Costumes for Murder Mystery Games set in the 1920s

Adornment is never anything except a reflection of the heart.
— Coco Chanel
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1920s Icons

Louise Brooks. Josephine Baker. Charlie Chaplin. Mary Pickford. Al Capone. Anna May Wong. Gloria Swanson. Vladimir Lenin. Coco Chanel. Rudolph Valentino. Hercule Poirot. Lord Peter Wimsey. Miss Marple. 

As you’ll know from Downton Abbey and Agatha Christie, this era lends itself wonderfully well to playing a character in a fictional drama. Yes, it’s time to be daring. And to dazzle. And to be co-ordinated. And to wear satin and silk.

  • Bright colours are everywhere (with occasional blacks and creams).
  • Busts are flattened. Women are now boys.
  • Waists are lower, hems are higher. Knee-length or tea-length is fine.
  • Along with those well-known beaded flapper dresses, kimono coats are here, too.
  • To complete your look: silk stockings, T-strap shoes, a cloche hat or feathered headband and a simply fabulous silk or beaded purse. All matching. All co-ordinated.
  • Other style choices:
  • Pleats. Camisoles. Short hair. Bobbed hair. Lipstick and mascara by the brushful.

Costumes for Men in the 1920s

More relaxed than in previous times but still more formal than the ladies.

  • Baggy is fine – hence the arrival of Oxford bags.
  • Lounge suits are fine (especially when high buttoned).
  • Tuxedos are replacing tails.
  • Your shirt and detachable collar can now be different colours – white above and blue stripes below, say. Wing-tip collars have become fashionable, too.
  • Hats now come in many forms: fedoras, homburgs, bowlers, straw boaters, panamas.  
  • Shoes are patent leather.
  • And, for the full sporty/man-of-leisure/never-has-to-try-too-hard look, try two-tone shoes with a golfing sweater and plus fours.
  • Unless you are poor, of course. In which case it’s baggy trousers, a “newsboy” cloth cap and a hard-wearing, collarless shirt.
  • A linen suits. A woollen pullover. A cane. A scarf worn as a tie. A camel hair polo coat.

Murder Mystery Games that can be set in the Twenties

Other Costume Eras