Fashion, Film & The Great Depression
With the stock market crash of late 1929, The Great Depression begun in the United States and was seen as the worst economic recession the country has seen in its history. Many Americans escaped to the movie theaters to see the glitz and glamour of Hollywood films. If a woman could not afford a new wardrobe, at least she could see movie stars like Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford and Carole Lombard live a picture perfect life.
Longer Hemlines & A focus on the waist
The 1930s saw a return to longer hemlines for women. In fact, the term hemline first started to be used during the decade as a During the day, ladies would wear skirts just above the ankle while nighttime evening gowns reached the floor. The natural waist was also embraced again in comparison to the 1920s flapper era often featured loose silhouettes. 1930s designers like Vionnet and Schiaprelli are credited with influence a more tailored and defined look in fashion.
The previous decade saw a more form-fitting and sleeker looking swimsuit although much of the body was covered. And for the 1930s, more advances were made for swimsuits. Sunbathing was all the rage and women’s swimwear designs included backs with lower cuts as well as lowered bust-lines to achieve a suntan look.By the latter part of decade, two pieces were introduced exposing a woman’s midriff.
Pants for Woman?
Although it was not too common, in the 1930s women who worked in factories would wear pants and actresses like Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn were captured in trousers. It would take forty more years until society would fully embrace woman wearing pants, but the 1930s seemed to begin as a turning point thanks to these style trailblazers.