Fashion is something that has evolved with people. It has become more and more creative and better looking in many ways. But all of that comes from various inspirations taken from the past. Whatever fashion trends we see nowadays are mostly inspired by long fashion history. Well, there are so many different eras in terms of fashion. Here we’ll be talking about fashion in the 1930s. The reason 1930’s fashion holds a unique significance is because of the modernization. Around this time, fashion started going to the next level, and it got modern. People started accepting new styles and popular trends around this time.
Let’s check out the history of the 1930s in terms of fashion.
History of Fashion in the 1930s
The fashion trends of 1930 began by breaking all the restrictions of the Victorian and Edwardian era. The restrictions were to wear tight and covered clothes. In the early 1930s, women started moving away from the extravagant clothing styles of the previous days. The first move was to go towards something looser and a bit of revealing clothes. This was almost accepted by everyone and soon became a trend. Men also moved away from formal clothes. They opted more for loose clothes and became more casual. This was the time when sportswear became a thing in the world of fashion.
This modernization in 1930’s fashion had two phases. In the first one, the changes were done gradually and slowly. There was some reluctance to the fashion trends as well. As the clothes were a bit revealing, it needed some time to blend in. Later on, in the second phase, people embraced what was presented before them. They accepted the styles and also built on it even more. These times lasted for around ten years until the worldwide calamity became worse. Even after all that, this was the time when fashion took a big leap and brought some significant changes. These changes made lives more comfortable and created a foundation for modern fashion. People realized the necessity of loose and revealing clothes around this time. They got to know about possible fashion trends with different fabrics.
Different types of materials were used in the process of fashion around this time. Rayon became quite a popular choice for different clothes. Also, for fastening clothes, hooks and eyes replaced buttons and lacing. People could find more options in fabrics. Along with all these, there were production quality changes as well. The production method emphasized fashion trends to reach more people. Also, it made things easy for owners to produce more clothes. This motivated them to move with the fashion trend and keep up with it. All in all, we can say that whatever we see in today’s fashion has a lot to owe to the fashion movement of 1930. It established various fashion trends, and women could actually take a breath from their clothes.
Different clothes from the 1930’s fashion
Now that you know some history of that time, let’s talk about some clothes from the time. There were many different kinds of clothes available at that time. But here we will talk about the ones that brought changes in the fashion trends. Let’s start with women’s wear.
Women clothing in the 1930s
In the 1930s, the fashion was more on the more unaffected side. It moved away from those royal lineages and shifted on a more casual side. Here, fashion was about the whole look that someone carries. Simple lines and shapes that go along with different body shapes were the prime concern.
At that time, women’s wardrobe included fur coats, rayon frocks, silk dresses, Kimonos, robes, various types of hats, and many more. This was the essential wardrobe of any women living in that time and keeping up with the fashion.
Let’s get through the different details of women’s clothing in the 1930s.
Around that time, winter coats were a crucial part of any women’s wardrobe. As the weather back then used to be cold most of the time. These coats used to run as long as the knee. The primary material used in them was wool velour. This helped to keep women warm all the time.
At that time, fur was really a popular choice as well. It came from various animals from around the world. The most wanted fur came from Seal. Alongside them, Mandel and beaverette fur were also something people craved for.
There were options for buying the fur collars separately if they were already not on the coats. This also opened up the scope for mixing up different cuffs and collars to come up with new styles as well.
Sometimes the coats were completely made of fur, which made them the most comfortable dress anyone could wear. Other significant details about the coats are their big round buttons. These were sewn on the sides and had a fashion statement of their own.
Frocks became a quite popular trend back then. As it was a bit revealing it wasn’t accepted in the beginning. Later on, people started catching up with the trend. The most popular material for frocks was cotton and rayon. They were very much practical in terms of their usage. They were garnished with embroidery on the collar and also on the front of the blouse as well. To bind the collar and cuffs, silk ribbons were used most of the time.
There were various kinds of designs of frocks. They came with different materials such as silk and flannels. Some came with bows, and some came with pockets as well. Some of the frocks had a belt on them. And some came with all of these things. So, people wouldn’t run out of styles or choices when it came to frocks. The color choices people had in them were endless. But at that time plaid used to be the most popular choice among people.
The significant change came in this time where the loose and straightforward styles of dresses. They had very little glamour and royal touch to them, yet they were soothing to the eyes.
The classy silhouette dresses used to be the identity of fashion in the 1930s. Sometimes it had a trimmed tailored collar, which was pretty neat. And along with that went velveteen, which gave the dress an official appearance. But an embroidery done with metallic thread created a more luxurious impression that could suit and occasion at that time.
There used to be a dress called French Serge. It was made of wool with every kind of intricate detail going on it. There used to be a velvet collar that had a bias band. The creativity done in the sleeve was something noticeable about this dress. The sleeves on the dress had an opening right around the wrist. There were deep pleats on both sides in the front. Usually, the collar of the dress used to be turned up for a different kind of look.
Another sign in the dresses of that time were their different embellishments. Various kinds of decors were used to adorn dresses and make them look far better. Such as tiny buttons, different jewels, pins, silk braids, buckles, and so many more. Designers had their hands full with all these decors. So, they made the best of these to come up with unique designs every now and then.
Kimono and Robes:
As we said earlier, comfort became a significant factor in the 1930’s fashion. So, women liked to wear loose dresses every now and then. And especially at home, they preferred comfort over anything else. For that very purpose, Kimono, which is a Japanese style clothing, became a popular choice among women. They were made of serpentine crepe, which didn’t require any ironing at all. The sleeves used to be mandarin sleeves and collars were of surplice. They came in a variety of colors as well.
Another variant of kimonos were morning dresses. They were made of a much harder cloth and had a more everyday look. This dress was mostly worn with an apron, so having any design on them was pretty much pointless. These were dresses that women preferred wearing at their home for extreme comfort. Usually, they wouldn’t go out on these kinds of dresses.
Well, hats were a prevalent trend back in those days. As you might have already seen in movies and tv-shows, everyone used to wear a hat back then. Hats undeniably held some significance in the 1930s. The most common and iconic one was the close-fitting hat. Women from every part wore a hat at that time. There were various designs and decorations on them, as well. Such as silk flowers, bows, buttons, ribbons, feathers were used to decorate the hats. Some hats were small, and some had a really wide brim on the sides. Some of them used to go all the way around. In some cases, the under-brim of the hat had embroidery work on them, which used to look incredibly beautiful as well.
When it comes to fashion, it’s not just about dresses for women. Whatever they carry with them also becomes a part of their fashion. Handbags also have some importance to that as well. Women in the 1930’s used to carry a small bag back then. It was about the size of two wallets. The bags at that time were pretty essential accessories. They came in different shapes and sizes. Also, they had various designs engraved on them. For the materials, leather was used in most of them. However, sometimes snakeskin and ostrich grain were also noticeable on the bags. Another common element was black patent leather. Some bags used to get locked on the top, such as coin purses. And some used to get a snap lock on the bottom. Whatever the case may be, handbags gained a lot of popularity around the 1930s. As women before that preferred purses.
This is something inspired highly from the Victorian era of fashion. Corsets or reducers were a popular form of clothing in the Victorian era. But later on, in the 1930’s it got modernized and came up with a new look.
As rayon became available, they were mostly used in making corsets. Garter brassieres became the updated version of corsets. They could provide the appropriate amount of support in the abdomen.
The belt had an elastic front that had no seam at all. Along with that, there was a brocade that covered the boning and two garters. The whole setup was perfectly arranged and was able to suppress any kind of fleshiness.
Some of the corsets came in woven wear which used to be much more flexible that wouldn’t strain their abdomen. They could keep the shape intact. But they were not comfortable at all.
Men clothing in the 1930s
Whenever we talk about fashion, mostly women, fashion gets focused. And there are obvious reasons for that. But still, alongside women fashion, men’s fashion has also seen quite a bit of evolution. Starting from the Edwardian era to the 1930s, men’s fashion took a wild turn. Men were more into suits and boots rather than long and tight Victorian dresses. The menswear we know today all started back in the 1930s. Clothing before that isn’t seen much nowadays.
Whatever modern men’s fashion has now, comes from the 1930’s fashion of men. Let’s get on with the different kinds of clothing for men in the 1930’s. You will surely find some similarities between today’s men’s fashion.
During the winter season, men used to wear overcoats. They would usually right below the knee. The purpose was to keep the men away from the cold as much as possible, for that wool was mostly used as the prime material as they were thick and were able to keep things warm.
The color choices back then were mostly plaid. Along with that solid black, blueish gray, and different brown shades were also used. The design was pretty simple, as well. It had three big buttons for fastening and had two deep side pockets. Flaps were used to keep the pockets protected from snow and rain. The whole coat used to be a double-breasted style.
Apart from overcoats, men also fancied leather jackets. Sometimes they used to have a fur collar and have buttoned upfront. If they were long in length, they would have a belt to tighten the jacket entirely and keep it in shape. They mostly came in black and deep brown color. Well, you can see both of these clothes in today’s fashion. They are wholly inspired or, in some cases, replicated from 1930’s men’s fashion.
Suits became the most popular menswear in the 1930s. As it was the perfect and a better replacement of Victorian men’s fashion. For outings and general movements, suits were the choice for anyone at that time. Whatever suits you look at nowadays all come from that time.
For the material, it was mostly a mix of wool called cheviot. There was pure wood made suits available as well. With the suit, there was a white dress shirt under the suit. A tie and sometimes a vest was also a choice in the winter. Some people even used to wear bow ties as well. But mostly a rayon or a silk tie was the popular choice.
With suits, there was an unusual trend of wearing short pants. These used to stop at the knees, and they were called knickers. Well, this might sound unusual right now, but that used to be the trend back then. Along with that, suits also came with long pants as well.
The most common look back then was the pinstripes. Suits and pants mostly came in gray, black, or brown. So, if you wish to add some color on your look, your tie, and a handkerchief were the only option to do so.
Wearing white shirts underneath the suits were almost like a rule back then. But besides that, men used to wear a checkered shirt without any suits. The designs were mostly vertical stripes. We can still see these types of shirts. But they were accessible from way back in the 1930s.
The shirt itself had a lighter color, but the stripes used to be of different color combinations. If you want a classic 1930’s look, then a white-collar on a solid or striped shirt was the way to go.
The collars used to be round pointed or buttoned down. Most of the time, they were soft attached collars. But there were times when people used to have detachable collars as well. Although the trend of wearing shirts with no collars also started in the 1930s. That’s the very uniqueness of men’s fashion in the 1930s.
If you want to know the genuine 1930’s style pants, you will need to google their image. Because nowadays they are completely extinct. These pants were known as breeches. Around the thigh they are pretty wide and baggy as they get longer, they get tighter as well. Also, they stop right at the knee height.
They were mostly worn with boots that could come to the calf length. These pants were mostly for work and outside activities. They weren’t necessarily part of any occasion or something, for the material moleskin and wool were used. Also, there used to be double-sided saddle guards right around the knees. Besides the breeches, there were regular pants as well. The kind of pants we see nowadays are pretty similar to them.
Vests and Sweaters:
Vests were a popular and smart choice to wear with suits. In some cases, it was almost mandatory. Nowadays, we can see people wearing vests along with their suits at informal events. This fashion trend started right in the 1930s. Vests had a high V-neck on them and 5 to 6 small buttons that fastened them up. You could see the top of the tie from the vest. They were mostly fitting or tightly fitted.
The collared vest had the most intense 1930’s flavor back then. People also wore vests without collars as well. Some used to wear them without any suits as well. A white shirt and a vest were also a popular styling choice.
In terms of color, they mostly wore a matching color to their suits. So, basically, it was either gray, brown, or black.
Aside from vests, people also wore sweaters. Most of the time, it was a sweater on top of shirts. They mostly used to be sleeveless college sweaters. In the winter, the sweaters were more like an item of complete clothing. People wore shirts, ties and topped it off with a sweater instead of a suit.
The sweaters were mostly made of wool and had checkered designs on them. Some also came in plain colors as well. You can still see these types of sweaters, but mostly the older generation tends to wear these sweaters nowadays. And they are out of trend as well.
Whether it be men’s fashion or women’s fashion hats were a fashionable touch back then. This is what distinguishes today’s fashion from the old days. Mostly a classic straw boater or skimmer hat was the popular choice among people.
Also, people used to wear caps as well. That’s an iconic fashion trend of the 1930s. The 8-panel floppy cap was accessible to anyone at that time. So, anyone could wear one of them and get the look. These hats and caps came in different colors and designs as well. But they were an integral part of fashion at that time
Well, there you have it. We went through various articles and books about the 1930’s fashion. And came up with all the information we could find.
As you can tell, these are the fashion styles that created the basement of the modern fashion. Before this, there was the Victorian era of fashion. In the 1930’s fashion styles, you can notice the modernization. With loose and revealing clothes of women along with suits and vests for men, the whole fashion trend changed. And most of today’s fashion is just an update or a transformation of those fashion trends.