What We Can Learn from the Tailoring of the Thirties

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The 1930s is often remembered as a time of contradictions. For many, it was a very prosperous time and there are extremely impressive examples of art and design from this period. Equally, many people were affected by the Great Depression during this decade. 

What are the thirties known for?

The 1930s are often remembered mainly for the impact of the Great Depression following the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The decade was also a very turbulent time politically with the rise of authoritarian regimes across Europe, particularly Adolf Hitler. The Second World War broke out in September 1939.

It’s also worth noting that the 1930s were a time of great technological advancement. Particularly noteworthy was the development of talking movies, the first long-play phonograph record, the first colour camera film, the first ‘high definition’ transmission from the BBC and the first intercontinental commercial flight. 

What was the fashion of the period?

During this period a new body shape became the vogue, as inspired by Superman! In order to reflect this, jackets were designed with very broad shoulders while waists were cut slim and trousers were usually tapered. 

This created a kind of ‘V’ shape which was also popular in the cut of British Guard Officer’s style overcoats. The ‘V’ was repeated over and over again, in sleeves (which started out wide and became closer cut as they got down to the wrist) and lapels (which were generally wide and pointy). 

Trousers were cut around three inches above where they are now and were still reasonably wide compared to today’s slim fit. They featured a pressed pleat down the centre of each leg.

What style lessons can we learn from the thirties?

When we look back at 1930s clothes, we can see just how significantly the cut of your tailoring can alter the impression of your body shape. Wide shoulders can be an extremely flattering look on some gentlemen. Wide lapels and high cut trousers can also be a very stylish way to incorporate a vintage style into your look. 

Can we offer you some more period inspiration? Here’s what we can learn from the tailoring of the Belle Epoque.