Halloween Costume Ideas: The 1920's

The 1920’s represent a rich mine for costume ideas. The 20’s had a style all its own as it acts as the bridge from the modernization of the turn of the century through the collapse of everything as the Great Depression hit. The 20’s were a time of high living, the explosion of Hollywood, and famous gangsters. Sources for costume ideas come from real life, reel life, and one of the most famous American novels ever written.


Prohibition accomplished precious little else than giving those involved in organized crime a license to become rich and powerful. At the top of the heap was Chicago’s Al Capone, although any guy in a nice pinstripe suit carrying a Tommy gun will do. A terrific 1920’s costume party theme idea would be the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, engineered by Capone to rid himself of powerful enemies. Buying a 1920’s era gangster costume around Halloween is as easy as walking into any store that sells costumes. For a Valentine’s Day costume party or a party any other time of the year, look around the internet and you will fine plenty of mobster costumes available.

The Movie Star

The 1920s was the decade that produce a new entity in America, the movie star. The biggest male star of the decade of silent movies was Rudolph Valentino. Valentino’s was the epitome of the heavily pancaked and lined male star with the slicked back hair. He made his reputation by playing highly sexual swashbuckling types that made women swoon. At the other end of the scale is the biggest comic star of the decade, Charlie Chaplin. Even people who aren’t familiar with the 1920s recognize the trademark Little Tramp costume with the floppy shoes, the bowler hat, and the funny mustache.


The defining piece of literature of the 1920’s is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Gatsby is a mysterious bootlegger who represents all the excess of the Jazz Age. There is no particular Gatsby costume, but the man was a snappy dresser who fulfills the image of the era. A search of nice cream-colored or white linen suits from the 1920’s will do quite nicely. The key to pulling off the Gatsby costume is less what is worn than developing a sense of mystery. Don’t talking too much or give away too much. An enigmatic smile is the most authentic part of a Great Gatsby costume.