Great Depression Fashion: The 1930s
The 1920s or Roaring Twenties were a formal time for men’s fashion, marked by sharp, tailored suits and strict dress rules. However, the Great Depression of 1929 devastated the world economy and in its course men’s style was effected. As the Great Depression effected much of the 1930s, with the start of World War II and military production largely responsible for recovery, fashion of the decade was more reasonable, less formal and showcased the relaxed silhouette.
While the 1920s offered decadent options when it came to the colors of dress shirts, ties and other accessories, fashion in the 1930s took a backseat to the economy. Widespread economic hardships resulted in a less wealth and a smaller variety of fabrics. Men no longer indulged themselves with reckless spending but had to be thrifty.
1930s Men’s Fashion: The Modern Superhero
Although men watched their spending more closely, that doesn’t mean that styles went unchanged. Looking for strength and confidence, men turned to new silhouettes. Aspiring for an athletic build, new suits of the era featured narrow waists and broad shoulders, often finished with shoulder pads. Contributing to a larger than life silhouette, coats featured oversized pockets and pointed lapels. Cuffed trousers continued to be in vogue, but were tapered despite being wide in silhouette and suited for casual wear.
1930s Casual Men’s Styles
Interestingly enough, the 1930s saw the introduction of the polo shirt and the popularity of the Bush shirt, which was short-sleeved and featured four front patch pockets. Previously a marker of the common man, sweaters became a trendy piece for men to wear around the clock. Double-breasted sweaters and short jackets also became extremely popular.