Today we have the impression of the flapper as a scandalous young lady, in a short skirt drinking illegal gin and dancing the night away. While some of that is definitely true, the skirts weren’t as short as we sometimes see in “period” recreations today. While the dresses were certainly shorted than the previous decade, the dresses still nearly always fell below the knee. Any shorter and a true scandal would have arisen. The sexiness of the shorter skirts was counterbalanced with the boyish lines of 1920s dresses, and often by short hair as well.
The beaded dresses, headband, feathers, clutches, and makeup were all trappings of the era enjoyed by women of means who some rebellious fun. The fashions of the flapper era would be stricken from the dress code as soon as the Stock Market Crash of 1929 forced the world into a decade-long slump. But, for a brief time the flappers and their “sheiks” (the male equivalent of a flapper) glittered in evening wear fit for a film star. See how the women would have gotten dresses back then for a night on the town.