In the 1930s there was a return to a more gentle, ladylike appearance. Waistline curves were seen and hair became softer and prettier as hair perms improved. Foreheads, which had been hidden by cloche hats, were revealed and adorned with small plate shaped hats. Clothes were feminine, sweet and tidy by day with a return to real glamour at night.
The most characteristic fashion trend from the 1930s to the end of World War II is attention at the shoulder, with butterfly sleeves and banjo sleeves, and exaggerated shoulder pads for both men and women. This period also saw the first widespread use of synthetic fibers, especially viscose for linings and lingerie, and nylon stockings, and the zipper became widely used.
Suntans (called at the time “sunburns”) became fashionable in the early 1930s, along with travel to the resorts along the Mediterranean, in the Bahamas, and on the east coast of Florida where one could acquire a tan, leading to new categories of clothes: white dinner jackets for men and beach pajamas, halter tops, and bare midriffs for women. Fashion trendsetters in the 1930s period included the Prince of Wales and his companion Wallis Simpson and such Hollywood movie stars as Fred Astaire, Carole Lombard and Joan Crawford.