1920s parties require a fun 20s dress to wear. Most women will choose an iconic flapper dress covered in beads, sequins, fringe and sometimes feathers. For a more historically accurate look, 20s dresses had a drop waist, loose fit, and minimal decorations. It was all about the accessories!
Most clothing of the 1920s decade is found on cheap costume sites. Thankfully, the selection of good day and evening 20s dresses has increased in the last few years. Check out this mix of the best selling 20s dresses online and scroll down for even more brands to shop from.
Shop 20s Dresses
More 1920s Dresses for Sale Online
Our mission at VintageDancer is to help you find the best ’20s dress FOR YOU from a variety of online shops in prices, styles and sizes you need. We have them divided into a few pages:
- All 1920s Dresses – Not sure what you want? Look at over 500 day and evening styles here.
- Daytime Dress/Mature Women’s Dresses – Look at these choices, many with sleeves.
- Flapper Dresses by color: red, white, black
- Evening Dresses – Bring on the beads, fringe, and feathers in these long gowns.
- 1920s White Wedding Dresses.
- 1920s Plus Size Dresses – From 2XL to 6XL.
- Petite ’20s Dresses – Which brands are best for petite women? Answered.
- 1920s Costume dresses – (cheap) See the cheap selection here.
- UK Shoppers – Find some amazing ’20s style dresses here.
- AU and NZ Shoppers – Look at these dresses.
I also have shopping pages of 1920s style shoes, stockings, hats, headbands, jewelry, shawls, and purses to complete your outfit. Start here to shop all 1920s clothing and accessories.
1920s Dress Brands
Where do we source our dresses?
Unique Vintage – This store carries a line of 1920s style dresses that are elaborately beaded on sheer netting, just like real 1920s dresses. Most if not all of their gowns are copied from original ’20s dresses. They also have all the accessories you need to complete your look.
Wardrobe Shop – If you need a tea dress or something romantic for a 1920s themed wedding, then Wardrobe Shop is one to browse. The Nataya brand has the styling of the late teens and the mid ’20s. Many have full arm and longer lengths, which are popular with modest ladies.
Vintage Now Clothing – A new shop in Australia.
Etsy – Additionally, there is a talented designer who favors simple, elegant day to evening 1920s dress that are NOT beaded. These dresses embrace the classic ’20s dress shape without all the fuss. Look at LaVieDelight.
The Deco Haus – Has the most stunning beaded dresses as well as coats, wraps, slips, bags, headbands and more. All very high quality- worth ever penny. They also have light cotton dresses were are perfect for summer.
Amazon – Amazon is a mecca for cheap 1920s inspired costume dresses. They are not the greatest quality, but they are affordable flapper styles. I recommend choosing one that is available via Amazon Prime for fast shipping and easy returns/exchanges (always read the size chart and order one size up, too). They also have a wide range of accessories (hats, gloves, jewelry, headbands, shoes).
Nordstrom – This department store carries formal evening gowns that are inspired by the 1920s. Designers Papell, Pisarro Nights, and Mon Cheri are some brands that always seem to make 1920s inspired gowns. These are great for white tie events, proms, and weddings. See my best picks at the Formal Dresses page.
Adriana Papell – One of the best modern brands caring long beaded or sequin evening gowns including plus sizes. These make an excellent mother of the bride, bridesmaid, and prom dresses for a ’20s themed wedding.
What did 1920s dresses look like?
Early drop waists hung around the high hip, while later 20s dresses came all the way down to the knee. Some dresses didn’t have a waist at all- just one long sheath dress.
Daytime 20s dresses were made with cotton and other less expensive materials, yet still featured the drop waists and embroidery instead of beads. Sashes were used to create the illusion of the waist band over sheath dresses. Colors were light pastels of green, peach, pink and blue for spring with darker shades for winter.
Mature women’s 1920s dresses and those in the plus size ranges wore similar designs as the “bright young things” of the day. Dresses had elbow length or long sleeves, a drop waist with a thin belt and vertical lines such as long pintucks, vertical detailed patterns, and long shawl collars.
Colors for mature women were usually solid instead of fussy prints for a regal look. Many mature women continued to wear the styles of the late Edwardian era (i.e. Downton Abbey‘s Lady Dowager).
1920s inspired evening gowns are covered in beaded patterns, made with rich materials like velvet, silk or chiffon and almost always feature a drop waist. Drop waists literally dropped over the entire decade.
Debbie Sessions has been teaching fashion history and helping people dress for vintage themed events since 2009. She has turned a hobby into VintageDancer.com with hundreds of well researched articles and hand picked links to vintage inspired clothing online. She aims to make dressing accurately (or not) an affordable option for all. Oh, and she dances too.