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1930 - 1940

The beginning of the 1930s saw women sewing more. Clothing was mended & patched before being replaced. Less ready-to-wear garments were purchased, even though styles were dramatically changing.

A softer, more feminine style replaced the boyish, flapper look of the 1920s. At the beginning of the decade, hemlines dropped dramatically to the ankle & remained there until the end of the 1930s. Necklines were lowered while torsos were sensuously molded beneath squared shoulders.

Darts were replaced by soft gathers. Dress waists returned to the natural waistline. Moderately full skirts accentuated a small waist & minimized the hips. Dress bodices were designed with inset pieces & yokes. Necklines received dramatic attention, often with wide scallop-edged or ruffled collars.

Skirts were also designed with great detail. Upper skirt yokes appeared for the first time, designed hn a v-shape extending from one hip to the centre of the yoke & continuing on the opposite hip. Layered & ruffled looks debuted on skirts, sometimes in tiers. The skirt bottom was often full with pleats or gathers.

A popular formal look was the empire-waisted gown, with ties at the back. The dress might boast butterfly or large, puffy sleeves. Hemlines fell at the ankle & trains added a further formal touch. Fabric flowers might be placed at the neckline, on one shoulder, or at the centre waist or centre neckline. Bows were another popular accent. The peplum made its debut in the late 1930s evening wear.

Fur of all kinds was worn extensively during this era, both during the day & at night. Fur capes, coats, stoles, wraps, accessories & trimmings adorned women's dresses. Pelts in demand were sable, mink, chinchilla, persian lamb & silver fox.

Women's sportswear was influenced by a more masculine style. Sport suits, leather jackets & middy slacks became popular. The cloche hat was replaced by the beret which was worn at an angle. Pill boxes became popular along with brimmed hats.

A variety of shoe...

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