Sunday, 1 August 2010

A Century Of Style: The Challenge (1930-1940)


Welcome back to my style challenge where I've been challenged to dress in a century of fashion, decade by decade, today is my homage to the Stylish Thirties.


The Thirties saw the return of a more ladylike silhouette. After the bound bosoms, straight shifts and severe haircuts of the late 1920's, fashion again embraced curves and feminity. Sleek, bias cut dresses and tailored suits emphasised the figure and the advent of the permanent wave made hair softer and it became fashionable worn off the forehead topped with a small plate-like hat.


Many British homes no longer employed servants so the women of the household were busier and more productive. For the first time in fashion history practical daytime clothing became a necessity and there was a marked defination between evening wear and daytime attire. The halterneck and backless bias-cut dresses demanded a slim frame to best show them off. Many women joined the Women's League Of Health and Beauty, taking part in regular exercise classes. Married ladies used contraception to avoid their bodies becoming out of shape from constant child bearing.

When the Italian designer, Elsa Schiaparelli introduced Greta Garbo's wide-shouldered masculine suit she caused a craze for tailored clothing. Furs were adored and those with the means draped themselves in shoulder capes and fox stoles. Before you shout, yes, I am a vegetarian and much to my disgust Mum cherished this hideous stole. What should I do with it? Throwing it away seems a slight to Mum's memory and by selling it I fear I'd would be profitting from a dead animal. Each time I look at those tiny heads I shudder.


Shoes were high-heeled and sandals became fashionable and platformed wedges were introduced towards the end of the era. I found these original 1930's snakeskin wedges at a jumble sale a couple of weeks ago. They do need some care and attention but for 10p I wasn't going to argue.

Cresta Couture caped coat dress (Vintage fair), Heeled brogues and enamel clip earrings (Charity Shop), Deco clutch, leather gloves and fur stole (Inherited), Vintage velvet hat (Jumble sale)

Cresta Couture Caped dress (£10 Vintage Fair), Heeled Brogues (Charity shop), Deco clutch and fur stole (Inherited), Velvet hat (Jumble sale)


44 comments:

  1. my grand grandmother had a very similar coat! i think that when it comes to fashion 30s and 40s are my definite favorite fashion period. so stylish and feminine!

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  2. Hi there-this is a wonderful series of posts-the snakeskin sandals, well what a find!! You look tres chic in this ensemble x

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  3. Haha! The fox stole is... well. Very of its period. I have a fox brush somewhere that the cat likes to roll about with.

    Love Elsa - one of my favourite designers (I studied her when I was at college many moons ago) and I can't wait to see your take on the Forties 'New Look'.

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  4. A snake is still an animal, as is leather, so really its no different to the dead fox stole. So its kind of contradictory, not that i'm creating a fuss, just thought i should point that out.

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  5. You look so chic in your ensemble, Vix. Isn't it amusing how fashion always comes back around tho not necessarily exactly the same. I was looking at those snakeskin wedges and thinking they look very 70s!

    As for that fox stole, poor thing, why don't you donate it to some fashion school or university? It's an authentic period piece I'm sure they would consider your offer.

    Looking forward to what tomorrow will bring!

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  6. My grandma inherited a fox stole. She hates the thing! My auntie currently uses for Goodwood revivals.
    My Nanny left a fur coat, and I feel the same. I have no clue what to do with it! I think I'll keep it for a while longer.

    Lou x - craftyandquirky.blogspot.com

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  7. I wouldn't expect to see those wedges in the thirties. Like Bonnie above me, I think they look so 70s! Fascinating.

    Love the cut of the tailored coat dress. And the plate hat just sets off the outfit beautifully. My favourite so far. xx

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  8. 10p for those original 1930s wedges, they are a beauty in themselves! I love the caped coat dress, so stylish yet so wearable.

    Again such beautiful photographs.
    I think it's a tough one about the fur stole, I would feel inclined to keep it for the memories attached, although I would never personally wear real fur myself. You could consider donating it xx

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  9. Aren't those shoes beautiful? I really don't want this challenge to end I'm enjoying it so much. I almost think you should keep the fox - yes it is weird and more than a little gross but it is of historical interest, possibly something you could keep well wrapped up in a suitcase.

    xx

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  10. I love this look Vix, it's so smart. Also, I think you should definitely keep the fox, even if you will never wear it. x

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  11. I'm really enjoying these posts. They are fascinating to read and it is very clear you are talking about something you are passionate about. x

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  12. This is so wonderful. I'm afraid I'm one who believes that seeing as it is antique, I think it's ok to have a vintage fox stole. x

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  13. The coat dress is beautiful. The wedges look very modern to me, what a bargain for 10p! xx

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  14. I love your wedges Vix, hope you are having a great evening xxx

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  15. O wow,darling,these posts are SO good!
    Educational,and you look so AMAZING!!!!
    Gagging each day for the next!
    Love all these pieces,loved all yesterdays pieces,love you!
    LOVE Helga xxxXXXxxx

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  16. I say keep the stole, your mother loved it and it's not like you are promoting the use of real fur it's an antique in the same way a stuffed animal, or animal head trophy would be on someone's wall. Part of history.

    Love the smooth chic look you've got going on.

    xx

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  17. Just when I think it is impossible for you to top your last post, you pull it off!

    Definitely, keep the stole!

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  18. woman, you are an absolute wow, and never cease to amaze us as you update your posts! those snake skin wedges look sick. it's awesome....

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  19. This is such a feminine classy look. I think I like the 30's the best so far :)

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  20. Great wedges.
    The most extraordinary thing about this challenge is that anyone else would have had to style modern pieces in a retro-style to achieve the look but your items are original and authentic.
    You should go to the art gallery and have a costume exhibition. Be their clothing curator. Unless you already ARE. Which would make sense....

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  21. This is such a great feature! Love it! Corinne x

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  22. I like that coat dress type of thing! I didn't know about contraception back in the 30s...

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  23. I'm loving these posts Vix, i can't wait for the 40's and 50's as they are my favourite decades xx

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  24. you look gorgeous...love your outfit!

    just passing by your blog and i have to say its LOVELY! do drop by mine too when you have some time. perhaps we can follow each other. =)

    Persis.
    http://onestylemile.blogspot.com/

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  25. *shakes fist at Blogger for not letting me commenting from home*

    I hate commenting so late! But I've utterly loved both the 20s and 30s looks. I'm especially enjoying how you've styled your hair for these looks - I knew you'd get the clothes spot on but I wondered what you'd do with your lovely long hair. Nothing less than perfection.

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  26. Your decades posts have been a very interesting read. For years I have been considering purchasing a vintage fur coat but have been trying to decide how I felt on the matter of fur. I have come to the conclusion that I would never buy a piece of modern fur based on how the animals are treated and that often you do not know what animal you are actually buying (cat or dog fur anyone?), but I do eat meat and wear leather, therefore vintage fur does feel acceptable to me. You could argue that it is being enviromentally friendly as if no-one wanted these vintage furs then they would end up as landfill so I am just helping prevent that in some way. I am still on the lookout for said coat though as I have not found one in my size and price range that I like as yet. x

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  27. very smart look..i was never a big fan of the plate like hat they wore in this era but u carry it off so well..

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  28. i want that hat! and the shoes are authentic 1930's? wow. looks like they do need attention but there are plenty of folks who restore shoes these days

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  29. Again, another decade you have pulled off flawlessly. And the things you find at random sales...omg. I seriously WISH I could have a shopping day with you some time. You're a genius. :)

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  30. I love your century of style series - it is wonderful and you do it so well!! xx

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  31. Great classic look...you look like a Hitchcock heroine, very elegant and ladylike...

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  32. So so so fascinating! THANK YOU for this. I am learning so much!!! Really love you sharing this. And you make it all so interesting and not dry!

    Also, you look awesome. So lady like and chic in this!

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  33. Love the caped coat dress! Really looking forward to seeing your fifties and sixties looks!

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  34. Owh this is fantastic! Great way to channel such a stylish era ;D

    Pocket Philosopher

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  35. Wow, this outfit is amazing! I adore it, you look so awesome
    xx

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  36. I love this one Vix! I wish I'd been around in the 20's, 30's and 40's. You're a marvel, honestly. xxx

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  37. Oh i love the thirties, so hard to get good vintage from this era, and this coat is divine

    xxx

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  38. this makes me want to go where my blue wrap dress. women are so busy now. here they throw on cut offs and a t-shirt. what has happened. i love the snake skin wedges. a little chunk of history that is so delightful. you are stunning as always. thank you for this treat!

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  39. What gorgeous shoes. They remind me of Terry De Havilland.

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  40. Okay I need to look harder in vintage and charity shops - I clearly don't know what to look for. Great coat and those wedges are amazing!!

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Love from Vix
xxx