The fashion of the thirties is usually overshadowed by the great depression, but the New Yorkers in the 1930s were full of glamour and style.
Clothing changed with women’s changing roles in modern society. Society matrons of a certain age continued to wear conservative dresses. But modern and younger women now made sportswear into the greatest change in post-war fashion. The tubular dresses of the ‘teens had evolved into a similar silhouette that now sported shorter skirts. Undergarments began to transform after World War I to conform to the ideals of a flatter chest and more boyish figure.
The corset was diminishing and the bandeau, flattening style was prevalent in the early 1920s. During the mid-twenties all-in-one lingerie became popular, leaving behind the corset and moving into the curvier brassiere era. The women’s rights movement had a strong effect on women’s sexual fashions. Most importantly, the confining corset was discarded, as undergarments changed to suit the new fashions in this decade. Instead of drawers and knickers, women now wore panties.
Fur was in and so were floral patterns. Makeup was chic and shoulder pads were very important until the late 1930s. Although hats were still popular for women, they were gradually becoming less popular.
For the first time in centuries, women’s legs were seen with hemlines rising to the knee and dresses becoming more fitted. A more masculine look became popular, including flattened breasts and hips, short hairstyles such as the bob cut, Eton Crop and the Marcel Wave.
Men still dressed up nice, sporting fedoras and double-breasted overcoats. The boys wore short shorts and tall socks.
New Yorkers in the 1930s images