Girling Up La Garçonne

If last week was about embracing my masculine side with the 1920s “tomboy” trend known as La Garçonne, this week is about going girlie on the guy look.

Below is a photo of a woman who would fit right in to Coco Chanel’s La Garçonne era. Isn’t she gorgeous? I thought about recreating this look for my blog, but then I realized the only time I would ever wear that whole outfit would be for the photo shoot. That makes it a costume and my goal is to take real iconic elements and style them in a way that makes sense for today.

La Garconne 2 Collage

Let me be clear — If you look at the woman on the left and you love what she’s wearing and you completely reconstruct her look for daily wear, by all means, do it! Please send me a photo of it because I will cheer you on and think you’re the coolest kid on the block. I’m serious.

For me, though, it’s not practical to dress this way. I adore it–it’s just not a look I could pull off. Still, I liked the outfit so much that I decided to girl it up a bit and make it my own.

How I “Girled-Up” La Garçonne

As you can see, I kept the newsboy hat. And, yes, I do wear it on a regular basis. Thanks to the bill on it, the sun stays out of my eyes and the style is just a little dressier than a baseball cap. It comes in handy for bad hair days too.

Instead of a sweater vest, I pulled on a favorite thrifted sweater dress over a long-sleeve collarless shirt. For those of you seeking your own fashion inspiration, I want to point out that this dress is a shift dress and not entirely unstructured like what they might have worn in the Twenties. It has a seam at my natural waist that cinches in a bit, providing some shape, which I like. If you’re like me and you have issues with lower belly bulges, a dress like this is nice because the bottom half is a little looser than the waist, giving shape in one area while camouflaging the other. (Control-top hose or Spanx help, too!)


Instead of a bowtie, I pinned a diamond-shaped brooch to the dress. The brooch belonged to my grandmother. I think it makes a pretty bowtie substitute, don’t you?


It’s hard to tell from the photo, but the lady on the bike is likely wearing trousers that are banded just below her knees with tights that cover her leg below that. As a petite, such hemlines are best ended above my knees to keep the visual line of my legs longer. The better to see my fun purple tights, I say! They go with my brooch and make me happy.

Given the style of outfit worn by our Garçonne, she probably has on oxford shoes, which are also known as brogues. My vintage Stuart Weitzman heels aren’t exactly subs for that style, but their gray wool is quite masculine and perfectly matches the texture and color of my dress. The little band and buckle across the toe box also add masculinity to the shoe.


Now this is a look I can wear. In fact, I did and I have. I have even worn it to walk the dog, although I switched the shoes out for knee-high boots. My pup is known for racing through mud and marshy grasses to chase down a particular smell, especially if I’m wearing nice shoes, so I never leave anything to chance. Plus, who wants to walk the dog in three-inch heels?


If all that wasn’t enough to girl-up this look, I opened a fresh box of Girl Scout Cookies;  Samoas because the box matches my outfit. (grin) Seriously, though, I have a box in every flavor and I can never decide which is my favorite. Why wouldn’t I choose one that sets off my look?

Yum! Girl Scout Cookies!!!

Girl-Up, Ladies!

Shop this Look:

Goorin Bros. Newsboy “Ari” Cap  |  J.Crew Factory Long-Sleeve Popover Top, old: Similar herehere, and on in Size P  |  Wool Eileen Fisher Shift Dress, thrifted: Similar here, here, or exact on eBay in Size PS  |  Diamond-Shaped Brooch, my grandmother’s: Lots on eBay  |  HUE Purple Tights, old: Similar here and here  |  Stuart Weitzman Heels, old:  Similar here and here  |  Vince Camuto Satchel Shoulder Bag

Girl Scout Cookies Locator

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  • You look adorable and that brooch is a perfect replacement for the bow tie!!
    I think I’d wear her look somewhat—I don’t have the hat (although I love your reasons for having yours—I may have to fill that gap in my closet)! But I do have a pink vest, and I’m sure I’ve worn a white shirt under it and my brown pants (because I love pink & brown). Wearing a jacket over it is practical—and I do have some brown oxfordish shoes!! See—I could do it!
    As for the cookies—we’ve taken a sabbatical on them and I try to make my own with real ingredients (although Samoas are my true favorites—the problem is i eat the entire box in one sitting—-ugh!!)

    • Thank you, Jodie! I love pink and brown as well. When I started thinking about this post, I realized I don’t have enough of those colors in my closet, so I’m working on that! (I have mostly black and gray. This blog is helping me see my addiction.)

      I think my biggest “issue,” if you can call it that, for reproducing this look is in the bowtie and the pleated knickers/knee pants. I might wear a bowtie as an accessory, but knee pants would be harder to pull off in my mind. Your idea of wearing a pink vest with brown pants sounds like the perfect compromise! What kind of shoes would you wear with it?

      I know what you mean about eating a box of these cookies in one sitting! The boxes are small and the cookies are small and before you know it — poof! — they’re all gone! Buying these is an annual tradition for me as a way of supporting my local GS troop and the organization as a whole. Still, my husband doesn’t eat them, so it’s up to me to “take one for the team” and eat them myself. Let’s just hope I have restraint enough not to eat them all in one sitting! (fingers crossed!)

  • Another lovely outfit. So enjoying learning about 1920s fashion from your blog, Sherry and you look like you are having a lot of fun with your research! The brooch is a beautiful substitute for the bowtie and what a wonderful thing to have it passed down from your grandmother. I must say that I doubt you have many bad hair days (you should live a day with my mop!), but the newsboy hat is seriously cute and as for your ‘belly bulges’ … er, where????

    • Astrid, thank you for making me smile with your encouraging comments! I’m so glad you’re enjoying this glimpse back in time! It is definitely fun for me to combine my love of history with my love of fashion.

      As for bad hair days, you should see it today! I had it colored and cut yesterday and the stylist did a beautiful job creating something I loved with his curling iron, but today it is in dire need of some curl reconfiguration! Hats are a must if I am to be seen in public today! (Either that or I could just wash it and start all over, but that would be too much work.) Ha ha!

      Many people chide me on what I perceive as belly bulges but when I look in the mirror I do see it, especially in certain outfits. I think all of us have those parts of ourselves we see differently than others do. Fortunately, this one camouflages everything and makes me feel comfortable about it. 🙂

    • Thank you for your lovely and thoughtful comments! You’ve made my day. 😀 I hope someone makes your day great too–and that you have a great weekend to follow! Thanks for visiting. Come back anytime!

  • Your right about shape regarding us petites. we have to be so careful. I wear heels at all times , only when I walk the dogs do the wellies come out! More tres chic with the broach too! Love this look Sherry.

    • Laurie, you’re petite too? So many petite ladies out there–I had no idea!! You all make it look so easy to find great pieces. 😀 Thank you for dropping by and for your kind comments! Have a wonderful week!!

  • Sherry, how cute are you in this?!
    I mean that in the US and UK versions of the word….brilliant styling.
    Quirky and cool.
    Those tights are right up my street and your grandma’s brooch is a delight.

    • Thank you, Samantha! I thought you might like those tights! Your posts have inspired me to go a little bolder myself!

      Have a wonderful weekend. I’ll be seeing you in the blogosphere! 🙂

      – Sherry

  • Anytime you can use grandmother’s brooch to top off or enhance a look is an important moment of truth. This brooch is really lovely. It looks like opals???
    I have worn newsboy caps in fall and winter mostly bu I LOVE the attitude and vibe the create. I think they’re much cuter than a baseball cap and they feel so classic and cultured and cute!!! You look DARLING in this oufit Sherry!