Keeping Warm in the 1930s- Overcoats!

Now that’s we’ve taken a quick look at what goes on underneath, let’s skip to what goes on top!  Many gals have mentioned that layering is what’s needed, since it can be frigid inside and then toasty indoors.  Luckily, we can remove the overcoat.

Unlike today, when a girl can choose (or thrift, or make) several coats in one season, our counterparts in the 1930s would have to choose very wisely.  Most women had one overcoat, and that coat had to last through several winters.  Because of that, overcoats needed to be chosen with great care and thought.  It had to match your wardrobe, go with your other clothing, and fit your unique style.  This is why, often times, vintage overcoats could be a bit “bland”.  The flashy ones were fun, but were more the luxury of women who could afford to have an alternate coat- or else the purchase could be regretted the following year when the fashion forward coat was suddenly out of style!  It’s actually a great lesson to take with us into how we select our wardrobe today.  Think of it as quality over quantity- or choose a great basic to mix with more inexpensive “fun” pieces, like a quirky hat, bag, or brooch.

However, I am in LOVE with all these more fashion forward versions of coats below.  They scream the era they’re from, but aren’t they just delightful with their topstitching detail?  (Actually, they’re a glimpse of things to come for Wearing History, since I’ve been back puttering away at a pattern with similar detailing, but from a different era).

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

The one below has a definate “Gay 90’s” flair, as they called it in the mid to late 30s. What a time to harken back to the 1890s! It’s kind of funny, actually- our harkening to 40 years prior would put us in the 1970’s, and we can’t say that there aren’t fashions floating around today that were influenced by the recent past.

National Bellas Hess- Fall and Winter 1937-1938

I’ve got more great coat images I can share that fall more in line with “warmth” than “chic”, but these were so fun I had to share.

For past posts of mine with images of overcoats, check out these links:

 Images posted prior to my migration to a blog are fuzzy, but if you click on the image it will take you to a nice clear version.
Have a great weekend!

5 Comments on Keeping Warm in the 1930s- Overcoats!

  1. Stephanie
    January 18, 2013 at 7:22 pm (11 years ago)

    I love those top stitch details! How I wish I was better at stitching parallel lines!

  2. Anthea
    January 19, 2013 at 12:04 am (11 years ago)

    Those coats are amazing, thanks for sharing!

  3. Mancunian Vintage
    January 19, 2013 at 4:55 am (11 years ago)

    So glamorous! Love the sleeve and neck detailing… why can’t the high street look to these kind of beautiful timeless pieces for inspiration?!

  4. Kate-Em
    January 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm (11 years ago)

    Very much like the Sweeping Beauty and the clutch held by the Stand up and Cheer model. Gorgeous.

  5. Katrina @ Edelweiss Patterns
    January 20, 2013 at 8:22 pm (11 years ago)

    Hi Lauren!

    I thought you’d like to know that you made my list of nominees for the “One Lovely Blog” award! You have one of my favorite sewing blogs around, and you can read more about the award here:

    Here’s to a smashing 2013!

    Happy sewing,

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