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Shoes

Vintage wedding 1930s - Creating the look

1930's styling has become increasingly popular for brides in recent years and with the release of the latest re-make of 'The Great Gatsby' the 20s and 30s influence is likely to grow.
If you think you'd like a 1930's style wedding, this blog should help you to recognise, find and complete the look.
This was my grandmother's wedding in the early 30s and still shows influences from the 1920s. The dress itself was made from pale pink lace and worn with a looped string of long pale greeny yellow beads.

   pic copyright meryl Smart
The Movies and now TV have always influenced fashion and in the 30s era, the glamour of Hollywood filtered through. The drop-waist of the 20s gave way to more figure flattering dresses with waists in the natural position. The bias cut fluid styles, skimmed the figure but were not tightly fitted or heavily structured with boning. Often accessorised or trimmed with feather or fur for added glamour.

Hollywood glamour meant pin-curl waves, luscious red lips, feathers and furs, slinky fabrics.

Recognising the key features
                                                                 
Dress
  • Ivory.white,pale pink/peach                                      
  • Bias cut- (cutting diagonally across the fabric)          
  • Flared at hem
  • Loosely structured/draped                                                  
  • Slinky fabrics; satin, crepe, velvet.
  • Cape sleeves or sleeveless
  • Often with 'Flying panel' attached to dress
  • Cowl or V neck














                      pic copyright meryl Smart
Finding the dress
Some vintage wedding dress suppliers may have authentic vintage dresses from this period. They are becoming more and more rare, the sizes tend to be small and the fabric quite fragile.



















                                                        
Most bridal designers should be able to create your dress in 1930's style




















                     Pettibone                                                Temperley                                               Packham

D.I.Y. If you are comtemplating making your own.....
Patterns for bias cut dresses are also available, from fabric shops and over the internet, although you may not find them in the bridal section. Etsy and e-bay have sellers who specialise in vintage patterns. (sovintagepatterns.com)

Be warned however, if you are not an experienced seamstress, genuine vintage patterns often come with very little detail on the pattern pieces and the sizes do not correspond to modern sizing. (Vintage sizes are much smaller). Resizing a pattern is not an easy task if you are to keep the proportions right.  Sewing bias cut seams is also a skill as they are prone to pucker.
Most modern pattern suppliers now offer a small 'vintage' slection, based on vintage originals with more practical pattern details and modern sizing.

The'30's bias cut dress has become a fashion staple in subequent generations.  The style is still available on the High Street today, for day and evening wear, in different colours and prints.

Completing the look
Headdress/Headpiece/veil                
In the 1930s Wide brimmed hats for Summer weddings were popular .                                     























Veil Veils often made from beautiful lace were
worn across the head with a band fastened at both sides.


Hair
Waved and pin-curled. longer hair would be worn up at the back



















Bouquet
  • Quite often bouquets were carried sideways
  • Corsages were also popular ( see pic >)
  • and/or a huge rose bouquet, more as an upright arrangement than  posy or hanging bouquet                                          Pic copyright Meryl Smart



























         pic copyright Meryl Smart
Shoes
The rounded toe with T-bar is the iconic shoe of this decade,














Jewellery
The Art-Deco period spans the 20s and 30s
Long beaded necklaces were still in vogue. Beaded 'bib' neckalces, strung pearls and rhinestones


















These are genuine necklaces from the period.
Other details:
Modern brides don't feel compelled to be 'historically accurate' in every detail of their day beyond their outfit, but if you do want to arrive in authentic 1930's style. Here is a car of the period too!




 The style is undeniably glamorous but also very sophisticated.



Wedding Shoes

Shoes for weddings have sold very well on the website recently and, as part of my forthcoming blog series on Vintage Shoes, I have decided to devote one specifically to wedding shoes.






Advice on selecting your wedding shoes

  • Co-ordinate with the dress
Many brides these days have a theme for their wedding. Whether it is colour, era or another kind of style or theme, you may want your shoes to add to the look. The shoes do not necessarily need to match in colour. Dramatic constrast can work really well, particularly with shorter styled dresses where more of the shoes are seen. Some brides decide they want to co-ordinate their shoes with the style of dress in terms of era, particularly if they have chosen a vintage style. At the moment, because of recent fashion trends, it is possible to       source many modern vintage-inspired versions of these styles if you know what you are looking for. (I will be giving more             1920's style 'Mary-Jane' shoes
information on this in future blog posts).
                                                                                             
  • Comfort
You will be on your feet practically all day and possibly dancing into the night too. You wouldn't want to ruin your day by being in agony because of your shoes so, if you are not used to wearing high heels for prolonged periods, either get into training (practice) or go for a more manageable heel height. Platforms with heels are an excellent idea if, like me, you are quite short. This is because the platform means that the angle of the foot is not so extreme and therefore you can achieve height without tottering. However, the higher you go the more careful you need to be. Falling from a great height could result in a broken ankle so, practice is essential.                        1920's-30's T-bar shoes                                                     
If you are buying new shoes it is a good idea to wear them in; around the house sometimes, with a pair of thin socks or tights until they are less stiff and mould to your feet. Often backs of heels and toes rubbing on peep-toe shoes or sandals can be real issues, that you may not feel after wearing the shoes for 5 mins, but with sweat and pressure, can get really bad. (A good idea to have a couple of plasters available just in case anyway).

  • Safety
What ever you heel/platform height and whatever style your shoe, if you buy previously unworn shoes, make sure you scuff or scratch the soles of the shoes. Aisles in churches and tiled/wooden floors, especially dance floors can be like skating rinks, and slippery, unscratched soles will just help you glide or slip rather than grip!


                                                                                                                                            Embroidered mules

Please re-visit the blog for more information as future blog posts will give more detail about specific styles of vintage shoe to co-ordinate with particular styles/periods of dress.


(Text and pictures are the property of Meryl Smart and may not be copied or otherwise published without permission)


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