It’s the time of year where it is weeks away from finding the perfect Halloween costume. There are plenty of choices, and “The Flapper” is one of the most popular costumes. But with a little inspiration and modifications from two of Hollywood’s famous flappers, “It” girl Clara Bow and rebel star Louise Brooks, this Halloween you do not have to buy the common store-bought Flapper ensemble.
Clara Bow’s career forever changed when she become a sex symbol in the film adaptation of Elinor Glyn’s novel, “It” (1927)- women wanted to be her and men wanted her. Although Clara’s films were made in black & white, Clara’s signature was her red-haired bobbed haircut. At various costumes stores, you can find a wig inspired by Clara’s hairstyle. If you’re not fond of wigs, Clara’s significant hair accessory was a bandanna tied around her head. Her other signature feature was her rouge-painted lips, which were painted in a heart-shape. There are many tutorials on the web that offer techniques on how to apply lipstick in the Clara Bow style. If you want to be adventurous, grab a tank top, a pair of shorts and boxing gloves. With this unique combination, you’ll look like one of Clara’s famous flapper characters “Rosie O’Reilly” from “Rough House Rosie” (1927).
Want to go as two sex symbols in one? In a 1958 issue of "Life" Magazine, Marilyn Monroe embodied Clara Bow from head to toe with the red hair, red lips and red beaded flapper dress. Complete your outfit with the trademark Marilyn Monroe beauty mark and you are set!
Or if you are going for a less flashy but more dramatic look, silent film star Louise Brooks’ style may be the one for you. She was known for her jet black bobbed-hair and was defiant against smiling in most of her photos Her definitive style came from one famous photograph where Louise posed in a simple sleeved black dress and donned a white, long beaded necklace. This simple costume complete with a black, bobbed wig will be subtle and show-stopping at the same time!
Links to pictures and resources are provided below for help and inspiration.
Clara Bow & Her Bandanna
Clara Bow in "Rough House Rosie"
Marilyn Monroe as Clara Bow
Louise Brooks in Black Dress