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1930s

Mood Indigo ( 1933) - Boswell Sisters
00:00 / 00:00
Stars of The Silver Screen 
Songbirds & Crooners

The 1930s was a decade of plenty.

And what the young like to do was DANCE!

With new inventions rapidly improving our world, there also came new fabrics which in turn could make creations of new styles possible. Improvements with Raylon and the invention of Nylon in 1938 are just a couple of examples. These fabrics looked and felt like richer

fabrics but were much cheaper.

And all the smart girls had them!

Jazz continued to dominate the music scene.

However there was a new thing on the horizon.

 Latin themed music re-created new dances like the the Samba and  the Rumba for the young who flocked to the dance halls in their droves.

And later in the decade the Lindy Hop and Swing started to make an appearance in the west.

And being so,clothes had to become more practical for dancing. So no longer were you expected to wear a full length gown to a dance, now you could wear a cocktail dress even after the cocktail hour!

In addition the Latin flair came into the fashion designs for both men & women.

Just as Egyptology had influenced fashion in the last decade the popularity of Latin America and Spain was hip in the 1930s. With the revolutions in Brazil in 1930 and Spain in 1936.

And with the great wave of European immigration (1870–1930s) there established a strong relationship to The Argentine.

The news was all things Latin.

And so we had , flamenco gowns that hugged the hips, culottes, bolero jackets, butterfly and balloon sleeved blouses, peasant blouses and sombrero for women and baggy pants, two tone shoes,

fedora and Panama hats, slick down hair with Brylcreem & thin moustache  for men,

just to name a few influences .

The Cinema was also a big draw in the 1930s with the advent of the talkies.

Every body wanted to look like the Film Stars.

The evening fashions reflected the Hollywood Style. Decadent fabrics of satin and silk were copied with the 'new fabrics' of rayon & nylon. They were rolled out in their yards to form long flowy slinky dresses that skimmed the feminine form.

The invention of nylon & rayon gave cheaper options of fabric & meant that most women could have a satin like gown.

Men too got swisher! Baggy legged trousers with high waistlines and loose fitting suit jackets, showed no expense in fabric was spared!

Sports still featured highly on the youths calendar and new lines in sportswear came into view.

Two design movements dominated the 1930s, influencing even fashion
These were
 
ART DECO
&
ART MODERNE

ART DECO in terms of fashion was as it says Art & Deco.

In other words, the clothes, particularly evening wear was about form, the basis of all 'art' and the decorative adornments to enhance that 'form.'

Often solid monochrome colours of fabric with sheen or smooth texture to them were draped across the body to reveal its form. Then adorned with sparkly jewels and embellishments. These 'deco' embellishments and accessories were not garish or over indulgent but rather under stated , classic and sophisticated.

The by word was STYLE. 

The hair too was worn smooth and sleek in a latina fashion, but also contained elaborate kiss curls and finger waves.

The make-up was monochrome, usually black around the eyes and red on the lips. Applied in a strict stylised form, the eyes, brows and lips were enhanced to accentuate their form & shape, rather than to enhance a natural look.

ART MODERNE

Added to the chic style of Art Deco even more sleekness and form. Often taking from the 'modern world' of the day and its accomplishments. Art Moderne fashions embraced the nautical, industrial and artistic into abstract patterns in fabrics and building like forms in the clothes. Such as a woman's suit with stiff shoulders & lapels, streamline forms & geometric stiff fabrics. Set off with stiff formed hats, slightly tilted to one side, white gloves and box like clutch purses.

COCO CHANEL
Nautical Look
Sonia Delauney fabric design (1930s)
BOHEMIAN
But still the casual and comfortable style of The Bohemian was popular during the 1930s. 
Especially in holiday wear, due to its relaxed fit and colourful fabrics. Beach suits, swimsuits, wide brim hats, kimonos and wide leg trousers still were loved and worn. African style head scarfs worn by ladies and Chinese detailing of collars etc, were in vogue for the Bohemian style lover. Fans, parasols, scarfs and other drapery were there to accent the look.
'Beach' suits or Lounge suits
Notice the 'Piggy' handbag
Costumes from Agatha Christies Poirot- Evil under The Sun

MENS FASHION

Every fashionable man owned at least one three piece suit. This consisted of a pair of trousers, sports cut jacket and a under vest.

Baggy yet stiff looking suits, pin stripe, grey, brown, navy,black or white. Etiquette dictated which to wear and when. Black tie and lounge suit for cocktails, white tie and tails for Opera or theatre. Fashionable suits, like the three piece with colourful tie and pointed collared shirt for other parties and tweedy suits for day wear.

But true Bohemian artistic types said no sir to convention & wore open necked shirts, baggy turn-up trousers and white plimsolls anytime, even at parties.

But most men could be called on to be appropriate in dress for an occasion.

Sporty clothes were still popular as was sport. The colourful knitted vest set off a tweedy sports coat and trousers, accentuated by a panama hat sitting jaunty to the side, along with slick backed Brycream-ed smooth hair to give that Latino feel to the style.

Clark Gable in a Fashionable three piece suit with a pointed collared shirt and colourful tie.

ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot

Chief Inspector Jap, Captain Hastings

& Poirot

all in Three piece suits.

ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot

Captain Hastings knitted vests

ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot

 Captain Hastings demonstrates the dress for a night out at the Theatre

ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot

Captain Hastings

shows what a fashionable man looked like.

1930s Bohemian Look
HATS
In the 1930s, hats were worn at a very jaunty angle ,where they were worn low almost over the face. This gave a playful look which was considered sexy at the time. The styles were simple and natural to the head shape. They were there to actuate the head rather than stand out per say 

SHOP HERE

SHOP HERE

Men's Fashion Gallery
Hit Cinema Films