1930's fashion was all about recovery from excess and the harsh reality of the Great Depression. It was also about getting back to a feminine look. The 1920's encouraged a boyish appearance for women, but by the 1930's, ladies wanted to get back to looking like women.
Really, women wanted to look like the women they were now seeing on the silver screen. Hollywood was beginning to boom and the movies were leading male and female fashion trends everywhere.
Women took back their femininity in 1930's fashion, which meant that the hourglass shape became very stylish. Shoulder pads also became chic, as women had some serious square shoulders in their suits. Waists were tight, creating a dramatic "V" shape from shoulders to waist.
Ankle to knee length skirts were popular in the 1930's, but mid calf was the most commonly seen skirt length. Skirts were still full, but not excessively so. Hats were still used in the 1930's, only they were bigger than those that were worn in the 1920's. However, slimmer silhouettes were popular for both hats and dresses.
In the early 1930's, men's suits became much more simple. This was a response to the excess of the 1920's and the Great Depression in America. For the first time, men went without wearing undershirts, something that had formally been considered a huge taboo.
Men's suits got big during the late 1930's. Very big. The 1930's saw the birth of the comical zoot suit. A zoot suit had big, baggy pants with a very high waist that ended halfway up the chest. The coats had massive shoulder pads and were worn long to the knee. The ends of the coats came in slightly, creating a triangle shape.
Fashion Trend Hits
The 1930's saw the birth of the silly zoot suit, a high-waisted and baggy suit. Though not at all fashionable, there are few suit styles that can compare with the sheer fun and amusement a zoot suit offers. The trend may not be chic, but it's a very innovative creation in the usually dull world of men's suits-and it's guaranteed to bring a smile to the faces of people who see a zoot suit in action.
Women's skirts in the 1930's were very stylish without being excessive. The mid-calf length is still popular, and still looks great. The flowing, but not voluminous skirts with their tailored lines are very flattering to most figures.
Fashion Trend Misses
Women's massive shoulder pads and tiny waists were a terrible combination from the 1930's. Most women walked around looking like part Hollywood vixen and part football player. The shoulder pads were the worst of the two, though. The square silhouette the pads created were anything but flattering on most female frames.
What set the tone for 1920's fashion was an idea of rebellion, scandal and otherwise mixing things up.