FASHION HISTORY: Vintage Decade: 1930s

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hello All! I am once again on a trip, half business and half personal. Right now I'm on the business part of my adventure. I'm participating in a 3-day Corrosion Training Course in West Virgina at West Virgina University. I've never been to "Morgantown, WV", and I have to say that unless I come back to do this training again next year I'll probably never come back. Nothing wrong with the town, just a college town with nothing to do! Anyway back to my blog...needless to say, since I'm in training, I probably won't have any outfit posts for a little bit, so I decided to blog on another Vintage Decade. I blogged about "What is Vintage Clothing?" here, and my favorite Vintage Decade the 1920s here.

Article Reference
(No, I'm not skilled enough to write such a fab article, but I did copy it from online for your reading pleasure)

The 1920s era was one of such tremendous social change and wild experimentation in art, music and fashion that it is hard to imagine that kind of drastic change continuing for very long. Indeed, if anything could bring the eccentricity of the 1920s to a screeching halt, it was the Great Depression that arrived in the 1930s. For one thing, people were feeling much less frivolous when they were enduring the worst economic collapse in the nation's history.

But perhaps a bigger impact was that people simply no longer could afford exotic fashions in clothing that were purchased just to look snazzy on a night on the town. Fashion designers were aware of this dramatic shift in fashion trends in the 1920s and they returned to a more basic style of design for women's clothing for that decade.
Let's take a look at the evening wear referred to as "Movie Star Glamor"

While women's fashions prior to the 1930s became bold, sometimes androgynous and notably daring, that approach to women's fashion in the 1930s changed. But the fashions of the 1930s did retain a romanticized image of the woman's shape and that was reflected in the fashions of the time. Many of the experimental changes of the 1920s were corrected. For example, the waistline that was defined by a fashionable 1930s woman's outfit was where it should be on the body rather than shifted lower. Similarly, the skirt length became longer which was a reverse of the 1920s approach to fashion which flaunted social convention with what was shockingly short skirts for the time.

1930's Hairstyles

What was positive about 1930s fashion trends was the emphasis on the woman's body as a feminine thing of beauty. The bust line was emphasized after years of being suppressed due to the androgynous styles of the 1920s. Evening gowns were backless in the 1930s, which recreated evening-wear as both attractive and elegant. It was also in style to be healthy and for a woman to show off her toned down body. However, what also came along with this emphasis on being skinny was the use of the corset to create the fashionable look of being slim even if the woman herself didn't have that shape. Because of the renewed emphasis on healthy living, sporty wear in 1930s fashion became quite popular.

Two fashion designers that found the perfect blend of innovation in 1930s fashion design but doing so within boundaries were Madeleine Vionnet and Elsa Schiaparelli. Both of these designers created memorable fashions that were in step with 1930s concepts of what looks good. The knitted white bow that was a hallmark of 1930s women's fashion was a creation of Elsa Schiaparelli. These 1930s designers also made fashions that were helpful to women in the workplace such as a woman's suit that even had pockets that looked like drawers.

Shirley Temple, Ginger Rogers, Bette Davis, Clark Gable, Fred Astaire

The decade was well known for creativity and style and that approach to 1930s fashion was contributed to by Vionnet who drew fashion ideas from statues of the ancient Greeks. Vionnet was a designer that became quite popular in the 1930s because of the use of stylish and flowing lines in the dresses that they produced. These styles fit with the mood of the times to continue the trend toward 1930s fashions that asserted the independence of women but did so while emphasizing creativity, femininity and beauty. Small wonder 1930s fashion styles started trends that have been repeated often since that era (like the fascinators that have reappeared in modern fashion)

Modern Take on 1930s Fashion

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  1. Great thoughtful post you wrote! Thanks for sharing! Love your blog!

  2. @potpie du mondeHi! Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed the post and my blog!

  3. This was a great post =) I really enjoyed reading about how through the two decades (20's-30's) the fashion trends led to and portrayed independence. You picked good images to go along with the text too.

  4. Oh my gosh!!! So thorough! I love being inspired by fashion of days gone by. Hope your trip (both work and personal!) goes well!

  5. @HollyThanks Holly! Yea I loved this article that I found. I didn't want something that went on and on for days, but was quick and to the point. Thanks for liking the pics! That was fun for me to hunt for those!

  6. @Alexis of NorthOnHarperHey girl! Yea this whole vintage thing is really starting to catch on to me. Though I don't have a lot of vintage items, I've always loved watching old movies like film noirs and I always loved the outfits of ladies from those days, so I'm surprised, I'm not more into vintage!

  7. Hey girl love your blog... Just wanted to let you know that I am Honored to Award you the, The Adorable Blog Award, check out my Blog for the details... *)

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  8. I love vintage styles so much

  9. This is such a cute article, I love reading bout how women of yesteryear dressed.

    Always so elegant and their prints are fabulous!

    The Cat Hag

  10. Great idea, honey!Love the post!xoxo

  11. @ShayGThanks so much Shay! It really means a lot to me to receive awards from other bloggers! So fun!

  12. @The Cat HagHey Addie! I watched a movie the other night with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire and I just fell in love with her dresses. They were fabulous. How fun to know that you could dress that fancy everyday!!!

  13. @Alina F.Thanks girl! I'm glad you liked it!

  14. Great post, I always see posts on the 50s, 60s, and 70's style it's so cool you did one on the 30's. I think LC's hair looks so retro and cool.

    Nice blog and thanks for your Vegas tip about the pass. I didn't know that one, thanks!

  15. Women were so much more fashionable then. No jeans and tee shirts here!

  16. Hmmmmmm... Gorgeous women and glamorous too..
    Nice blog..

  17. 30s style dressing can be tricky. You reallly need to figure out how to bring modern into something so classic. Plus you don't want to look out dated and looklike you're playing dress up in grandmas closet. With that being said I love 30s hairstyle. I wish I was better at doing my own hair lol.

    Jeffrey Campbells are a great family runned shoe company. Their shoes might look frightingly high but they are way comfortable. I wish it would stop raining here so I can wear my JC sandals lol.

  18. What a great post! I love vintage/inspiration from earlier times! Classic timeless looks! :)

  19. I have always wanted to try finger waves, but they are so hard!

    Meanz (Koi Story)

  20. Yes, we all should thank Madeleine Vionnet, what girl doesn't look good in a bias dress! I love the 1920s fashion styles. It has always been a great source of inspiration for me, in addition to films of other eras as well. Great post!


  21. lauren conrad does the glamour hair well !!

    have you seen my latest post?

  22. @DaleNo problem on the passport thing. I always love to share tips! I agree, mostly posts on the 50s, 60s, 70s. I'm glad you enjoyed this post

  23. @THE-LOUDMOUTHRight! Even though I'm just now getting into dresses I would have LOVED to wear the dresses from back then! So glamorous!

  24. @Heather I totally agree on pulling of 30s fashion. I would have love to be in that decade to wear those clothes, or even act in a movie or play from the time period like "Water for Elephants". I think the fascinators, and some of those hats have come back full force. So hadding a similar hat to an outfit may be enough mixture of 30s and vintage.

  25. @RosaliaDidn't they dress well. Those women were classy

  26. @MeanzYea I don't think I could pull it off. I wouldn't even know how to start! haha

  27. @Fashion Tales....I LOVE watching old black and white movies. Those are my favorite. The dancing, singing, and just the outfits are great!

  28. @fashionwiseYea she does do it well! I like the other girl's hairstyle too!

  29. Oh, hi!!
    Your blog is really amazing!!
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    Alice Dias


  30. @Alice DiasHi Alice! Thanks so much for the compliment on my blog. I always love having new readers and new followers! I will definitely check out your blog!

  31. amazing post dear!
    Amazing blog! Following! Follow back? <3

  32. @MarellaHey girl! Thanks so much for the compliment. I will check out your blog! Thanks for following!

  33. What a great post! The roaring 20s is one of my favorite eras. Another reason why I love watching The Notebook :)

  34. @HazeI really loved watching the notebook, but it makes me too sad, but a really, really great movie! Yes! If I could pick any decade to go back to it would be the twenties!!

  35. Fashion and style of 1930's and today there is a huge different. Because the fashion industry changing by the time.

    Watch Cars 2 online free

  36. Told like a true fashion historian. Great post!


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