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30s and 40s fashion revived for today with a touch of Movie Star magic!

July 25, 2019

Just like a 40s movie star returned, treat yourself to the magic of 30s and 40s fashion reinvented for today’s world but as glamourous and fun as when it was first imagined!


30s and 40s fashion inspires the style and flair for many by emulation of their favourite movie stars , from the original movie to the current hit sequel, so partake in the magic by getting yourself a piece of 30s and 40s fashion pizzazz.

Eyes in the Night publicity photo, 1942

Eyes in the Night publicity photo, 1942

1930s Fashion the Movie Star Way

1930s fashion is really an homage to Edwardian style, with its mid calf hemlines and the fit-and-flare silhouettes of classic day dresses.


Picture your favorite movie star returned in a 1930s and 1940s fashion double-cape longline coat, a tribute to the traditional navy nanny uniforms of the era. Add in cheerful prints and 1930s fashion era textures and you have looks that are whimsical, full of fun and so easy to bring into your current wardrobe.


Chevron weaves on skirts and jackets, polka dots on gloves and bow ties and stripes on blouses – all thirties and forties fashion touches to add colour, interest and personality to the day dresses, ready to wear suits and pant-and-blouse combos that took the 1930s fashion maven from wall street to department store and everywhere in between.


30s and 40s fashion the Movie star way is epitomized by wide legged trousers in tweed, plaids and wool, finished with a classic beret in a jewel tone. Perfect 1930s fashion for the working woman rushing from her wall street job to her department store shopping on the way home.


And no thirties and forties fashion roundup would be complete without the high necks and lean skirt suits that women wear to combine modesty with stylish chic. The Edwardian trends of high necks, puff sleeves and fitted, buttoned-up suits worn with mid calf length narrow skirts and structured shoulders, all emphasized purposeful fashion and a sense of occasion, finished with a hint of heritage magic.

570px-Publicity photo from the film His Girl Friday, 1940

Publicity photo from the film His Girl Friday, 1940

1930s Fashion Influences

The world was just emerging from the deprivation of the great depression and the trials and tribulations of the Great World War by the early 1930s. The easy and free-spirited 1920s flapper styles gave way to the more mature and purposeful glamour and sophistication of 30s and 40s fashion.


1930s Fashion and Hollywood

There was Vivien Leigh in all her timeless and elegant 1930s fashion, epitomized by the narrow waists and full puff sleeves with shoulder pads of her classic suits and day dresses.


Or Marlene Dietrich in her Elsa Schiaparelli 1930s fashion art deco creations spun out of slinky silk and embellished with fantasy prints that needed no accessories to make a style statement.

Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday, 1940

Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday, 1940


1930s Fashion, all ready to wear

30s and 40s fashion trends saw the advent of high street fashion, with interpretations of haute couture fashion made accessible to women everywhere as ready to wear.  Spins on Chanel’s classic suits and riffs on the fun and fabulous prints of Elsa Schiaparelli fashion were now available to the average 1930s fashion follower.


Other 30s and 40s Fashion Influences

There were other major trends that made their mark on thirties and forties fashion, the most influential of which are explored below:

30s and 40s fashion.Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth dancing in the film You Were Never Lovelier, 1942

Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth dancing in the film You Were Never Lovelier, 1942


30s and 40s Fashion and the fitted silhouette

30s and 40s fashion day dresses had the nipped-in waists and full skirts that were either flared, pleated or gathered and worn to mid calf length, with the look finished off by a belt to draw the eye to a svelte waist. The 1940s fashion trend of the fit-and-flare silhouette was brought alive by Christian Dior and is as flattering and popular today as it was in the 40s.


30s and 40s fashion tea dresses were a riff on the fit-and-flare classic, with endless choices of hem lengths, sleeve lengths, designs and textures, making them a go-to favourite for any event, not just for tea parties!


30s and 40s Fashion inspired by Menswear

Wall street provided its own influence on 30s and 40s fashion with heritage fabrics and classic styles for suits and pants. Wide leg trousers with pleats and cuffed hems worn in tweed, wool, hounds tooth or plaids or fitted suits in pinstripes or tartan were timeless looks that are still alive and well today.

From the film The Dark Past, Nina Foch and Lois Maxwell, 1948

From the film The Dark Past, Nina Foch and Lois Maxwell, 1948


Accessorizing 30s and 40s Fashion

30s and 40s fashion trends and styles were finished off with the perfect touches of polished accessories like a classic strand of pearls, a vintage brooch, short gloves or a printed scarf.  Then a structured ladylike hand bag and shoes in solid colours like black or brown with block heels or in the Oxford style completed the look.


30s and 40s Fashion Accented

Day dresses were finished with velvet or satin bow ties at the neck, puff sleeves for a feminine touch and made of fabrics in whimsical prints like gingham, florals or polka dots. All these 30s and 40s fashionaccents added to the timeless, versatile and still relevant appeal of these fashion trends.

30s and 40s fashion-Jeni Le Gon and Gene Tierney in the film Sundown 1941

Jeni Le Gon and Gene Tierney in the film Sundown 1941


1930s Fashion for Today

Relive the heritage glamour and magic of 1930s fashion by getting yourself a timeless classic like a day dress with puff sleeves or a mid calf length narrow tweed skirt worn with Edwardian prim blouses with high necks and pearls. Pair your 1930s fashion inspirations with modern accessories like block heeled shoes and a structured backpack to make the look au courant.


Modern takes on 30s and 40s Fashion

Let 30s and 40s fashion be your inspiration and add heritage style to your modern look by staying away from a head-to-toe vintage outfit and selecting a few statement items with 30s and 40s fashion appeal, then combining them with your existing clothes and accessories.


Take a 1940s fashion day dress and mash it up with your denim or moto jacket and sneaks or Doc Martins for a street savvy look that says retro yet modern all at the same time.


Let your own personal style be your guide when picking the classic 30s and 40s fashion trends to try, then use your imagination to mix and match these heritage inspirations with your everyday basics for a look that is quintessentially you yet fresh and new in a throwback way.


Imagine yourself in 30s and 40s fashion add-ons like a classic trench coat, a multi-strand string of pearls or a vintage brooch, then meld these timeless touches with your favourite blue jeans, floral dresses or cropped skinny pants looks that say you have insider style savvy.

Olivia de Havilland , Leslie Howard and Vivien Leigh from the film, Gone With the Wind, 1943

Olivia de Havilland , Leslie Howard and Vivien Leigh from the film, Gone With the Wind, 1943


Thrift stores and online shopping

When sourcing your 30s and 40s fashion finds, check out the vast array of online shopping sites that specialize in 30s and 40s fashion clothes and accessories. You can’t go wrong by taking a virtual tour of all the internet has to offer you.


Or go old school and drop by your neighbourhood thrift store or high street consignment store for 30s and 40s fashion options that are one of a kind investment pieces you will treasure forever.


Find some vintage day dresses and skirts in timeless 30s and 40s fashion shapes and prints, then layer on a cosy jumper, a cropped fitted cardigan or a structured blazer to take the looks from days to nights to weekends.


Add 30s and 40s fashion accessories to your work outfits, like vintage brooches to coats, Chanel-style strands of pearls with dresses and skirts or straw boaters and velvet berets to make a look all your own and so very stylish – the options are endless, and the combinations only limited by your imagination.


And don’t forget to add thirties and forties fashion updates to your streetwear style as well, mixing in puff sleeves with denim, or wide leg trousers with classic tee shirts for a look that is casual-chic and elegant all at the same time.


So, have you been inspired yet by 30s and 40s fashion to take these timeless styles and trends and bring them to life in your very own way?   If yes, don’t wait – start today!


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