Jump, Jive, and Wail

How Dressing For A 1920s Theme Party Won’t Break The Bank

My birthday is coming up next weekend. When Sean asked me what I wanted, I initially thought “groovy piece of jewelry”. When I thought about it more though, I realized that an experience would be more fun.

I love to dress up, eat good food, listen to live music, and dance. The Annual Chef’s Gala happens to fall on my birthday (next Saturday) and incorporates all of these things. In addition, most of the money goes toward a digital mammography unit at the local hospital. I emailed Sean the web address and all he had to do is fill out a form online with his credit card number. I think giving him a very specific gift idea was a relief to him and now, I get to do something fun on my birthday.

One of the most exciting parts about the Chef’s Gala is the fact that it’s themed. I appreciate a good theme and this year, it’s the 1920s, the decade that I always say I would have loved to live in.

The problem is at $85/ticket and the fact that it’s a cash bar, I feel like I don’t want to spend a lot of money on an outfit. I’ve heard that other ladies are buying vintage designer stuff but I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a dress. Granted, there is eBay but after scrolling through pages of dresses and wondering if M/L would fit me, I decided that eBay was not what I wanted to do.

I’ve been passively looking through local thrift stores but that’s probably what everyone else has been doing too because there was nothing to be found.

I’ve since decided to make a dress I have work and use accessories, hair, and make-up to make me look more like a 20s fashonista.

The dress is a black slip dress (well sort of) with lots of lace. It’s definitely cut straight up and down and falls below the knee, which is very period. I had another dress that I was going to just add fringe to flapper-style but I wasn’t so ambitious and decided to make the slip dress work, especially since I’ve only got to wear it a couple of times.

After reading this article about dressing for the 20s, I decided a strong of fake pearls and some comfy dancing flats would update my dress. Sean decided he wanted a fedora with his double breasted suit so I went on a mission yesterday.

My mom and my sister are visiting for a long weekend and I found my needed items at Kohls with their help(for $20 total). What was harder to find was Sean’s fedora, which I looked for in the stores we went in. After Sean joined us for supper, Sean and I went off in search of his hat. We had no luck at department stores or Burlington Coat Factory. We found some fedoras very surprisingly at the mall in Spencer Gifts, which is a kind of “joke store” to those of you who haven’t been there. None of the available hats matched the suit or fit Sean. We ended up finding one at TJ Maxx ($7) only by chance but I couldn’t believe it. Don’t men wear hats anymore?

I think I’m set for my night on the town now. I will post pictures next week when we’re all dressed up. Meanwhile, have you been to any great theme parties lately? If so, how did you make your wardrobe work?

Nicole Ouellette
Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she's not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

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