Giveaway Time and Guest Post by Debbie of The Vintage Dancer

Happy Saturday everyone!

I have a real treat for you today.  Debbie Vintage Dancer has kindly offered to host a giveaway here on my blog!  In celebration of The Great Gatsby and all things 1920’s, Debbie has compiled a great e-book full of lovely images of 1920s fashion next to the literary great.  Please read Debbie’s guest post as she tells us more about the 1920s, her e-book, and Vintage Dancer:

Debbie (that’s me) and hubby, Oscar dressed up for the Great Gatsby movie premier.

It case you hadn’t noticed, the 1920s have roared back into fashion. Movie fashion (Great Gatsby) TV series (Downtown Abbey we love you) and Boardwalk Empire (eye candy for men especially.) With the Hollywood wave came an infusion of 20s inspired clothing like tiered shift dresses, lace blouses, t-strap shoes, headbands and cloche hats. It is a joy for me to shop and see all of these trends come back.

For the past two years I have been researching 1920’s fashion history. I confess, I am a library nerd. My interest in 20’s started when my hubby and I had a chance to buy the most gorgeous house in our neighborhood built in 1920. My knowledge of the 20’s at the time was limited to the stereotypical fringe flapper dresses, cloche hats and cigarette holders. Two years later I would have to say I am definitely in love with the REAL 1920s!

(How dare these flappers show off their stockings!)

Not only was the fashion so beautiful, so simple, and so comfortable but all the changes in society and the world at large was monumental. I equate the 20’s to the 60’s a lot because both were times of big changes, new ideas, and drastically different fashions from the decades before and after. In the 1920’s, women’s clothing came down to just a set of undies, a slip, and a straight cut dress, whereas the 1900’s had at least 17 layers of clothing that you couldn’t put on without the help of a maid servant. The freedom of clothing made it possible for women to have fun: play sports, drive cars, go on dates (alone!), sun bath, and dance a 24 hour marathon. We take these things for granted today but they were all new activities enjoyed by all classes of people. Improved labor laws gave the two day weekend to the working class and with it the idea of spending your hard earning money on the movies, taking a drive in the country, or buying ready made clothing!

(1922 Summer Frocks)

I put all my research into a free 12 week blog/email series called the 1920’s Style Guide. You can sign up for the series and learn all about real fashion in the 1920s for both women and men. The series is full of pictures, stories, and shopping sources. I am working on adding some sewing, hairstyling, and makeup tutorials too.

Originally the blog series was going to be another book (previously I wrote a book about the 1940s) but I since shifted course and published a different book: The Great Gatsby in Fashion.  I had never read the Great Gatsby so I made a point of doing so last summer where I discovered there were a lot of references to fashion in the novel some of which I knew about and others like “Pottery Bracelets” I was baffled by. The Great Gatsby in Fashion highlights and explains all about the clothing in The Great Gatsby. The full text of the novel is included so while you read (or reread) Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby you will be learning about authentic 1920s fashion for women and men. I included over 60 photographs and illustrations too.  Love pictures!


Currently the eBook is on sale for a limited time for only 99 cents at It comes in PDF, .mobi (for Kindle) and .epub (for Nook and iPad ) so you can read it however you like. Keep reading here for a chance to win a free copy.

Lauren asked if I would share a little about why I started my website Part of my motivation was to share my passion for researching vintage clothing via the blog but the other, bigger part, is to help you shop.  As costumers I think you know how hard it can be to put together your entire costume, within budget, especially when you are just starting out. Thanks to Lauren’s amazing patterns you can sew a reproduction outfit easily but what about the rest? What about accessories, shoes, undergarments, or swimsuits? If you have the budget, vintage is best but if you are broke like my hubby and I were when we first started costuming together we had to find new, cheaper, “vintage inspired” clothing and shoes to create a period look.

Let me tell you it was tough! Very tough to find clothing both locally and online. It was out there but to find, say one pair of two tone oxfords for my husband, or a lace blouse for myself, took days of wading through online shop after online shop looking for the right vintage style. That’s when I had a light bulb moment. What If I made a website listing all the vintage style clothing I can find online and sort it by era and type to make shopping A LOT easier? Bingo! A few months later, in 2009, was born. The site now aggregates (links to) over 4,000 dresses, tops, pants, swimsuits, men’s suits, hats, shoes, jewelry and more in the styles up to the 1960’s. Many items come from sites you probably already love like Modcloth and Unique Vintage while others may be new to you. I research each era and then hand select each item featured on the shopping pages. I spend a lot of time window shopping online so if you ever need help findings something specific I am more than happy to point you in the right direction.


Thank you Lauren, for letting me share my story and my passion for vintage history. Because Lauren is so awesome she and I are hosting a giveaway of one copy of the Great Gatsby in Fashion. To enter leave a comment below telling us about your plans to make or wear Gatsby era clothing this year.*

*I know already that many comments will be “I don’t have the body type for 20’s clothing.” WRONG! With the right colors, style, and hat all body types can and do look stunning in 1920’s clothing. I have a free ebook to help you get started. And a list of 1920’s patterns too.

Thank you, Debbie, for hosting this giveaway!

You can find lots of great sources for 1920’s ready to wear fashion and other resources on Vintage Dancer!

About The Giveaway

Debbie has kindly offered to give away a free copy of The Great Gatsby in Fashion to one lucky reader!  Here’s Debbie’s description of her e-book:
Title: The Great Gatsby in Fashion, written by F Scott Fitzgerald in 1925, with fashion history annotation by Debbie Sessions, creator of

“The love affair with one of the greatest American novels ever written has just as much to do with the dazzling fashions of the 1920’s as it does with great story telling. F. Scott Fitzgerald, a dapper dresser, and his wife, Zelda, a notorious flapper, experienced the high life of fashion and culture in the twenties. It was only natural for Fitzgerald to include detailed descriptions of the clothing each character wore. It is in his observations of their dress that he unveils the characters’ motivations and morals that play a critical part in the novel. Fitzgerald’s audience in 1925 would have understood what color a “gas blue” dress was and would have known the sound of “clicking pottery bracelets.” Today’s readers miss the cultural context of those fashions, until now.

Debbie Sessions brings The Great Gatsby’s Jazz Age alive with illustrations and historical annotations of the clothing described in the novel. Sixty images of 1920’s dresses, suits, shoes, hats, hairstyles and the people who wore them are included alongside descriptions of the clothing worn in the summer of 1922, the year in which The Great Gatsby is set. Additional cultural insights of the life and times of the roaring twenties are blended into the annotations creating an insightful view of the 20’s wealthier class.”

Costs: Just 99 cents for a limited time for all readers.  One lucky reader will will the giveaway and get a copy for free!  If you enter and you’ve already purchased the book, Debbie will refund the purchase price.

Format: Digital PDF (read on your computer or PDF compatible reading device), .mobi (For Kindle book readers), .and ePub (for most other eReaders like the Nook or iBooks) All three formats are included in one download so buyers can choose how they want to read the eBook.

To Enter
The giveaway is now closed.  Thanks for entering!

12 Comments on Giveaway Time and Guest Post by Debbie of The Vintage Dancer

  1. ette
    June 8, 2013 at 2:12 pm (11 years ago)

    What a lovely Giveaway, thank you very much!
    And what a great post as well! I love how fashion and society develop together and that nothing can be dealt with isolated. I mean for example, the fact that women were able to dress on their own, wasn’t because of someone inventing that radically new fashion, but because WW1 caused the aristocratic and bougeois world to turn upside down, the old system in Europe collapsed and one of a sudden there was the need for such clothing (to name but one thing), because the wealthy upper class with servants was past. It is so fascinating to see, how fashion is always reflecting political and social changes.
    A few weeks ago I saw a lovely tennis dress from 1926 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, made from white linen with a green geometrical pattern on the neckline and the hem. I plan to reproduce this, though I can’t promise I will be able to do it this year.

  2. Mallory
    June 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm (11 years ago)

    This sounds like such a cool giveaway! I’ve always adored the Great Gatsby and loved the romanticism of the roaring twenties. I’ve never given twenties sewing a big look, but I would love to be able to include it in everyday clothing! This year, I’d like to try to sew a “flapper” dress!

  3. Gwen
    June 8, 2013 at 8:43 pm (11 years ago)

    This book is such a great idea! I love finding out more about the fashion and times of the books I read! It’s true that I don’t often suit 20s clothing, but my friend is having a Gatsby-themed 21st Birthday Party and I’m very excited to dress up in all things 1922! I haven’t yet decided whether I’m going to aim for accurate or a fun influenced-modern party outfit :)

  4. Charity
    June 8, 2013 at 8:47 pm (11 years ago)

    What a fun-looking book! I’m a little bit in love with hats right now — I just bought a copy of “From the Neck Up” and am planning to try some period hats later this year. After seeing some of the pics in your post here, I think a 20’s hat just might be added to the list……… :)

  5. Amanda
    June 8, 2013 at 9:18 pm (11 years ago)

    Very cool contest. I love the Twenties and Twenties fashion. It’s so forgiving to those of us who don’t have perfect bodies.

  6. Valerie
    June 9, 2013 at 5:55 am (11 years ago)

    What a unique concept for a book that happens to combine two of my favorite “subjects” of sorts, literature and fashion. This month I’m actually sewing two 1920s style party dresses for my friend’s birthday celebration (one for her, one for me). I’ve had a lot of fun researching the era!

  7. LP Ringland
    June 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm (11 years ago)

    Sounds like a wonderful book! Thanks for sharing! I’m planning a ball gown using pictures of my great-grandmother in 1923.

  8. KT
    June 9, 2013 at 7:40 pm (11 years ago)

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway! I love the 1920s! I have 2 20s ballgowns that I wear for vintage dance perfomances, so this year I need to make a day dress. I have fantastic true vintage black cloche hat with black and white feather trim – and it’s begging for a dress to match.

  9. Kristine
    June 10, 2013 at 5:22 am (11 years ago)

    what an awesome give-away. thank you for the chance to win. I”m working on my vacation wardrobe right now(finishing up a bathing suit) then to make a 20’s-style shift for beach-combing. :)

  10. Loretta T
    June 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm (11 years ago)

    I am making a sheerish two color evening gown. Found the image on pinterest.

  11. Suzan
    June 13, 2013 at 10:42 pm (11 years ago)

    I just scored some vintage patterns from the 20s to the 40s and have cut out a summer house dress similar to the check dress in your 1922 ad above. Though I have a very simple geometric patterned fabric in blue. I like this era because it’s easy to wear yet has the tailoring details that you just don’t see in patterns any longer.

  12. Bry
    June 14, 2013 at 12:13 pm (11 years ago)

    1920’s summer dresses are perfect. I want to make one in a light sheer fabric.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.