Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fashions and Hairstyles of the 1930s

Many women of the 1930s did their best to stay in fashion by making over clothing they already had. The depression was a tough time and money was scarce. They might shorten a hemline or change the sleeve to make it more presentable. Of course women of Hollywood played a big role in fashion as they always have. Emphasis was put on the shoulders, with square cuts and broad shoulder pads. Skirts were fitted at the waist with a subtle A line flair.

Clairey Hooper lived in the rural south, where fashion was probably a good decade behind the times. A simple farmer would not have owned an evening gown or anything frivolous or impractical. Her wardrobe would have consisted primarily of house dresses, something practical and easy to work in. Many of the ladies used cottons and calicos with floral or geometrical prints in simply cut patterns for their day dresses. During the depression anything usable was utilized, including fabric from flour sacks, which came in a variety of patterns. Women made good use of these fabrics by making dresses and quilts from them.
A rural farm girl would most likely have made many of her own dresses, although store bought dresses were more the norm everywhere else. Zippers began to be traded out for buttons. An apron was an important part of a housewives wardrobe to protect her dress and make laundry easier to keep up with. The fabric dyes were not the best quality. A woman avoided washing her dress unless it was absolutely necessary because once the dress was washed the dye faded considerable.
The popular hairstyle of the day was the bob with finger waves or curls.  Hats and gloves were a must have staple for accessories.

The following are some examples of dress patterns from the 1930s, which also show lthe trends in hairstyles as well. This would have been the sort of clothing and hair that would have been fashionable in Clairey's time period. 




  1. I would love to have some of our clothing go back to a few of these simple and longer styles. Seeing so many women in skirts so short that you can see ........ well, you know, just isn't very attractive in my estimation. What a lovely trip down "memory lane" and to visualize my Mother as she looked when I used to come home from school each day. Thank you.

  2. I share your love of the simpler and longer styles. I really liked the 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. They had such feminine and beautiful styles then. Big lover of all things vintage.

  3. Love your special historical touch!!