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The styles of: The 1930's

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Often ignored, the 1930's was an era with many defining features away from the 20's and 40's. Multiple colours started to be used together more, and chrome became the favoured metal of the time. Bakelite plastic was a massive hit, being used for everything from telephones to light switches. A new style called Modernism emerged, however many designs were still influenced by the art deco period.

Popular Culture

By "Action Comics #1" at The Grand Comics Database. Retrieved October 31, 2006. (similar file if not the one originally uploaded.), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1299592

Popular culture was coming on in leaps and bounds, with characters like Superman being created – giving every man a new image to strive to. Because of this sudden want to appear bigger and stronger than before, clothing such as overcoats became more popular – due to the design creating the illusion that the person wearing it is more muscle-y that perhaps he is!

Along with the overcoat, men's fashion in general started working more towards accentuating the desirable shape. Shoulder pads and V neck shapes were a must for suit jackets, and trousers were wide legged, with a pressed pleat down the middle.

New Inventions and Discoveries in the 1930's

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Free Vector Art by www.Vecteezy.com

Techni-colour started creeping in to every day life in the 30's – starting with things such as the first wide-screen all colour movie “Song of the Flame” from Warner Brothers.

Radio and aviation also came on leaps and bounds in the 30's, from the invention of radar in 1938, to the first intercontinental commercial flight.

The smooth jazz and blues sounds of the 1920's started developing into experimental sounds such as gypsy jazz, and swing.

And the most important development we feel of the 1930's, was the chocolate chip cookie, in 1938.

By Holger.Ellgaard 08:21, 15 October 2007 (UTC) (egen bild) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


We can't discuss the 1930's, and not talk about bakelite! The first synthetic plastic to be created, was originally discovered in 1909 by Leo Baekeland, it's popularity grew gradually through the 1920's, however in the 1930's it took the world by storm. Within months, everything was being made out of it, from jewellery and children's toys, to radio casings and kitchenware. These days, bakelite products are very collectible, with small jewellery pieces fetching hundreds of pounds if authenticity can be proven.


While the 1930's was a time of new discoveries, the Wall Street Crash effected everything – including fashion. The excitement and daring of the 1920's died out at little, and clothes became more practical – with longer hems for women and taller trousers for men.

There was still some glitz and glamour to be found however, often in small accessories. Here's a small selection of some of our cufflinks that are reminiscent of the 30's era.

Green Square 1930's Style cufflinks

Luxury Cufflinks in the 1930's Style

Black Cat Cufflinks

Blue Sunburst Cufflinks

Further reading and events

If you are interested in discovering more about bakelite and it's place in history, then check out the Bakelite museum, in Somerset: http://www.bakelitemuseum.net/

The Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, West Midlands, has a 1930's house set up that you can explore.  http://www.bclm.co.uk

The Heliot Lounge Bar and Resturant in Leicester Square with it's beautifully kept 1930's decor is a great place to go for a modern night out, with that vintage twist. http://www.designmynight.com/london/bars/leicester-square/heliot-lounge-bar-and-restaurant


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