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Style rewind: Fashion tips inspired by the 1930s

July 09, 2015

1930s cardigan ad

At Danny P., we’re all about bridging the gap between age-old crafting tradition and forward-thinking design. In line with that philosophy, we present our Style Rewind series. We take inspiration from the forefathers of menswear and show you how to remix bygone looks to suit up in modern times.

The 1930s was surprisingly fashion-forward for such a turbulent time.

Elegance was the name of the game, and hats like the fedoras and bowlers of the 1920s were still rife. Every man -- from laborers to businessmen -- was sure to be suited and booted.

Today, we look at summer wear from the 1930s that you can take inspiration from this season.

Espadrilles: The new masculine

By the 1930s, seasonal styles were becoming more distinctive. While loafers were still very common, they’re not exactly ideal for steaming hot temperatures.

Then came the espadrille -- summer footwear’s solution to hideous man-sandals.

Before the slip-ons became trendy in Europe and America in the 1930s, they were worn for centuries by peasant workers in the Mediterranean who had to toil under the sun.

Up for some extravagance? Don't be afraid of unusual materials.

Image source: http://goo.gl/hZPivh

The espadrille is made out of canvas fabric with a wedge sole woven from Jute fibers. Nowadays, they’re also coated in rubber for endurance, and they come in a few different shapes.

Unfortunately, espadrilles are often (wrongly) stigmatized as “feminine.” It’s about time someone put that talk to rest, as it’s one damn useful shoe to have. 

Not only are they breathable and comfortable, espadrilles can be worn for a stroll down the beach, across hot sticky sidewalks, and even for a night out at the clubs.

If you’re fussy, then stick to bold and tan colors for an understated look. But for the braver ones out there, the canvas tops come in a wide range of colors and patterns -- from stripes for that sailor vibe to brightly designed fabrics.

(And they cover your toes, which is always nice. Really, no one wants to see those, guys.)

A cardigan’s all you need...

The cardigan is another classic category of clothing that is too often shunned by modern men. We can’t understand why -- it’s a sweater you don’t even have to close. Seriously, what’s not to love?

Buttoned or not, a cardigan always looks great.

Image source: http://goo.gl/1APVIf

Our counterparts from the 1930s certainly embraced the cardigan as casual wear. It was a win-win; boasting a looser fit than tailored suits, it could still be worn under a jacket.

On breezy summer nights, cardigans remain the perfect alternative to coats and jackets. There are also a range of styles you can try out before making your pick:
  • The thick cable-knit sort is one of the most popular. Usually lined with big buttons or wooden pegs, it can be worn open or closed. It works like a charm over a shirt and a pair of chinos. Just make sure you get a good fit, and that it cuts off at the hip and doesn’t go over, lest you give off a, well, elderly sort of vibe.
  • Next, we have the shawl collar style, which was huge in the 1930s and still as in vogue as ever today. The broad collar enhances the shoulders even when buttoned up. But also make sure you don’t get one that’s too saggy, or you’ll swim in it (though this style sometimes comes with a belt, too.)
  • Finally, there’s the sporty cardigan: a tighter-fitting and more athletic-looking option that zips right up. This is one of the harder ones to pull off, as it usually narrows around the arms and torso. But hey, if you’re comfortable with the figure-hugging, strut it! Stick to casual pairings like jeans or shorts but avoid mixing with fancy suit jackets, as that’s just a tad clownish.

Cardigan is a great fit!

Image source: https://goo.gl/pRAb0G & http://goo.gl/LfKLht

All in all, the cardigan won’t disappoint, and we’ll sure you’ll be wearing it way after the summer’s out. Trust us, it’s the item that just keeps on giving.