1930’s Fashion Inspiration

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a good weekend, I mostly worked which isn’t unusual. Today I’ll be talking about the 1930’s and fashion inspiration because I haven’t gotten to sew much this past week. I’ve run into a couple of problems which I’ll talk about later, and I’ve been working on my Christmas cards! Once they are sent out I’ll post all of my pictures, they are turning out quite well. On to the fashion!

When it comes to the 1930’s, I adore the line details. Yokes seem to be fancily put together to create visual lines and I can’t get enough of this. It’s so subtle yet incredible.  This decade also brings to mind wide leg pants, billowing shirts, and really chic suits. Of course this is also a very sad era as the Great Depression and happenings in Germany (later resulting in WWII) were a central focus for millions of people. While doing some (really not so great) research I actually came across this page from PBS, the American Public Broadcasting Service, known for their educational programs. It’s about world events in the 30’s, including scientific discoveries, celebrity happenings, and of course, politics. This was the decade that saw the radio become popular apparently, so it had an incredible impact on the average family. If they had a radio they could tune in to the news at any time and considering how we are almost overly saturated with “news” today it’s quite mind boggling to think about how at some point most people didn’t hear about anything “important” until they turned on their radio. I put news and important in quotes because I’m sure many of you will agree that what is considered news now is not always really news or is important. It’s also so highly editorialized that you can’t take anything any network says for the full truth and that’s just plain sad.

ANYWAY. Getting off topic there, let’s get back to the fashion!

I do have an issue with the 30’s in that a lot of the fashion was made for someone that is a lot taller than me. At 5 feet 2 inches (1.58 ish meters, did I do that right?) I have issues with the wide leg pants as they tend to look almost clownish on me or I definitely look very 70’s rather than 30’s. So to get some of these great 30’s looks I’ll just have to play around with shape and fiddle with the width to get one that fits the era yet doesn’t make me feel like I’m drowning in fabric. I’m sure I’ll find some patterns to work with but here are some pictures I’m going to use for inspiration and of course always check out my Pinterest board for more.

1930 1.jpg

I really love the lines in the skirts, and the necklines are all really fantastic. I love the sleeves as well on all of these. From fashion-era.com.

1930 2

More fantastic sleeves and I love the pleat and button details on the skirts. Also from fashion-era.com.

1930 3.jpg

What I love about these outfits is that they wouldn’t look out of place in an office today. Again, great design lines on that skirt, McCall’s even has a similar pattern that I’ll put below for reference.

1930 5.jpg

This is McCalls’ M6993. They actually have a few 30’s inspired patterns and I want them all!

1930 4.jpg

I think this shirt, McCall’s M7053, is amazing as well. They even have it paired with the skirt to show you how well it works!

1930 6.jpg

This is a great day dress that has some fun design lines. Those diagonals! McCall’s M7153 isn’t the only dress but it is the most casual.

1930 7.jpg

Some lovely accessories! This image is from retrowaste.com, who I’ve mentioned before. I love how interesting these capeletts are and love that they are fur! Fake fur is really popular now so thankfully it’s easy to get in a fabric store now. Even Joann has a good selection, which is rare for them.

1930 8.jpg

Again with the amazing sleeves! I also love the hats, they are so simple yet so elegant. Also from retrowaste.com.

1930 9.jpg

The striped dress is amazing. The look is oddly modern, and I really adore the collar on it. The other outfits are nice but this striped number really stands out. Also from retrowaste.com.

1930 10.jpg

It’s a small image but you can still see the great details, especially the interesting bodices and necklines. From VintageDress.

What I really love about 30’s fashion is that you can really make it wearable now. The wide pants, billowy sleeves, and sleek skirts are all easily worn today and nothing stands out as overly vintage. The 1/4 circle skirt I feel is quintessential to the 30’s look. So I think that a 1/4 circle skirt in a few colors/patterns, with a few of those M7053 shirts, and some trousers, you can easily have a fashionable 30’s wardrobe. The key is making sure there are geometric lines and yokes on your trousers and skirts, and to keep things long and sleek. This was a very feminine era and so you can never be too girly when shopping for your fabrics. A nice chiffon would do well, as well as silky rayons. It’s not really common to wear tights anymore but that would certainly add authenticity! Perhaps you could wear patterned tights in fun colors to make things more modern looking.

One last fun fact before I wrap things up here…The zipper was made popular by Schiaparelli in 1933! I find that fascinating because now either everything is knit so we don’t worry about closures or it’s done up with a zip. Buttons are only common for shirts and those are mostly seen as work shirts anyway, at least where I come from. My hometown of Tucson is not very fashionable, to put it mildly. It’s too hot to care about fashion there! The 30’s definitely makes me want to use buttons more for skirts and trousers so I’ll have to start working on that. I already have a couple of the McCall’s patterns mentioned but I’ll be getting the others soon enough.

I already gave credit of my sources, but please be sure to look at the sites where I got my information as well!

thepeoplehistory.com has a ton of information about history in general

vintagedancer.com of course has great articles on the 30’s

history.com doesn’t have any fashion specific information but it’s always good to know about history in general

livinghistoryfarm.org has more farming related information but gives great insight into rural living and the average American experience, as well as world events

I’ve already mentioned PBS but they are a really great site and service


Sorry again about not being consistent with posting, I’m already writing my next post about my need for an ironing board.

What’s an era you really love that you think I should sew up? Let me know in the comments and thanks again for reading!


Until next time,

— Bethany Out


4 thoughts on “1930’s Fashion Inspiration

    • Thanks! Thankfully the 1900’s are very trendy now and there’s a lot of information on them. I am also really happy McCall’s has such great patterns, their 20’s collection is lacking but man they have plenty of 30’s patterns and I adore it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I love it! Terrie that dress is gorgeous, you should definitely get it. I’m not sure about the burgundy though, Sarah’s colors are red, grey, and pink so I’d go with grey or the watermelon. Also it depends on which part of the party you want to match. Sarah’s side (so me and Khrystyne) are wearing the lighter grey and pink, Bill’s side has darker grey and more red. 🙂


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