The Great Gatsby costume became famous after the Great Gatsby movie introduced a new wave of themed events in the 1920s. The ideal Great Gatsby dress is a sequinned or beaded short dress with fancy seams in neutral or black colour. For the evening Great Gatsby parties, flapper gowns were famous. Women’s Great Gatsby costumes came in a variety of shapes and colours and designs. However, plus size women found a bit difficult to get a Great Gatsby dress suiting to their body requirements.
With time, plus size Great Gatsby dresses too became popularised. A short history of the evolution of such outfits has been given below later. Gatsby dresses have always looked good on plus size women. Generally, maxi dresses or the ones that blend the western and Indian styles best suit their body type. In today’s time, designers are trying out new designs and experimenting with the plus size outfits, trying to create even better dresses to render women an even more gorgeous look.
This article guides in choosing a Great Gatsby outfit for plus size women. It also provides a list of the accessories that can be paired with the Gatsby dress to further look glamorous.
The emergence of Great Gatsby Dresses
When Lane Bryant started her fashion business, it became an instant success because she and her husband made efforts to research on the various body sizes of women in those times and produce outfits catering to every body size. Lane Bryant didn’t focus on making large-sized clothes only but wanted to make outfits that would enhance one’s comfort level and self-confidence. She aimed to make women feel their best in their outfits. With time, plus size outfits became more popular with various stores and other fashion designers producing designing and producing sich dresses. Every size was designed to flatter the entire body of the women by enhancing their appearance with minute details, flat fabrics, and subtle colours.
Gradually, we noticed the 1920s producing enough plus-sized outfits and dresses which women loved to wear. Flapper girl outfits catering to the needs of everybody size were kept in mind. Broad, bell-shaped sleeves having buttons and cuffs were made. Long flared skirts also became popular among plus-size women. So did elongated v neckline dresses. Tulle caps also became a fashion as they added a touch of youthfulness to the women.
Right Plus Size Great Gatsby dresses
As we already said, back in the 1920s, varieties of choices were available for plus size women to choose from. But it was of foremost importance to know their body size and what kind of dress would look on their body. Below given is a list of the various body sizes and how should a woman choose her Great Gatsby outfit as per her body shape.
Flapper outfit for pear-shaped women
Women having pear-shaped bodies carry their maximum weight in their hips and thighs. Look for Great Gatsby dresses that have an imposing upper part. In this case, your bust is supposed to be average-sized and you need to showcase your upper torso and waistline if you have a pear-shaped body. Prefer to wear wide neckline outfits which would accentuate your upper portion, thus drawing attention from your lower region. Also, prefer a dress having a defined and imposing waistline, which separates the upper torso from your lower one.
You can choose an outfit that is elaborately embellished on the upper part to divert people’s attention to the upper torso of your body. Wear outfits having gems, laces, geometric patterns, beads, and fringes. You can also choose short-sleeved dresses to draw attention to the upper region of your body. A beaded Great Gatsby outfit having a pair of sleek, delicate sleeves is exactly what you need. Apart from all these tips, choose a monochromatic coloured outfit to get the magnificent flapper girl look.
Flapper dresses for apple-shaped figures
If you have an apple-shaped body, you have a wide waistline. Naturally, all the attention goes to your waistline. Hence, you should search for dresses that break the focus from the waistline and draws attention to your legs and bust. To get your ideal flapper girl look, choose a dress that has a deep cut embellished or beaded neckline and which ends just above your knees. Choose V-shaped or broad necklines that direct everyone’s attention to your bare necks like sequins, beading, sweetheart necklines, or spaghetti straps. Having said this, wear your outfit confidently, and don’t be afraid to show off your legs!
Flapper dresses for hourglass figures
Hourglass figures have a perfectly proportioned bust and hip and a narrow waist in between. This curvy body shape fits in every type of dress you choose. Because of the perfectly defined and prominent body shape, you don’t have to focus on any particular body part. There’s no need to accentuate your upper or lower torso. You can pick up any kind of Great Gatsby outfit of your choice in this case. Don’t just choose from the classic collections of flapper dresses. In today’s time, several contemporary interpretations of the Gatsby dress have been produced. Do check them too.
Flapper dresses for rectangular shaped figures
If you have a straight figure or a rectangular one, focus on dressed having horizontal lines running from yop to bottom of your outfit. Avoid dresses that have lines running vertically. Apron styled house dresses or outfits which have large patch pockets on the front and a broad sash belt will look Great on women having a straight figure. You can even choose to wear a simple, plainly embellished tunic dress. It would give more width to your look.
If you choose a dress with a plain finish, go for fabric works on them. Try outfits having brocades, fun patterns, or linen on them. Also, you can choose outfits with gathers, drapes, flounces, and pleats. Layers of silk, velvet, or chiffon would increase your body’s volume and proportionately balance your height. To add more height to your upper torso, wear scarves, fur wraps, wide collars, etc.
Choosing the right Great Gatsby accessories for your flapper outfit
Gatsby’s outfits are incomplete without proper accessories. Below given is a list of the Gatsby accessories that you can pair up with your Great Gatsby dress
1920s Plus Size Great Gatsby Flapper shoes
You can opt to wear a simple pair of black heeled pumps and render an exact flapper girl look in your Great Gatsby outfit. To add more glamour and look even more smashing you can wear a set of Mary Janes or T strap heels in silver, gold, or black colour. You can even choose black heeled shoes having gold heels and some little works of crystal on the buckles. There were shoes of various styles apart from the ones mentioned that women preferred back in those times like multi-strap shoes.
However, remember not to wear extra thin heels or stilettos or sandals. Since you have to dance all night at your prom or Great Gatsby party, you must wear a comfortable pair of shoes. You can even wear simple pumps for your event. To make them attractive, you can paint and peel and stick rhinestones to them. There are a wide variety of flat or high heel options available for 1920s style great Gatsby shoes.
Women in the 1920s also wore stockings to parties and not in naked legs. For the day, black stockings were mostly preferred but for the evening parties, women preferred to wear nude stockings or a slightly darker skin shaded one. When Great Gatsby dresses of blue, jade green, violet, yellow colours become popular in mid-1920, similar coloured matching stockings were also found. In those days, stockings were thigh length and held in place using garters.
Some women chose to roll them down. They had light hem lines visible and accentuated one’s look. Such stockings aren’t commonly found these days. If you choose to wear any bright coloured Great Gatsby outfit in today’s time, any solid coloured stockings like pastel, nude, or stitched nylons would look great. If you are portraying the character of a showgirl, you can wear fishnet tights. Unless you are doing so, avoid wearing them.
1920s Plus Size Great Gatsby Flapper headpieces
Another most important accessory in those times was headpieces. To achieve the quintessential look of a Great Gatsby flapper girl you must wear a headband on your head or across your forehead. In those days, Gatsby headpieces were available in a variety of shapes and sizes and were called by various names. Generally, such headbands were made up of sequinned ribbons or beaded and at times has pearls, brooches or feathers added to them.
Other popular styles were miter fashioned headpieces embroidered with pearls or tiaras and cloche hats having veils. If you choose to wear a feathered headband, prefer a peacock styled one or Egyptian style headpieces. A few women also wrapped strands of pearls or golden beads around their hair, which made them look even more glamorous. So pick a matching headpiece and pair it up with your Great Gatsby outfit to compliment your look.
Flapper Costume Jewelry
Compared to previous decades, women in the 1920s preferred to keep jewellery as minimal as possible. If a woman wore other accessories, wearing jewellery wasn’t at all necessary. However, if a simple of jewellery can add more spice to your look, then why not!
1920s Plus Size Great Gatsby Necklace
A long pearl necklace was the iconic necklace of the 1920s. In those times, ladies could wear it as a single strand or multiple stranded necklaces of any length of their choice. If you are doing the same, you can even cascade it down behind your back and not in the front. Apart from pearl necklaces, you can consider a sleek art deco styled bib necklace or tassel necklace having beads. If you are attending any Great Gatsby themed party or event or marriage, you might opt not to wear a pearl necklace. But if you are going to a Great Gatsby Halloween party, wearing fox pearls would be a great choice.
1920s Plus Size Great Gatsby Bracelets
In the 1920s, thick wristlets were Extremely popular. Apart from wearing thick bangles around their wrists, some even wore around their biceps. That was a statement in those days. Bracelets having designs of cats, pharaohs, snakes or any other animal was popular in the 1920s.
1920s Plus Size Great Gatsby Earrings
Popular earrings were drop styled ones in dangling colours like black, green, red, etc. They had gems of geometric squares, triangle, rectangle, square and triangle, and oval-shaped were embedded on them. Bold dangling long earrings were in fashion. The long length of the earrings drew the attention of the people to women’s ears and face. Big and colourful stud earrings were popular too.
If you have incorporated all the above-mentioned accessories, your outfit can be considered complete. If you further want to enhance your look you can do the following:
- Elbow-length white or black gloves were worn but removed when women had to drink, eat, or smoke.
- If you are a faux smoker, you can carry a fashionable cigarette holder.
- You can also carry a small mesh or beaded purse, having some money and makeup items.
- You can wrap a warm faux fur shawl or am embroidered one around your arms to add an extra bit of wow. A feather bow can also he added.
- Women in those days also carried small hand fans made up of emu, peacock or ostrich feathers.
In today’s time, several online stores offer Great Gatsby plus size dresses and outfits. As we already told, they are available in a lot of styles, designs, and colours, catering to the requirements of everybody size. While buying, make sure that your Great Gatsby dress is of standard quality and not a costume grade one. The latter ones are made up of low-quality materials and fabrics and offer a bad fitting. Keep checking the online sites to know when are they offering discounts on such dresses. When buying a Great Gatsby outfit, don’t forget to buy a matching headpiece to pair it with your dress.