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Perhaps more than any other decade, the 1920s have been romanticized and idealized in fashion, film and literature. With the end of World War I, the onset of Prohibition and the passage of the 19th amendment — granting women the right to vote — this decade embodied a celebratory attitude and a boisterous break from the past. Flapper dresses and other 1920s style dresses in the Unique Vintage 1920s collection bring the flirtatious energy of the era into the modern day with high-kicking, glitzy looks for day and night.

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The Jazz Age

When Congress ratified the 18th amendment in January of 1919, the idea was to make liquor consumption illegal and protect the country’s morals. The effect of the law was quite the opposite, however, creating a network of “speakeasies” or underground bars that only fueled collective thirst for both booze and revelry.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, captures the sense of celebration of the era. The parties Jay Gatsby throws are full of women in 1920s dresses dripping with beads, fringe and lace. It was an era of excess, and opulent dressing was de rigueur, darling.

The Bee’s Knees

Hemlines on 1920s dresses rose above the ankle for the first time, reflecting the liberation women felt with their expanded rights. Though true flappers took their skirts over the knee, many 1920s style dresses added long fringe or scalloped edges that flirted with shortness while maintaining coyness. Flapper style-coats reflected those elements for a cohesive, striking look while eveningwear remained at mid-calf or ankle length.

The Cat’s Meow

The Art Deco movement brought futuristic and architectural elements into women’s accessories for 1920s dresses.Beaded and feathered headbands were popular, as were feathered fans, beaded purses and fringed kimonos. The first wave of feminism also led to more women smoking cigarettes, and they often preferred to use long, elegant cigarette holders to add drama. Elbow-length evening gloves, fur boas and velvet-trimmed robes were also common accessories for 1920s dress.

Whether you’re looking for 1920s flapper dresses with all the trimmings for a fabulous party costume or you’re adding a cute Gatsby dress and a few fun 1920s accessories to your everyday wardrobe, the 1920s Collection at Unique Vintage has updated pieces to suit your Jazz Age style.
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