Oh, I am SO excited for today’s post!!! I used to not like the 1930’s fashions, but overtime I have come to really appreciate the details and even the silhouettes. Shall we study what they wore back then so we can apply it to our outfits today? Well then, let’s begin!
Here we have several different examples, mixed up in no particular order, from different years throughout the era of the 30’s. Beginning in the early years, we have a heavy influence from the 20’s, with a rather straight silhouette, but we begin to see the waist rising, and the collar and “mermaid” skirt styles of the 30’s. Later on, the waistline is at it’s normal place, or raised slightly higher by a empire waisted skirt, with a belt added at the natural waist. In the late 30’s, the flare that had been sitting at the bottom of the skirt for several years, has now extended all the way from the waist to the hem, and we are seeing the puffed sleeves that lead to the rather squared shoulders of the 40’s. I have to say the late 30’s are my favorite. They are just so feminine.
So, how do we take this and apply it to our wardrobe today? Well, the thing is to keep in mind the details. For example, as I mentioned, skirts that are flared, not gathered (though there are a few examples of gathered skirts in the mid and late 30’s); emphasis on collars; puffed, flared, or ruffled sleeves; lace-up shoes, such as oxfords. You don’t have to, actually you shouldn’t, have all of these details in your outfit. Just make sure, if you want to give off a strong 30’s vibe use the different flared skirt styles, and interesting sleeves or collars (not both interesting sleeves and collars. That can be a bit too much). If you just want a slight 30’s look, just add a few small details such as a peter pan collar (one of the most famous collars from this era), nautical touches, etc. My main tip would be to study this era if you want to replicate some of the looks, and jot down notes, mentally or on paper, of different details that you like, and can incorporate into your everyday looks.
So, on the left I chose a dress with a high midriff waistband. It also had a ruched bodice, a style we see quite a bit throughout the 30’s and 40’s. I just added a basic cardigan that hits at the hip, as sweaters do not have to hit at the waist in order to look vintage, since in practically all the vintage eras, there are examples of sweaters being longer than waist length. Just make sure the sweater isn’t hitting below your hips. I accessorized with a simple woven clutch, heels with an ankle strap and femininely chunky heel (we don’t want a block heel, but we do want a sturdy shaped heel, no stilettos here), and this lovely butterfly brooch that is actually from the 30’s, via Chronically Vintage.
On the right I channeled the 1930’s beach pajama look (which we can wear today in an everyday situation because it’s now acceptable to wear pants in public unlike back in the 30’s). I put together Palazzo pants, a blouse with a neat illusion reverse appliqué, a straw hat with a broad brim, lace up oxfords from HolliePoint Vintage, and a straw purse with the option for being a clutch or shoulder purse. You would want to tuck in the blouse to get the full 30’s look though you could still look very 30’s with it untucked. You could also wear the palazzo’s with a t-shirt for a more casual look.
How We Wore It
On the left, in my Classy On Sunday // Buttons & Bows outfit, I channeled the later 30’s style in a dress that I refashioned from an 80’s/90’s thrift store find. The heeled oxfords, polkadots, and fun rouleau detail around the neckline and sleeves all helped to add to the 30’s effect.
In my Belles on Their Toes inspired outfit, I was channeling more of a late 20’s look, though my outfit could have just as easily applied to the early 30’s. Once again, I wore lace up oxfords, this time in flats, a pleated skirt, and a knit blouse with a pussy bow, for a nice everyday 30’s look.
Here’s a nice graphic with various makeup colors for foundation, eyeshadow, lipstick, etc. as well as an outline of 30’s makeup.
And another picture with more specified shades of makeup for various colorings and skin tones.
Besame cosmetics is a line of, well, cosmetics! They carry all sorts of makeup based on the cosmetics of yesteryear, some of which will work splendidly for the 30’s. They even have a page with an outline of 30’s makeup, including references to some of the products that they carry.
A lovely blog post with more details on 1930’s clothing styles.
Marianne from Fintage (A Finnish Vintage community blog) wears the most darling 30’s inspired wear, some of which she sews herself!
Jitterbuggin is a cute line of vintage repro wear, that, though pricey, would add a nice authentic touch to your wardrobe.
Nudeedudee is another independent repro line, that, though pricey, I have heard is worth the price. Plus, she has some adorable 1930’s striped knit sailor tops. Comfort and vintage style combined? Yes please!!!
Modcloth always has an adorable selection of vintage inspired pieces.
Chatterblossom is an adorable handmade line of jewelry and accessories made with vintage buttons and millinery supplies.
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