Love throwing theme parties? How about hosting a Great Gatsby inspired gala next? Or perhaps you’ve been invited to one and need some fashion inspiration.
Either way, we’re here to help. After all, you’re sure to turn heads (rest assured, quite a few) with a Great Gatsby style outfit! So, without further ado, let’s get started.
What’s A Great Gatsby Themed Party?
It is exactly what it sounds like! A party that takes inspiration from F Scott Fitzgerald’s flamboyant Jazz novel, especially in terms of the fashion of the early 1920s. Think guests dressed in dazzling attires, unending flutes of champagne, and a boisterous night of music, dancing, and socializing — that’s a knockout Great Gatsby themed party for you.
But why The Great Gatsby?
As anyone who has read the novel will tell you, The Great Gatsby is as much about the social-cultural themes as it is about the rather tongue-in-cheek lifestyle of the times. If you don’t have the patience for the book (though we highly recommend you give it a read), just catch the eponymous 2013 film by Baz Luhrmann and you’d know exactly what we’re talking about! So, if you’re a fashion enthusiast and have friends who love the idea of theme parties, The Great Gatsby is the perfect choice for you.
If you throw a successful one, you’ll be the talk of the town for days to come. If you end up going to one dressed like a million bucks, you’d still end up being the center of attention! It’s a win-win situation.
But before we help you select your outfit for the day, let’s travel back in time and unravel the yarns of 1920s fashion and what made it so special!
What Art Style is The Great Gatsby?
Set in 1922, Fitzgerald’s novel unfolds in the Roaring Twenties, capturing the post Great War era and its many eccentricities. The novel is a literary embodiment of those times, including the opulence that defined those post-war years. Riding on the high wave of the post-war economic boom, Americans spared no expenses when it came to leading larger-than-life lifestyles. The Great Gatsby tells the story of one such man, in turn capturing the essence of the times.
The fashion of the Roaring Twenties embodied this dynamism of the socio-cultural changes: it was unapologetic, lascivious, and oozed opulent glamor in as many ways as it was conceivable.
Women’s fashion, in particular, took a remarkable turn for the better. Having broken free of Victorian dictates of modest dressing, women now chose to dress in low-cut dresses with shorter hemlines, mini skirts, and complimented their outfits with short bobs.
It was also around this time that Hollywood was churning out some of its best hits of all time. Film stars like Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, and Gloria Swanson became the flagbearers of this modern woman, free and throwing caution to the wind. They would don glamorous outfits, wear makeup with abandon, and not shy away from showing some skin.
Jewel-toned dresses, ruby lips, statement jewelry characterized what came to be known as Flapper fashion. This was also the time when the corset faded away into oblivion, with loose-fitting, cylindrical silhouettes taking its place. The Roaring Twenties did away with gender-biased clothing as androgynous fashion came into vogue.
On the corollary, fitted jackets with cinched waists lined with silk became fashionable among the gentlemen of the society. Plaid, tweed, linen — all were a common choice for suits. Trousers were the most popular in the slim, “drainpipe” style. Fedoras, tuxedos, knickerbockers, and Jodhpurs were common too.
On the whole, men’s fashion was nearly not as opulent as women’s around this time, but it was definitely not run-of-the-mill.
Best Outfits You Can Wear To One
The Great Gatsby, considered to be one of the greatest novels written by Fitzgerald, captured the ostentatious spirit of the Roaring Twenties in America in multiple ways. And every time the novel made its way into popular culture ( like Luhrmann’s film), it made for a visual spectacle.
So, for you to be able to match up to the glamor of the Roaring Twenties, The Great Gatsby style, you need to take your pick from the following outfits that we have carefully chosen for you. Trust us when we say this, you might just turn out to be best dressed at the party.
Stylish Linen Suit
We’re starting off our list with a linen suit by doffing our hat to the androgynous streak in 1920s fashion. A well-cut, slim-fit linen suit would be a great choice for a Great Gatsby inspired theme party. Accessorize it with a stylish fedora and a pair of brogues to complete the look. Throw in a pair of jeweled cufflinks and an ornate cigar case — you’d be all set to draw a few oohs and ahhs of appreciation.
The linen suit also makes for a rather versatile fashion choice. No matter what your pronouns are and which segment of the spectrum you fall in, you can rock the linen suit in any Great Gatsby theme party with equal elan.
Nothing defines sophistication better than a tux and if it's a Great Gatsby theme party, then you simply cannot miss out on this one. Ask us why - because a good tux is flamboyant, elegant, and charming. Don’t forget your bowtie because that’s what seals the deal in a Gatsby-style party.
Stick a rose in the buttonhole of your tux, tuck in a silk pocket square, and sleek back your hair with your favorite gel or some good old Bryll cream. You would definitely look like you belong to Fitzgerald’s entourage of dapper gentlemen flitting in and out of rambunctious parties in unmistakable style.
1920s V Neck Beaded Fringed Gatsby Theme Flapper Dress
The quintessential flapper dress, a V-neck number adorned in sequins with fringes falling casually over the knees is just what you need for a Great Gatsby theme party. Make sure to buy one that is not too close a fit and select a string of pearls to glam up your look. Add a headband with jewels, feathers, or pearls to complete the attire.
Throw in a pair of silk/satin gloves for that extra oomph, dab some glitter on your cheekbones, and dip your lips in your favorite shade of ruby lipstick before heading out.
You’d be the very definition of drop-dead-gorgeous and all things Gatsby glam! If this attire doesn’t turn heads, we don’t know what else will!
Embellished Faux Feather Hem Maxi Dress
Because The Great Gatsby and the Roaring Twenties were all about bling, you simply cannot go wrong with an embellished dress! A notably more extravagant cousin of the quintessential flapper dress we mentioned earlier in this list, this one replaces the fringes with faux feathers. The result? A dress that’d turn heads!
We highly recommend going for a fascinator or a bejeweled cloche along with this one. But don’t forget the staples: your silken gloves, net stockings, and probably a slender, black cigarette holder with a gold or silver band.
Go for a soft glam makeup look with this dress and you’d turn into an unabashedly sinful socialite from the Great Gatsby, a la Daisy Buchanan.
Floral Fringe Midi Dress
Another proud member of the Flapper dress clan, a floral fringe midi dress adds a hint of delicate charm to the otherwise spirited and outspoken style of the 1920s. Such a number is the perfect choice if your Great Gatsby party is taking place over a luncheon or happens to be an informal brunch.
Go for paler gloves in crochet or lace with this dress and a headband with feathers and/or flowers to accessorize the attire. Stick to peaches, nudes, and pinks for your lips and cheeks. The flirty feminine is the look you should aim for when wearing a floral fringe midi dress to a Great Gatsby party. Think Jordan Baker for inspiration.
Bold, beautiful, and risque — that’s the Gatsby dress for you. It can be anything from an ornate evening gown with a plunging neckline to sequined dresses, or a feathered number. The Gatsby dress is versatile, eye-catching yet unique. When styled well, the Gatsby dress is of course the most ideal attire to wear to a Great Gatsby theme party! Need we say more?
The Power Suit
Popularized by legendary designer Coco Chanel, the Power Suit is one of the very first masculine-influenced pieces of clothing for women to have gained popularity. Characterized by a square, knee-length skirt below a broad-shoulder jacket, the Power Suit is what allowed women the freedom to drive or ride around comfortably.
Needless to say, any modern-day adaptation of the power suit is a great choice to rock a Great Gatsby party. If you like edgy fashion, go for bold colors and contours but keep the essence of the 1920s alive with pearls, and a cloche to cover your head.
Leg Avenue Foxtrot Flirt Women's Costume
If there’s one dress that screams Gatsby glamor out and loud, it is this little black dress from Leg Avenue. A vintage twist on the classic LBD, this dress has it all: fringes, embellishments, sheer neckline, and an asymmetric hemline. Pair the dress with a string of knotted pearls, a bejeweled headband, and some not-so-subtle makeup to create a stunning Great Gatsby-inspired look and turn heads like never before.
Downtown Doll Adult Costume
Last but certainly not least, this Downtown Doll Adult Costume is another fine competitor for a stellar Great Gatsby inspired costume. One look at the dress will tell you why! A modernized take on the traditional flapper dress, this midnight blue velvet number comes with retro fringes and embellishments.
If you’re someone who enjoys adding their own twist to every fashion decision they make, this dress is an excellent sartorial choice for you. While the bodycon fit is not authentically flapper, the dress itself is gorgeous enough to make people take notice. When styled the right way (we’re thinking loads of feathers, pearls, and head ornaments), this dress can amp up your style game like no other without an iota of doubt.
Definitely give this one a shot if you want to Great Gatsby with a twist.
Go Big on Glamor
So, while we have reached the end of our list, we’re very excited to have shared these Great Gatsby inspired outfit ideas with you. Just one bit of advice before we leave you to your shenanigans, do not skimp on the glamor if you’re taking part in a Great Gatsby theme party. Throw in some oomph and sass - you’d be all ready to bring the Roaring Twenties and along with it, Fitzgerald’s novel, back to life.