A Flapper Dream

*Top now available in Pretty Bones Jefferson Boutique here!

These were taken a couple of weeks ago for the listing of this flapper top in my boutique, and I’ve held them for a while because not many shots did the piece justice. The light was a little difficult on the day, as it was late in the afternoon and a cloudy day. The greying dome was was sending down drizzles intermittently as it often does in Dublin around the year, so there was a good bit of nervous watching of the sky.

Top: vintage 80s Chello (London)

Skirt: altered from an A|Wear empire waist top

I do have a not-so-slight fascination with the 1920s flapper dress style, as I’m sure many of us do. To me it was the beginning of modern fashion, when corsets were set aside, big skirts diminished, hems went up, and everything became less structured and less strait-jacketed. I can totally understand the explanations for the origin of the word “flapper” that associates it with the birds’ flapping wings, as the light fabric and fringes of this fashion, cut generously, do hang and flap around one’s body as one moves, and one feels either like a bird or being covered in birds.

And because it’s the start of modern silhouettes, flapper makes me feel slightly unconfident or perhaps more accurately, unready, as due to my fashion education from my Victorian-child-novel-loving mother and my own involvement with Victorian-themed projects, I really seem to have been invested mostly in the Victorian silhouette, with defined waists and big, generous skirts. My collection vintage and modern clothes are often based on the idea of the Victorian revival, though I’ve also recently started taking more inspiration from the Edwardian era which has been giving me a lot outfit ideas but which, is another story.

I often doubt if I am the right body type for flapper dresses – because for some reason I feel as if I ought to have a flatter physique for them, or I would not look boyish enough? Or maybe I’m just not getting used to my look in drop waist yet – it’s difficult!

But I actually felt quite at ease with this flapper outfit, maybe because I had a little more control around the waist region where I had the skirt underneath sitting on my waist. But the overall layered look is that of a drop waist with a lot of “flap”. I liked how this top can be combined with other skirts of different lengths and cuts to create an almost infinite range of different “dress looks”. It was a a great find from one of my recent sourcing trips, and I just picked it up because I liked the material and tailoring, but it was JEG who saw in an instant that it was decidedly in 20s style.

I’m quite fond and proud of the black chiffon skirt used in this outfit, as I had altered it from a A|Wear top and it was something that I really needed. It was an empire waist and somehow didn’t fit me very well, but I liked the flow of the chiffon and decide to just get rid of the part above the high waist to turn it into a skirt (some sewing was involved). It’s a great basic piece and I’ve also sometimes worn it as a short petticoat.

If you’d like to see more photos of the top and outfit (somewhat more matter-of-fact shots) and the measurements, it’s listed in the Pretty Bones Jefferson shop here. It really is a darling and, I think, a great piece to add some flapping flair to any wardrobe and a quick step into the 1920s world.

(Photos by JEG)

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