Flappers, the name given to fashionable women of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, are typically portrayed wearing a style of short hair that is “flicked” up as if it is a wispy cloud to obscure their eyes. The most common styles were the “flipper” hairstyle, a style that originated in the 19th century where it was fashionable to rock a short bun with a low ponytail as a “flat veil” — a style for which there is no precedent in the history of fashion.
For many of us our earliest experience with flaps was in high school music classes. Some would also include the image of the young girls who would flutter their hair in a sort of wild, bobbing style in our minds as the flapper.
In the 19th century, when flappers began to appear on the American stage and in the pages of magazines they were portrayed in one of two ways. They were viewed as part of “new wave” style, with their unusual headgear including flapping or bobbing hairstyles. Some were seen as “old school” flappers with their typical flappers’ hairstylist and mousette. But this was a very limited look as they were very practical. The mousette was a fashionable “crown” hairstyle that was often worn on flapper’s heads, but the hairstylist could vary it by making changes to the shape of hair, creating the look of the most glamorous hairstyle of this era. This was a long hairstyle, just the right length from the crown of the head to the end of the bottom, and the flappers simply pulled the ends up and out in an interesting manner. The top of the head was covered by a hat with a large brim, known as a mousetrap. This was also a hairstyle that appeared on girls in high school, but because of the practical nature of the mousetrap it also worked well for flapper’s that were often in the military, traveling in the country, or in other “civilized” ways. They could not wear the flapper’s traditional hats because those were more typically used by the working class women of the day. The mousetrap hairstyle also could be a great way for women to separate out parts of their hair at the ends, or it could have been used to cover a part of the front of the head when it was just a flapper’s and not a girl’s. The mous
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