What Did Women Wear in 1930s America?

When you think of the 1920s and 1930s, it’s natural to imagine flappers in feather boas and flapper dresses, or women in glamorous chorus girl costumes. But what was everyday dress like during this time period? Did all women wear long dresses, short skirts, and fancy hats? Were there other trends that were less obvious? If so, what were they? Read on for answers to these questions and more about the clothing worn by women throughout the 1930s.

The most worn type of clothing for women during the 1930s was probably dresses. Dresses were easy-to-wear garments that could be dressed up or down for formal or informal settings. They were also much easier to clean than long skirts or pants. Dresses were generally easier to tailor to a women’s body type, too. Long skirts were also a very common type of garment worn by women throughout this period. Skirts were often made from heavier fabrics that could be worn in colder weather. They were frequently worn with layers of petticoats to add extra volume and maintain their shape. Long coats and cloaks were worn by many women in the early-to-mid 1930s. These garments were typically made from woolen or cotton fabrics, and were generally belted at the waist.

Women’s Pants in the 1930s

While dresses and long skirts were the most common types of clothing for women throughout most of the 1930s, women did wear pants on occasion. The most famous of these occasions was the “pantsuits” worn by women pilots in the 1930s. However, pants were also worn by other women in the 1930s, albeit far less frequently than dresses or skirts. They were generally worn as part of more practical outfits, such as workwear. Some women in the medical profession also wore pants as part of their work uniforms.

Skirts in the 1930s

As stated above, skirts were very common throughout the 1930s. Skirts came in many different lengths: short, long, and everything in between. Some skirts were even worn as dresses, with long cardigans or sweaters worn over the top. Skirts could be made from a variety of materials, including wool, tweed, cotton, linen, and silk. Length varied depending on the season: Longer skirts were commonly worn in the winter and shorter hemlines were worn in the summer.

Dresses in the 1930s

Dresses were worn by most women throughout the 1930s. Dresses were also an extremely versatile piece of clothing, coming in a wide variety of materials and silhouettes. Dresses could be worn in all four seasons, depending on the materials used to make them. They could be straight, bell-shaped, or have a more fitted silhouette. They could be made from wool, cotton, or silk. They could even be worn as fancy evening gowns!

Coats and Cloaks in the 1930s

Coats and cloaks were very common garments throughout the 1930s. They were often worn with dresses or longer skirts, as they could be belted at the waist. Some coats and cloaks were long enough to cover the hemlines of shorter dresses and skirts, while others were shorter and only covered the wearer’s backside and legs. Coats and cloaks came in many different fabrics, including wool, wool-blend fabrics, and cotton. The length of these garments varied depending on the temperature.

Hats and Headpieces for Women in the 1930s

Hats and headpieces were a very popular type of headwear for women throughout the 1930s. They came in many different shapes and materials and were worn by women of all ages. They could be worn in combination with other types of headwear, such as veils and hairpieces. Hats and headpieces were generally worn with short or long-length hairstyles. Women with longer hair could wear hats atop their coiffed hair, while women with short hairstyles could wear all sorts of headwear.

Footwear for Women in the 1930-1940s

Footwear, particularly shoes, was an important part of women’s clothing in the 1930s. Shoes could be worn with dresses, skirts, and even pants. They came in a variety of styles, such as oxfords, pumps, wedges, and sandals. Different styles of footwear were worn for different occasions. Oxfords, for example, were often worn with long dresses. Wedges were commonly worn with casual outfits. All types of footwear were available in both long and short styles for added versatility.


Overall, the clothing worn by women throughout the 1930s was quite diverse. There were lots of different fabrics and types of garments being worn at the same time. There were even slight variations in garment silhouettes from decade to decade. There was no one “dress code” during the 1930s, different women wore different outfits. And the outfits they wore were not just limited to what they wore on their backs, either. Women also commonly wore gloves, hats, and shawls. When reading about clothing trends in the 1930s, it’s important to remember that these are general trends. They are not specific to every single woman in America at the time. Women wore all sorts of garments during this decade, and they wore them in many different ways.