Long and Sleek in the 30s

Fashion in the 1930s could not be more different from the previous decade. Times were tough after the Great Depression of 1929, and clothing reflected this. Gone were the extravagances of the 1920s, clothing in the 30s was plain and simple and repaired and redesigned instead of making new. Women were much more conservative, but more feminine than the 20s.

Greta Garbo, Hollywood’s starlet, was the most prominent influence for the fashion of the 30s. Women recreated the Hollywood look of long and sleek, a more sophisticated look than the ‘Flapper’ style of the 20s. Skirts lengthened to calf length, and from the natural waistline flared out emphasising curves and femininity. Bra cup sizing started, which introduced the two separate items of lingerie rather than the one pieces worn before.

The skirt-suit was really introduced in the 1930s (obviously becoming most prominent by the 80s). Suits were well fitted, again emphasising the small waist, and feminine with pleats rather than the masculine look that suits developed into.

The economic climate had a huge influence on the fashion during this decade. The start of the second World War in 1939 changed the fashions again going into the 1940s.


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