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Add some Flavor Flav to your 1920s get-up

| Thursday, September 18, 2014

Gatsby Flavor Flav WEBMary McGraw | The Observer
Fashion was taken seriously in the East Egg of Gatsby’s world: an opulent Art Deco world where women were brought to tears over shirt quality. The 1920s were the first time women took a fearless approach to fashion, sporting feathers, fringe, fur and flapper-esque pixie cuts. The looks were overtly feminine — embellishments and pearls galore — while featuring subtle hints of boundary-pushing androgyneity with looser-fitting styles and cropped locks. Men expressed their style with suave suits and crisp collars.

It was an era where no one would be caught dead in black leggings or basketball shorts at a social event, and rightly so, as there were so many new styles to experiment with. It is an era we will attempt to recreate tonight on Bond Quad.

If you’re freaking out right now, it’s because: 1. You’re so excited and 2. You’re asking what wear on a Friday night when crop tops and high waisted shorts or a bro-tank and cargo shorts aren’t acceptable? (Disclaimer: cargo shorts and bro-tanks are never acceptable). Take a deep breath, old sport. We’re here to help.

Ladies, base your outfit around the right dress. The twenties were a time when we saw all different dress styles emerging — drop waist and fringe-tiered masterpieces flourished. If you are thinking to yourself, “Unlike you, I am not a crazy thrifting clothes-hoarder who has four dresses to match that description hanging up in her closet right now,” again, calm down. On such short notice, it makes more sense to focus on accessories to up your twenties glam game, just don’t show up in a bodycon dress or mullet number because the world had yet to succumb to these atrocities in 1920.

To start from the top, go for an old-Hollywood Marcel-wave look or bob. To perfect the finger wave, sweep your hair to one side with bobby pins and curl it. If you want to construct a faux-bob, consult Pinterest. Be sure to add a sparkly headband across your forehead — be careful to make it Daisy-esque instead of Coachella try-hard — or any other form of hair bling. If you have a fascinator, congratulations — you’re fabulous and obviously need to sport that.

The next step is “Ice Ice Baby.” You can parade pearls, display diamonds or go for both. Go for long, layered strands of pearls to avoid looking like you’re on your way to sorority recruitment or an Alabama football game. Also, stick to diamond accents – earrings, a headpiece or a necklace – to avoid looking like Flavor Flav.

On the topic of Flavor Flav, I respect the man for trying to bring back watches worn on chains instead of on one’s wrist or a phone screen. One way to class up your 1920s menswear is to carry a pocket watch. Trust me. Do it. If I ever asked some guy the time and he whipped out a pocket watch, I would fall in love right then and there.

Even Trinidad James supports the pocket watch revival movement, “gold all in my chain… gold all in my watch.” Well, obviously your watch and chain are made of the same substance, Trinidad; they are both connected and hang gracefully from your black sweatsuit pocket.

However, not all pocket chains are the same. Do remember that although somewhat similar at first glance, chain wallets will not have the same effect as a pocket watch. Do not think you can trick anyone into thinking you’re classy with a wallet chain, they will see through your grungy 1990s façade when you pull out your phone to check the time.

Pocket watch in tow, you are now classy enough to attempt anything, even dressing in 1920s style. The twenties were an era where men dressed in a pinstripe suit to go “out on a drive.” Wingtip shoes and two-tone suits dominated the metropolitan office. If you were to sport the men’s casual wear of the twenties across campus today, friends would bid you, “good luck on your interview.” Brooks Brothers dominated, and pocket squares were predominant. If you sport a pink suit, you’ll be the hit of the dance – just stay away from pools.

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About Erin McAuliffe

I'm Scene's editor and a senior Marketing & Journalism student. To quote the exquisite Sadie Dupuis, "I'm not bossy — I'm the boss."

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