Dressing Deco

Ladies attire - by Lee-anne Freeman, Charleston Chic

  • Start with a simple dress or frock - make it plain and pastel, with a small floral print. Alternatively, try a shift dress with a little sleeve. The appropriate length should be below the knee.
  • The most important accessory is a matching hat in a shade to compliment the dress. Add a flower or a distinctive trim of ribbon or scarf. The typical sunglasses for this period are a small round shape, ideally with metal/tortoise shell faux rims.
  • Shoes can be a pale colour to match with your choice of hat. Choose a Mary Jane style or Tee-Strap like a dance shoe with closed in toe. Ballet flats or court shoes will also work.
  • Gloves are a wonderful addition if they are crocheted or lace in a shade to compliment your chosen accessories. A parasol adds a nice feminine touch and sensible sun protection in Hawke’s Bay’s high UV light.
  • Jewellery can add instant glam to a plain frock. You can't go wrong with white, cream or coloured pearl beads. Finish with matching earrings, or even a pearl bracelet.
  • Make up can be a simple skin-tone foundation with rouged cheeks, pale eye shadow, kohl eye pencil and a shade of red for the lips, with a pale-coloured nail polish. With hairstyles, it is often simpler to wear a bob-style wig to avoid having to drastically change your current style.

Men's attire - by local Deco legend, Bertie

  • Deco suits are usually blue pin stripe and double breasted, with wide bottom trousers with turn-ups with buttoned fly.
  • For a Summery look, try a striped or plain blazer (or suit jacket) with baggy pale trousers (bags).
  • For hats, go for the Trilby (fedora) with the suit, or a straw boater or panama with the blazer and bags.
  • Neckwear – bow tie or a standard tie with the suit, or cravat (ascot) with the blazer.
  • Don't forget your braces clipped or buttoned to your bags.

Where to shop

If your needing to get kitted out in deco our local stores are wealth of knowledge on this era of fashion and can help steer you in the right direction!

4 Herschell Street, Napier

Art Deco Shop
7 Tennyson Street, Napier

1 Tennyson Street, Napier

Napier Central Store
74 Hastings Street, Napier

Napier Antique & Jewellery Centre
65 Tennyson Street

Tabard Theatre Costume Hire
18 Coronation Street, Ahuriri

Look the Part
14 Devonshire Place, Taradale

Art Deco Costume Hire
9 Te Aute Road, Havelock North

Plus local op shops are a great source of deco attire - St Andrews Op Shop in Westshore is a local fav to get decked in deco!