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1930s Fashion: Womens, Mens, and Childrens Clothing, 1930-1939


The Great Depression and World War II bookended the Nineteen Thirties, however style flourished anyway throughout this decade. Glamorous Hollywood display stars impressed new seems for girls, males, and even youngsters. Inexpensive materials, inexpensive catalog clothes, and homespun ingenuity let anybody copy types beforehand worn by the rich. Here’s a fast take a look at Nineteen Thirties style.

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1930s fashion couple
1930s wedding dress
1930s couple, woman in stylish dress

Nineteen Thirties Fashion for Women

The younger, boyish silhouette of Nineteen Twenties girls advanced right into a conservative, subtle form within the Nineteen Thirties. The ultimate, common profile was tall and skinny, with robust shoulders and slim hips.

Women’s Dresses

At house or in public, girls mostly wore attire with huge shoulders; puffy sleeves; modest necklines; greater, belted waistlines; and mid-calf flared hemlines. Frilly bows, ruffles, buttons, and different particulars typically adorned attire.

1930s fashion women sitting on a porch

Housewives wore sensible home attire at house, typically do-it-yourself from colourful printed cotton (together with flour and feed sack cloth). A intelligent model was the “Hooverette” home costume, a reversible wrap model. Day attire for sporting in public have been extra tailor-made and chic, typically comprised of silk or rayon crepe. Some girls wore blouses with skirts.

Formal attire most dramatically displayed the last decade’s willowy, elegant silhouette. Evening robes in fluid materials have been lower on the bias to create flowing, figure-hugging traces that reached the ground. Popular materials included satin, rayon, and chiffon.

Women’s Trousers and Active Wear

Women donning 1930s fashion dress and hat

Hollywood display stars Katherine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich helped introduce girls’s trousers for sports activities and leisure. These trousers have been wide-legged and high-waisted, typically styled like sailors’ pants. Women wore baggier, informal lounge pants on trip and on the seaside. The fashionable swimsuit got here of age in the course of the Nineteen Thirties, as lighter-weight, rubberized materials changed heavier wool fits.

Women’s Hairstyles and Accessories

In the Nineteen Thirties, girls copied the hairstyles and equipment they noticed on common, glamorous movie stars. Short, curly types dominated, such because the glossy Marcel wave (first popularized within the Nineteen Twenties). Toward the tip of the last decade, the extra basic Forties medium-length “middy” model began coming into style.

Women typically accessorized with cheap costume jewellery, gloves, silk scarves, and furs. Smaller hats have been common, akin to berets, Greta Garbo-style slouch hats, or knit caps. Turbans topped fancier seems. Two-tone oxford sneakers and strappy costume sneakers with excessive, chunky heels have been the sneakers of selection. It was frequent to match equipment akin to sneakers, purse, and hat.

Nineteen Thirties Fashion for Men

The male silhouette had huge, padded shoulders, a broad chest, outlined waist, and straight legs. The general pattern was looser and slightly extra informal.

Two boys dressed in 1930s style

Men’s Suits

Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor, was a well-known Nineteen Thirties style icon. He popularized the English drape go well with, which turned common all around the world. In distinction to the inflexible, militaristic lower of males’s fits of his day, Edward wore jackets that have been softer within the shoulder, with a vertical drape over a fuller chest. Other trendsetters included movie stars Clark Gable and Gary Cooper.

Suits of the Nineteen Thirties usually had excessive waists and barely tapered, creased trousers with turned-up cuffs. Younger males most well-liked baggier trousers and longer jackets. Suits have been darker blue, brown, or grey for cooler climate, with lighter tones for heat climate. Bold patterns included stripes, checks, and plaids.

A vest, pocket handkerchief, shorter tie, hat (akin to a fedora or bowler), and darkish or two-toned leather-based costume sneakers accomplished the look.

Man in overalls in the grass

Men’s Work and Leisure Clothing

Daily wardrobes of laboring males paid little heed to style developments. They typically wore bib overalls or coveralls of sturdy denim or duck material. Work shirts have been loose-fitting and long-sleeved. Work uniforms typically paired lighter-weight, coloured shirts with matching trousers. Heavy leather-based work boots protected the toes.

Some males wore sports activities jackets for leisure; within the United States, males additionally wore them to work. Knitted sweaters, soft-collared shirts, and flannel trousers have been additionally donned for sports activities and leisure. Men usually wore one-piece wool swimsuits, however the 30s decade additionally noticed the primary males’s swimming trunks.

What Did Children Wear within the Nineteen Thirties?

Many youngsters wore do-it-yourself clothes or gadgets bought from mail-order catalogs. During the Great Depression, moms typically remade youngsters’s clothes from different gadgets, together with flour and feed sacks. These gadgets would have been distinctive and maybe well-worn, however many have been styled after prevailing developments.

The frilly attire worn by younger, common movie star Shirley Temple and Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret within the United Kingdom set the tone for women’ clothes. Embellished, puffy-sleeved attire sported rounded Peter Pan collars. Hemlines have been excessive for youthful ladies and dropped under the knee for older ladies. Dark “Mary Jane” costume sneakers topped ankle-high white socks.

Two stylish children in 1930
Mother and sonin 1930s
Young girl in 1930s fashion, sitting

Boys’ trouser hemlines additionally dropped as they received older. Younger boys donned sailor fits or “buster suits,” which paired shorts with long-sleeve, button-down shirts. Older boys wore trousers or flannel fits with button-down shirts and ties, generally with a knitted sweater or sweater vest.

Fashion in Your Family History

Fashionable 1930s couple

What did your kinfolk put on within the Nineteen Thirties? Look for photographs of them within the free, crowdsourced collections of FamilySearch Memories. Or add your individual household photographs to share recollections of your family members—and of what they wore.

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