What did women wear in the 1930s?

Fashion goes through dramatic changes from one year to another. There is no wonder why the trends were completely different 90 years ago. The fashion in the thirties is under hot debate at the moment, as some of the pieces that were popular back then make a rapid comeback. In the past, fashion was not much of a priority because of the events that were in the center of attention at the time, such as the Great Depression. The 1930 style was a natural one that stirs the interest of fashionistas today. Here are some trends that were appreciated back then:

Evening gowns

The most important detail of a woman’s wardrobe in 1930 was represented by her evening gowns. Because events took place quite often and social status mattered tremendously at the time, women paid careful attention to the way they looked when attending these. The gowns in this fashion era were very elegant. The cuts were used to flatter a woman’s body. All gowns were floor length and the hems were flared. This was the style that characterized the decade in terms of women’s fashion as a whole. Necklines were modest, yet daring and most gowns were backless to add a sensual touch. The colours appreciated at that time were pastels and jewel tones. The fabrics used were silk, sating and lace.

Day Dresses

Things were not much different when referring to day dresses. The elegant look was preserved, as well as the muted colours. The daytime wardrobe of women in the 1930s was filled with dresses with floral prints, stripes or polka dots. The dresses used to have wide sleeves and a slender cut. The floor length was also preserved from evening gowns, but it was not uncommon to see women wearing a slightly shorter dress (below the knee). Wearing belts to accentuate the waist was a common practice too.


When it comes to accessorizing, one thing characterizes the 1930s women fashion the best – simplicity. Jewellery was simple, yet elegant and impressive. Flashy accessories were not appreciated at the time, and they were associated with a lack of taste in fashion. Art deco designs were highly selected during this period. Small plain pearls, similar to the ones you can find at vintagetom.co.uk were the focal point of all outfits. Women preferred wearing tiny earrings and bracelets instead of necklaces or pins, which are characteristic for the 18th century.


Formal shoes included tall pumps, which were preferred instead of sandals because women could wear longer gowns and elongate their body shape. The tones preferred for formal shoes were silver and gold. As for daytime, shoes mostly offered full coverage of the toes and ample straps. Perforated heels were also among women’s favourites during the 1930s. The comfort shoes were Oxfords, but they were only selected when the situation did not require dressing elegantly.

As mentioned before, trends come back very fast. Some of the fashion elements preferred in the 1930s fashion are carefully analysed and re-produced by designers today.