Mamaw's Style Tips from the 1930's
In homage to my grandmother's (Mamaw) 85th birthday, we decided to dig back into the archives and explore the fashion of her birth decade - the 1930's.
The economic climate had a significant influence on fashion - trending more towards ready-to-wear and factory-made versus custom and the fabrics were more "rough" (crepes and cottons) and included zippers which were more economical than buttons.
Having a tighter budget was no excuse for lack of fashion. Women had to be creative on how they dressed. There was always a way to look presentable and smart and had an outfit for just about every occasion.
Afternoon dresses were casual, tailored and used for gatherings with friends and family. Hats, gloves and the latest shoes were seen paired to complete the look.
Evening gowns were sleek, slim and silky. These were some of the boldest gowns of their time to date, they showed off slender back, sultry shoulders and were usually floor length. Often paired with furs and jewels, there was no mistaking the elegance of this look for women.
While there is a lot about the 1930's that we are glad we left in that decade (excuse me sir, I can make my own money), there is a lot about fashion that they had right. Here are a few tips I've learned from Mamaw over the years:
1. You always have time to look presentable - simple earrings and a little mascara can go a long way.
2. Keep your hygiene up - no matter how much you can or cannot afford in your wardrobe, a shower and combing your hair is non-negotiable.
3. Confidence makes you stand out - people take confident people more seriously, call it bias, but it's true.
4. Evolving your style is not losing yourself - changing your style based on the times is staying updated and you don't have to be trendy, just modern.
5. Jewelry is meant to shine - don't be afraid to wear layers of jewelry. Bonus points if it is something especially meaningful.
6. Base your wardrobe on what makes you comfortable - if you feel more comfortable dressed up, dress up. Regardless of the occasion or what the rest of the people attending might wear.
7. Invest in yourself - some clothes are timeless classics, spend money on those (they can literally last decades if you take care of them). Don't invest in trends, but buy sparingly and ONLY the trends that work for your body.
8. Pull your shoulders back - although she was never tall, she was the one that would not let my mother slouch. Who obviously has passed it along. Multi-generational advice that lives on well through today.
9. Know what you like and what you don't - it's good to have your own opinions.
10. Its okay to wear PJs all day - sometimes the day just calls for PJs. Answer that call.
Thank you, Mamaw, for being the matriarch of our family and always making yourself lovely and presentable (and for outwardly judging other style choices, because THAT is just HILARIOUS!).
Happy Birthday Mamaw!