Things to Do and What to Wear on #NationalFlapperDay

A while back, I announced that November 16, 2016 would be #NationalFlapperDay. It will be a day for watching flapper movies, sharing flapper GIFs and generally having fun in a ‘teens and Roaring Twenties manner. I thought it would be fun to share some ideas for the celebration that will work in the real world.

Watch a Flapper Movie!


Don’t forget, Flicker Alley is sponsoring a giveaway of a Bluray copy of Children of Divorce with Gary Cooper and Clara Bow. The winner will be drawn on #NationalFlapperDay so sign up now! (All the information can be found right here!)

Other great flapper choices include Our Dancing Daughters, Why Be Good, The Flapper (duh), and Bare Knees.

Virgina Lee Corbin in "Bare Knees"
Virgina Lee Corbin in “Bare Knees”

What’s your favorite flapper picture? Be sure to share!

If you want to dress up (but not too much)

If you want to go out in full period costume, more power to you! However, that may not be an option for everyone so here are some ideas for dressing like a flapper without looking costumey.


Cloche hats and, inexplicably, sequined headbands with ostrich feathers are considered to be the flapper uniform today but guess what the other popular hat was? The darling tam! (Feel free to wear a cloche but if you show up in one of those sequined headbands, I will disown you.)

Tams are still popular and easy to find. (Here’s a nice, slouchy one that would be quite at home in the 1910s and 1920s.) Knee-length, a-line or pleated skirts made up much of 1920s sports fashion and tennis sweaters or belted cardigans were very much in fashion. T-strap shoes and shiny stockings complete the look.

Check out Marion Davies! Her darling frock with dust-ruffle pleats isn’t so very different from something you would buy at a modern dress shop.


Fellas! There’s no reason for you to be left out. You can join in by donning a Fair Isle sweater. These patterned sweaters were crazy popular for men and women during the 1920s, thanks in part to a portrait of the Prince of Wales wearing one in a portrait. Shaker shawl collars and sweaters in college colors were also in fashion. In fact, collegiate gear is a very 1920s option for gentlemen. And, like the women, men of the era adopted tennis sweaters. In short, getting your preppy on would be ideal!

Listen to some swell music!

Music and dancing were a huge part of youth culture and listening to music of the era is quite suitable. I am simply nuts about 1920s and 1930s music, mostly due to the fact that my family is made of Hal Roach partisans and those catchy background tunes were the soundtrack of my childhood.

Annette Hanshaw is a particular favorite as her voice is more to modern taste and lacks that Betty Boop-esque baby talk that so many singers of the period affected.

And, of course, Cole Porter is a must.

And novelty songs! 1920s people adored zany novelty tunes. Yes, We Have No Bananas is perhaps the most famous example but I am partial to Does the Spearmint Lose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight.

What are your favorite tunes of the era? Or do you like a modern musician who plays in the old style? Please share some YouTube or band website links and help fellow flapper fans build their playlists!

Oh, and you might consider grabbing yourself the most flapperish of all instruments: the ukulele! (I like Luna ukes myself.)

Drink your gin out of teacups!


Prohibition is on and you don’t want to get caught so be sure to drink your gin and tonics, your martinis or your Manhattans out of tea cups or other innocuous containers! If you want something a little sweeter, I am quite partial to the Buck Jones, which is rum, sherry, lime juice and ginger ale. I personally don’t care much for sweet drinks but Buck knew what was what! Here’s a collection of era-appropriate cocktails if you want further inspiration.

If you’re too young to drink in your neck of the woods or if you prefer to avoid alcohol for whatever reason, here is a recipe for a virgin mojito. It’s clear and so you can play about pretending it’s bathtub gin to your heart’s content. Help set the mood by having a secret password. (Swordfish.)

Well, those are just a few ideas, I hope you enjoy them! And be sure to share any brilliant, fun-loving ideas you may have.

15 Replies to “Things to Do and What to Wear on #NationalFlapperDay”

  1. Well I have a nice green teal hat that speaks of the era and I have already worn it. yes it has a little peacock feather on the side but that’s it. My hubby wears those hats made famous by the cameramen of the day but he doesn’t wear it backwards…since he is not having to look into a camera:) I love hearing Bing Crosby sing Temptation. Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, all of them are so great. I also have an actual old fashioned record of Bessie Smith

  2. Good ideas, thanks! My favorite flapper movies are Colleen Moore’s “Why Be Good?” and Clara Bow’s “It”, so I’ll likely watch one of those. For a music link, try the Louise Brooks Society’s website: Scroll down to near the bottom of the home page and you’ll see four options for listening to Radio Lulu, which streams music of the 20s and 30s. I pre-ordered “Children of Divorce” a few weeks ago- should be really good, judging by the trailers.

  3. I love love love Al Jolson! Toot-Toot-Tootsie is a must! Thank you for the marvelous article, I think we should start a petition that will ban those sequined headbands *shudder*

  4. One of my dad’s favorite songs is “Does the Spearmint Lose its Flavor on the Beadpost Overnight.” I didn’t know the song dated to this time period. When I was little, I assumed he made up the song. πŸ˜›

  5. This was one of the first articles that appeared after I found this site. Unfortunately, this particular post has cost me money. I have not been all that interested in fancy dressing per se, outside of fedoras. Well, I followed some links for men’s fashions in the 1920’s, which led me to more. In the end, I have an Fair Isle sweater coming in the mail, plus a Flat Cap, and I am eyeing some two-toned dress shoes. I never knew this website would be so expensive. πŸ™‚ But I am actually having fun clothes shopping, which I am typically not a clothes shopper at all.

Comments are closed.