Continuing our series about spring fashions in the 30’s, today we will focus on a few details instead of the whole picture. The illustrations are taken from Apparel arts magazine 1934 and describe the fashion trends for spring 1935.
Dressing elegantly is always about the entire outfit, since it is your appearance as a whole that counts – not just individual parts. Only if everything is well put together will you look good. Now, one might wonder why we look at only a few details today despite the importance of the whole. Well, only unique details in an outfit create a look of distinction without appearing ridiculous. In that respect, old fashion illustrations provide plenty of food for thought.
The Grey Homburg
Let’s start with the gentleman in the grey bowler. Today, a bowler, also known as derby or coke, is rarely seen. While most of the remaining few hat wearers likely have such a hat in black, hardly anybody actually wears a grey bowler anymore. Like the grey top hat, the grey bowler was originally worn at horse races. Today, the grey bowler is still useful for its original purpose, as well as all other outside occasions on grass. However, the shape does not suit everyone, and hence it is probably only for the advanced clothes enthusiast who is looking for something new.
The Telecope Hat
Next is the telescope hat. With its snapped brim and the round crown, it is definitely a more informal hat that used to be worn in the country, rather than in town. Today, hardly anyone would consider it to be wrong to wear it in the city as well.
If you prefer a less formal hat, then you should invest in a cap. In 1935, greys and browns in all kinds of patterns were rather popular. The same colors would look good in a present day outfit. Also, pay attention to the shirt collar! Usually you see shirts with a white contrasting collar, but rarely would you spot a plain shirt with a patterned collar! Personally, I think this can look absolutely splendid, especially in an outfit with tweed and a cap. Unfortunately, this is only something you can find when you have your shirt custom made. Note that the collar is held together with a collar pin, which elevates the tie slightly for an elegant look.
When it comes to monk shoes, it seems like the model with 2 straps is popular with many younger men. Back in 1935, the regular monk shoe with 1 strap was quite a novelty and, personally, I like a regular monk shoe very much. Usually, they create an illusion of a long, elegant last, even on shorter feet because there is simply one strap, which is located close to the ankle. So, instead of swimming with the stream, you may want to go with the classic monk strap shoe, which is different from the sartorial Zeitgeist, yet classic and in this case, unique.
Buckskin Chukka Boots
Buckskin chukka boots were the favorite boots of Long Island horse enthusiasts in 1935. Now, it is still a classic that can be seen on many male feet. Especially with suede uppers, it makes for handsome casual footwear.
Also popular at the time, the knit cardigan (which is referred to as such, even without sleeves) was worn in vibrant colors. Style leaders on the campuses of Princeton and Harvard wore it with great pride. The particular model back then was rather short since it was worn with high-rise trousers. Today, most cardigans are a little longer because the average rise of pants is now much shorter. So, if you like high rise trousers, which is something usually found on bespoke trousers made the English way with a fishtail in the back, you should definitely look for a short cardigan that just covers your waistband. Otherwise, the proportions might look odd.
Ribbed Corduroy Vest
Moreover, in 1935 the wide ribbed corduroy waistcoat was seen again. Here, we have a single breasted, collarless vest with a substantial corduroy pattern. Note how the bottom button of the waistcoat is left undone. This kind of corduroy is rather difficult to find in ready-to-wear garments and probably only available if you have it made into a bespoke garment.
Double Breasted Waistcoat
Another spring fashion trend of 1935 was to wear a double breasted waistcoat with a single breasted suit and notched lapels. Usually, double breasted vests were worn with a peaked lapel. Today, they are rarely seen, unless they are made bespoke. Interestingly, I stumbled upon Sutlers, which is primarily a provider for period costumes. Fortunately, they offer a range of customizable double breasted waistcoats for very affordable prices. Considering that it is so difficult to find these vests, this company seems well worth a try.
The Plaid Sportscoat
Last, but not least, let’s look at this plaid odd jacket. The buttoning point seems to be rather high and the slanting pockets, the rough homespun tweed, as well as the two cuff buttons underline the countyesque character of the coat. In combination with a printed silk scarf and some plain trousers with the monk shoes, you should have a splendid spring outfit.
We hope to have inspired you to incorporate some new details into your spring wardrobe and now you should go outside and enjoy the spring weather!