Essays On Fashion During The Great Depression

Fashion, Film & The Great Depression

With the stock market crash of late 1929, The Great Depression begun in the United States and was seen as the worst economic recession the country has seen in its history. Many Americans escaped to the movie theaters to see the glitz and glamour of Hollywood films. If a woman could not afford a new wardrobe, at least she could see movie stars like Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford and Carole Lombard live a picture perfect life.

Longer Hemlines & A focus on the waist

The 1930s saw a return to longer hemlines for women. In fact, the term hemline first started to be used during the decade as a During the day, ladies would wear skirts just above the ankle while nighttime evening gowns reached the floor. The natural waist was also embraced again in comparison to the 1920s flapper era often featured loose silhouettes. 1930s designers like Vionnet and Schiaprelli are credited with influence a more tailored and defined look in fashion.


The previous decade saw a more form-fitting and sleeker looking swimsuit although much of the body was covered. And for the 1930s, more advances were made for swimsuits. Sunbathing was all the rage and women’s swimwear designs included backs with lower cuts as well as lowered bust-lines to achieve a suntan look.By the latter part of decade, two pieces were introduced exposing a woman’s midriff.

Pants for Woman?

Although it was not too common, in the 1930s women who worked in factories would wear pants and actresses like Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn were captured in trousers. It would take forty more years until society would fully embrace woman wearing pants, but the 1930s seemed to begin as a turning point thanks to these style trailblazers.

1930s Fashion Trends Now

Filed Under: Style GuideTagged With: 1930s, fashion trends

Great Depression Fashion: The 1930s

The 1920s or Roaring Twenties were a formal time for men’s fashion, marked by sharp, tailored suits and strict dress rules. However, the Great Depression of 1929 devastated the world economy and in its course men’s style was effected. As the Great Depression effected much of the 1930s, with the start of World War II and military production largely responsible for recovery, fashion of the decade was more reasonable, less formal and showcased the relaxed silhouette.

While the 1920s offered decadent options when it came to the colors of dress shirts, ties and other accessories, fashion in the 1930s took a backseat to the economy. Widespread economic hardships resulted in a less wealth and a smaller variety of fabrics. Men no longer indulged themselves with reckless spending but had to be thrifty.

1930s Men’s Fashion: The Modern Superhero

Although men watched their spending more closely, that doesn’t mean that styles went unchanged. Looking for strength and confidence, men turned to new silhouettes. Aspiring for an athletic build, new suits of the era featured narrow waists and broad shoulders, often finished with shoulder pads. Contributing to a larger than life silhouette, coats featured oversized pockets and pointed lapels. Cuffed trousers continued to be in vogue, but were tapered despite being wide in silhouette and suited for casual wear.

1930s Casual Men’s Styles

Interestingly enough, the 1930s saw the introduction of the polo shirt and the popularity of the Bush shirt, which was short-sleeved and featured four front patch pockets. Previously a marker of the common man, sweaters became a trendy piece for men to wear around the clock. Double-breasted sweaters and short jackets also became extremely popular.

How to get a Modern 1930s Inspired Look

Pump up the volume and embrace tailoring.

Filed Under: Style, Style GuideTagged With: 1930s


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