1930s Mens Fashion: Post Depression

Style mirrors the world we live in, and 1930s mens fashion was no exception. On Black Tuesday, in October 1929, the US stock market crashed. The ensuing economic chaos known as the Great Depression changed the whole world, including what people wore.

Shifting Styles

A new casualness and youthfulness had blossomed in the twenties after the First World War. The golden days of the roaring twenties, and a post war economic boom, now fell away. With millions unemployed, frivolity was out.

One of the most obvious reflections of hard times in fashion and style was a return to more muted colors. For many, style was now a real luxury and tailoring and dress codes mirrored economic realities.

Different outfits for morning, afternoon and evening now looked like an oddity from a bygone age. Tailors, with fewer customers with money to spend on stylish outfits, focused on more reasonably priced cuts of suit.

Sources of Inspiration

Just because spending power is down doesn't mean interest in fashion is too. In tough times, escape to the movies is a common response.

The style sense of public figures like movie stars, as well as royalty and other notables of the day strongly influenced 1930s men's fashion.

Characteristics of 1930s Mens Fashion

New suit styles are the hallmark of fashion shifts in menswear of the 1930s. Formal wear was influenced by the colonial enterprise. Summery white-jacketed evening suits, with a cummerbund, replacing the waistcoat gained popularity.

By the mid 1930s the economy was showing signs of recovery. This directed attention especially to the business suit. The sensation of the day was the 'London drape' or 'drape cut' suit. Its designer, Frederick Scholte, was the tailor to the Prince of Wales.

The London drape suit was more loosely cut, especially around the armhole and shoulder, with subtle padding. The style was tailored at the waist, and cut to flatter the male form.

Trousers had become wider in the twenties. Now they became rather more tapering toward the ankle once again, but the cut remained generous.

Double-breasted suits, the jackets with broad lapels and no vents, also proved very popular in the thirties. Variants, that also took their cues from London tailoring and aristocratic wear, included the Windsor double-breasted and Kent double-breasted.

Stripes were also very much in vogue, and the well-dressed gentleman would almost certainly have had a striped suit in his wardrobe, as well as a fedora hat. For summer, the lightweight Palm Beach suit caught consumer imagination.

Key Influences & Role Models

Some of the features of the drape cut suit were also the hallmark of the gangster look, which glorified the great mobsters of the times, such as Al Capone.

The gangster-style suit was an exaggerated version of the drape cut suit, with padding on the chest and big shoulders suggesting bulk and toughness.

Notable style developments were not confined to business suits, but were also seen in more casual men's fashion of the nineteen-thirties.

The casual blazer, worn with casual trousers and an open-necked shirt, took forward the trend for sportswear that had emerged in the twenties.

As well as British aristocrats and gangsters, movie stars popularised 1930s mens fashion. Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper are some of the style icons of the era, serving as role models for the fashion-conscious young men of the nineteen-thirties.

« Leave 1930s Mens Fashion & Return to Mens Fashion Home


First Impressions

In the U.S. above average looking men make 5.4% more than average looking men. Below average looks in the U.S. are penalized by as much as 9% relative to average men. Every two inches over average height is equivalent to one year of experience in pay...Learn More

Cruise Packing List

Your cruise packing list would be incomplete without a cool pair of casual flip flops. These can be worn with your bathing suit, shorts & a polo shirt or shorts & t-shirt...Cruise Packing List

Dress Code

Events such as weddings, formal parties, dinners, balls or dances require formal wear. Codes for formal events govern acceptable attire for such events...Dress Code

How to Look Taller

In order to achieve a taller appearance, you must establish a unified look from top to bottom that uses vertical lines, smooth transitions and thematic consistency...How to Look Taller

Meaning of Colors

Free Interview Tips

Interview Thank You Notes

Special Thanks

Interview Attire

As far as your interview attire, conservative and professional is the name of the game. Your goal is to look polished and be so appropriately dressed that the prospective employer notices your qualifications and not your distracting or poor choice of attire...Interview Attire

email Etiquette

Here are the top 10 things to consider for email etiquette...email Etiquette

Penfield

Designer menswear collections online from Glass Boutique

Supra Shoes

Supra Footwear is a fusion of skate and street inspired footwear that was founded in 2006 by Angel Cabada.