FINISHING TOUCHES: 1930S EVENING STYLE

Posted by: Sarah Spenser on July 21, 2016

Filed under: Staff Recommendations


Finishing touches really lift an outfit, and if you have a specific period you're dressing to, you'll want to get it right. In this blog I'm going to give you some simple finishing touches to add to your outfit with your 1930s clothing.

More than anything, though, you should look like you, from the 1930s. Not you in a 1930s costume. Because there is a big difference. 1930s dresses are immediately recognisable for their floor length hems, usually bias cut fabric, and either a plunging neckline at the front or the back.

Hair:

Hair is softer and curlier than the harsh bobs of the 1920s flapper girls. Think soft fluffy locks, that have been set in curls overnight and gently brushed out. Look at pictures of Lauren Bacall, and once you're done wondering how someone so beautiful could even exist, practice imitating her hair. There are hundreds of tutorials for 1930s pincurls on youtube. Get comfy and prepare to lose an hour surfing through them!

Make Up:

Make up was about a natural looking smokey eye, long lashes and large, luscious lips. If you've ever considered false eyelashes or extensions, you have my permission to go for it! (My colleague Samantha also particularly recommends a kohl pencil for the smokey bit as it's a soft texture for blending.)

Ideally the colour you want for your pout is a pinky red, but make sure you find one that suits your skin tone. Don't go for matte finish, get one with a dewy sheen. Line the outside of your lips with matching pencil, and apply the lippie with a brush for a thorough, even finish. The cupids bow is not as pointy as a 1920s look. Look to Jean Harlow for your inspiration for the poutiest of all the pouts!

Shoes:

Shoes from this era always feel a bit more practical and functional to me, with more support in the form of T-bars and feminine buckles, and oxford laces ups. With 1930s dresses, what with the silhouettes being really long and lean, I think you should go for the highest heel you feel comfortable in. We actually have a great range of heel heights for this look, from our Bestselling lower heel Balboa, to the mid heel Aviator, to the higher heeled Cloche. 

Handbag:

Now, the popular shape of the 1930s for bags were simple, small and flat, resembling envelopes. Naturally, we have them, but.... this is a real chance of you to indulge in a divine occasion bag! We stock heritage brand Whiting and Davis, who have been making beautiful chain creations since 1867 and are still going strong! Best known for their bags from the 1920s and 1930s, we are an exclusive UK stockist of them! Go for a round handled design for maximum practicality, so you can wear it on your wrist as you sip champagne all night. It is an investment, but you'll be able to use if for nearly every special occasion and will draw many admiring looks and comments.

Jewellery:

Designs in the 1930s slowly began to move away from the strong architectural feel of Art Deco and became more ornate. In Europe, an obsession with Asia, and Shanghai in particular, meant that pearls increased in popularity, a lot of oriental influenced designs were considered very chic. 

As well as the usual suspects of necklace, earrings and a bracelet, add a brooch. I am obsessed with this two-piece brooch, and it really is of that time. (Yes, that is me.) Happy accessorising!


Posted by

Sarah Spenser

Our London store manager and general knowledgeable person, Sarah has lots of opinions on lots of things! She's known by our customers for her straight no-nonsense talk and keen eye for an excellently put together outfit. She hosts most of the Top-to-Toe appointments and runs the London team Instagram. (@RevivalRetro_TeamLondon)