s fashion designer Paul Poiret. In the booklet he gives advice on choosing the best fashions for your particular body. Your height, shape, hair color, and skin tone all play a part in determining what colors and styles of clothing will look best on you.

If you think 20’s dresses were made for thin ladies with no chest well you are in for a surprise. When looking at patterns you can choose a dress that features  certain necklines, colors, fabrics, and decorative details that enhance your look regardless if you fit the “normal” 20’s body or not. A well-chosen pattern, color and fabric can make or break your final outfit. I know I have personally made far too many outfits because I loved the pattern, or found a great fabric, but ultimately they were the wrong choice. That’s when I started to research fashion etiquette by decade and it’s made all the different in my clothing.

To help you get started with 1920’s fashion I put together a free little ebooklet capturing Paul Poiret’s advice for dressing in the best 20’s fashions for your body type. I’ve included some examples of clothing, hats and hairstyles to give you an idea of what patterns to choose. I have found it incredibly helpful already as I am beginning to work on a 1920’s garden party dress for a Great Gatsby tea party I am attending this summer.

1920's dresses
1920's Fashion for Your Body Type eBook

The 1920’s Fashion for Your Body type ebooklet is free to download, no registration required, and free to share with your friends and blog followers. It’s my little gift back to the vintage sewing community who have made my enthusiasm for sewing vintage clothing so much more addicting.  Thank you for the opportunity to share my latest project. I’ll be back again to share how my 1920’s party dress turns out!

What 20’s clothes are you planning to make this year?


  1. Hello Vintage Dancer,

    Welcome to the site! I’ve read your blog for some months now and recently shared one of your articles on my company’s Facebook page. I’m glad to see you joined, and I look forward to seeing what you have to share in the costume category!

    Happy sewing,


  2. What a lovely idea, I have never made anything vintagey yet but I love looking at what everyone else has done.
    Will take a look at your booklet to learn more about it but am unlikely to make anything yet 🙁

  3. The 1920’s aren’t my favorite, but did download & read your booklet with interest because I’m re-watching “The House of Elliot” series, which is mainly in the 20’s (2nd & 3rd years of BBC show).

    Now I understand more about the fashions of the day, and am most grateful!

  4. I am also seeing 1920’s silhouettes in L’Wren Scott, Maz Azria/BCBG and some other collections as well. I love it. I was hoping that Vogue would have issued a drop waist bias design this Spring but no, more 50’s. There is however, the 2 hour dress…. I find that Hollywood movies tends to focus more on the later 20’s when skirts were much higher but seriously, they never did get above the knee. I have not seen The Artist yet though. Thanks for the free ebook!

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