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Author Topic: The 1920s Flapper's Ensemble Cost in 2017 dollars  (Read 74 times)
J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
United States United States

Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple

« on: November 29, 2017, 10:14:00 am »

So, I'm rummaging through my new Pinterest pages, as I'm updating all of thephotos, and I stumble on this 1920's magazine article:

"What it costs to be a well dressed Flapper." The thing is, that the Flapper style was anything but complicated. The whole point for the woman's Flapper fashion was to look boyish, and wear modern yet elegant, relatively simple clothes. However, as the author of the article points out, "simplicit is one of the most expensive effects that a designer can achieve."

Case in pint. he breaks down an ensemble worn by famous Flapper Clara Bow, and the total bill comes to $346.50. Not that expensive, it seems, probably the cost of a separate ladies' business blazer by Ann Taylor, perhaps? But in today's dollars the number looks very different. Accounting for inflation and assuming the magazine article was written in 1925, the bill for the ensemble comes to $4,835.62 (!). And this is not a ball gown or anything like that. Definitely the roaring 20's...

Velvet cap with silver band                          $25     $348.89 in 2017
Large White Gardenia                                 $5      $69.78   in 2017
Black silk Faille coat lined with white Crepe    $150   $2,093.34 in 2017
White silk Faille blouse with black piping        $25    $348.89 in 2017
Pearls, 3 strands                                        $50    $697.78 in 2017
Doe skin gloves white, embroidered              $8.50  $118.62 in 2017  
Black silk Faille skirt, Box pleated                 $30    $418.67 in 2017
Lizard skin handbag                                    $30    $418.67 in 2017
Rose beige chiffon stockings                         $4.5   $62.80  in 2017
Rose beige shoes trimmed, brown appliqués   $18.5  $258.18 in 2017

Total                                                      $346.5  $4,835.62 in 2017

Some of the prices don't seem unreasonable for certain items (eg pearls), and shoes can be very expensive today, so the prices are in line with today's prices. But for other items (e.g. stockings), the prices just seem outrageous.The price for the coat is not out of the world for a luxury coat but I'd expect a natural fur for that price, maybe not Mink, but some other critter. However, $348 for a silk blouse and hat each, just seems high... Then again, a stupid men's casual silk polo shirt today can run well over $120 (Tommy Bahamas).

Right click to zoom in most browsers, in Windows Explorer click "image properties" to see and copy image URL)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2017, 10:44:38 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Hurricane Annie
Zeppelin Captain
New Zealand New Zealand

« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2017, 10:37:41 am »

 Much like the Namibian safari set, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar photo spread advertorials of today   - who doesn't  pay 345 pounds  for a thin cotton camisole  and $529  for a pair of Daisy Dukes 

 all that sand will play havoc with those 1, 076  euro mules
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