It has been awhile but fashion through time is back and this month we are focusing on the fashion of the 1930’s with a historical emphasis on the impact of the dust bowl on farmers. When researching for this time period the only fashion one could really find is the clothing of the wealthy. Which is interesting since the great depression had a major gap between the rich and the poor that only got worse throughout these dark years. So you would assume there would be more photographs of the poor but unfortunately this wasn’t the case.
Due to the stock market crashing, unemployment sky rocketed and people being left without jobs or homeless. It was a dark time in America, but not just for the urban population of Americans, but for the farmers as well. It was already bad enough that the economy was collapsing, but in addition to this, no crop rotation, bad farming methods, overgrazing from cows and a previous drought made for dead crops and no income for farmers.
In addition to these coincidental bad occurrences, many migrated to these parts because they believed that a previous period of rain would bring better crops. These rains wouldn’t return and those who bought land and migrated to these parts were left with bad soil. A combination of all of the farmer malpractices for soil saw the wave of the dust bowl. Anyone who lives in Arizona can vouch for dust storms where great waves of dust overcome the city leaving dirt covering everything and the taste of sand in the mouth if you stay in it for too long. During the Great Dust Bowl the clouds of dust were so great that many referred to them as “black blizzards”.
Set in the midst of this depressing and desolate time to those who lived within it and the fashion they could afford to wear. Many poor women had only a few dresses in their possession and had to make do with what they had. With this, clothing was simple and plain consisting of a plain dress, stockings and shoes. Most clothing was sewn at home and then passed down through each of the children as they grew into it.
Fashion through time this month saw a return to a more simplistic approach through the eyes of 1930’s fashion. The three dresses we used were borrowed from Antique Plaza in Downtown Mesa located on Main street. We chose dresses with a more “country” feel to them with a loose but feminine fit. The brown and the black dresses are actual pieces from the 1930’s which we were lucky enough to use! The second dress has a very cute yet farm feel to it that can easily be updated by making it shorter and pairing it with black stockings or whatever your preference is. This one is my favorite look since it can be incorporated into a very vintage indie style.
The third dress is another vintage dress that salutes the Wizard of Oz and the longing that Dorothy has to leave her dark and dirty world into something better. Several of the photos reflect this attitude with a fashion edge to it with a girl who wants to go beyond the dusty and depressive world she has been born into. The make up we kept very simple with a lipstick shade from L’oreal called Rosedew. This shade can be subtle as well as striking and fit well with the depression era of a natural yet rosy lip color. The hair was kept free and simple with some of the hair pulled back into a twist with a 1930’s flair to it as it is pulled back to show the ear. I thought the free and flowing hair went nicely with the style of the dresses and gave a vintage yet updated look that can be manipulated to be more modern to each person’s taste. Thank you for reading this month’s Fashion through time and I hope you stop by again next month!
Written by Tara Hutchison
Modeled by Christina Silvestri
Photos by Larry Stone of 12 North Photography
Hair and Makeup by Tara Hutchison
Authentic Clothing Provided By – Antique Plaza