1930s fashion trend

1930s fashion trend

1930s fashion trend – Fashion changes in the 1930s were a very interesting topic. The 1930s is the last decade before the Second World War. The Great Depression preceded it. The Second World War followed in the 1930s.
In this decade, we can observe how the period known as the golden age of American film production and Hollywood influenced fashion. Costume designers for films were in a special position. American films set the leading trends in fashion. If you read the article, you will know by the time you get to the end:

  • What events had a major impact on the 1930s?
  • What were the most popular films of the 1930s?
  • How film influenced fashion
  • What were the most popular fashion trends in the 1930s?





The 1930s were defined by a global economic and political crisis. The collapse of the international financial system began with the Wall Street crash of 1929. The biggest stock market crash in American history. The Great Depression is the name given to the economic downturn that followed.

Widespread impoverishment and high unemployment characterized the era. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt responded to the crisis with a wide-ranging social programme and plans known as the New Deal.
Authoritarian regimes emerged in Europe. In Germany, Jews and other minorities were discriminated against, leading to some of the most horrific events in human history over the next decade. At the end of that decade, on 1 September 1939, the Second World War broke out.

The economic collapse caused designers to slash the prices of clothes in order to keep their businesses afloat. Designers used cheaper fabrics. Many women could sew, which made dress patterns popular. It made clothes more accessible.

Mass production continued, so despite the economic crisis and high unemployment in the 1930s, women of all classes dressed fashionably, regardless of wealth. The zipper made clothing production cheaper.

The 1930s saw many important developments in science and technology. Intercontinental flight spread during this decade. So did the radio. There were also major technological innovations in the field of film.

1930s fashion Hollywood

The 1930s marked the beginning of what is considered the golden age of Hollywood. In this decade, talkies dominated, Hollywood switched to the production of sound films, and then colour films appeared.

The year 1939 is considered to be the big year for Hollywood, as it was also the year that Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz premiered. This decade saw the rise of the character of Charlie Chaplin, who embodied the poor immigrant on the silver screen.

Here are the decade’s biggest box office hits, by year:


Whoopee! (1930)


City Lights (1931)


The Sign of the Cross (1932)


Roman Scandals (1933)


Cleopatra (1934)


Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)


The Great Ziegfeld (1936)


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)


Boys Town (1938)


Gone with the Wind (1939)



Starting in 1935, Swing music begins to become popular, steadily replacing the jazz genre that had been popular in the years before. The blues genre was also popular in America, appearing in the late 1920s.
The most distinctive thing in fashion is the focus on the shoulder. Both women’s and men’s fashion was characterised by the exaggerated use of shoulder pads.

1930s fashion trend

The spread of fabrics containing man-made fibres also began in the 1930s. Zippers also conquered the world.

Tanning became fashionable in the 1930s. It became fashionable to stay in holiday resorts on the Mediterranean coast and in the United States on the east coast of Florida, where one could turn.

It was the Prince of Wales and Wallis Simpson, French magazine editor Nicolas de Gunzburg, Daisy Fellowes, Mona Bismarck and Hollywood film stars such as Fred Astaire, Carole Lombard and Joan Crawford who set the fashion trend.

Madeleine Vionnet was a revolutionary fashion designer who became popular for her unique technique. She created elegant Greek-style dresses and is known for promoting biased tailoring in the fashion world.
American cinema and Hollywood films became increasingly popular. Parisian fashion designers faced new competition. Cinema became a source of fashion fodder. The public idolised the film stars and looked to them as role models.


1930s fashion women

After the release of the film Tarzan, for example, animal prints on clothes became popular. Katharine Hepburn’s casual look also attracted a large following. Greta Garbo wore a small velvet hat tipped to one side in the 1930 film Romance and became famous and part of fashion history as the hat of Empress Eugenia.

This hat was designed by Gilbert Adrian, who later became head of the costume department at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He created distinctive styles for some of the best actresses of the era and started countless fashion fads.

Major fashion magazines such as Women’s Wear Daily, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue also covered the costumes used in the films. The dress worn by Joan Crawford in the film Letty Lincoln, which Adrian designed, sold over 500,000 copies nationwide.

It is regarded as one of the most influential dresses in the fashion of the era and inspired many designers to create pieces in a similar style.

The 1939 film Gone with the Wind. The dresses were designed with simplified embellishments and monotone shades in order to incorporate the costume film’s emerging aesthetic of the 1930s modernism.

Costume designer Walter Plunket received huge acclaim for the way the film’s costumes adequately reflected the era of the story as well as the aesthetic of the late 1930s. The ball gown worn by Scarlet O’Hara brought crinoline back into fashion, according to Vogue.


1930s fashion trend


1930s fashion trend – Hats

Cloche hats were popular in the 1930s, as many women wore their hair short, so they remained until the end of the decade. An iconic trend of this decade is this fashion accessory.

1930s fashion men

The impact of the Great Depression on men’s fashion was sobering, colours became more subdued. The bright colours of the 1920s were out of fashion. The London Drape suit took the men’s fashion by storm. Fashion directors included Cary Grant and Gary Cooper.
The waist-length white coat became popular at seaside resorts. Bright red stripes and blue blazers were often worn for sports such as tennis, rowing and cricket.
The war had a big impact on fashion, and men who were not in uniform could continue to wear pre-war suits. However, the British Utility Suit and the American Victory Suit became the distinctive wear.
They were made without pleats, cuffs and sleeve buttons. Coats were shorter and trousers narrower.

Typical fashion accessory

A typical fashion accessory in men’s fashion in the 1930s was the Fedora hat. It was often worn tilted at an oblique angle. Another popular hat was the Homburg, favoured by older people.


The 1930s were greatly influenced by the economic situation. The world economic crisis also had an impact on fashion. Despite the spread of poverty and unemployment, women continued to dress in style and fashion.
One reason for this was the cheapening of clothes, another was mass production and technologies such as the clothes pattern, which allowed women who could sew to make their own clothes. Fashion in the 1930s was greatly influenced by the American film industry. People also looked to film stars as fashion icons and wanted to emulate their looks. The film stars and the film industry itself became a crucial part of the evolution of fashion.


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