Bows and ties in 1930’s fashion

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Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. (1938). Black wool skirt. Yellow wool jacket. Black buttons. Retrieved from http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/9f043890-9b62-9ef4-e040-e00a18061059

A fashion illustration from 1938 for an ensemble of a boxy yellow jacket with black accents worn with a slim black skirt. It is nearing the end of the decade and the shoulders are getting wider and looking more like 1940’s styles. I chose this design because of the softly knotted bow at the neck and then noticed the bow on the hat as well. I wonder what color the hat would be. Hats were an important fashion accessory in the 1930’s.  I recently discovered an excellent book about hat making online at the Internet Archive or if you prefer HathiTrust also has a copy. Even though it is from 1922 the instructions are timeless.

“Modern millinery; a workroom text book containing complete instruction in the work of preparing, making and copying millinery”, by Hester B. Lyon, 1922.

https://archive.org/stream/modernmillineryw00lyon#page/n3/mode/2up

https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=inu.30000005092428;view=1up;seq=7

I found a few more instructions about how to make the ties for bows. The section on Bands, Fold and Straps states: “Bands or folds used as trimming are made in a variety of ways. They may be lined, unlined, double of the material, or piped at the edges. Cut the band the required width, allowing for a turning at each edge. folds.

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You can find the entry Bias Trimmings on page 129 of The New Dressmaker by the Butterick Publishing Company, 3rd edition, 1921 online at

https://archive.org/stream/newdressmakerwit00butt#page/128/mode/2up

These next two scans show a few styles from 1930.

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From Making Smart Clothes: Modern Methods in Cutting,Fitting and Finishing, Butterick, 1930. These same illustrations and text are also in another Butterick book from 1930, Paris Frocks At Home. EmilyAnn of retroglam.wordpress.com is using the Paris Frocks At Home book as a guide to create a 30’s style dress. Norma of shesewsyouknow.wordpress.com is now working on a matching top for her already completed 1930’s skirt with front pleat.

Here are more bows including the one on the upper right of a shaped facing that looks like the tie ends could be lengthened. That way it could tie as a knotted bow in front rather than to pin or tack on a separate bow as in illustration 164 above. If you are interested in the sailor look, there is a chapter on Sailor or Naval Suits in the Butterick Dressmaker book starting on page 53. Somewhere I’ve seen how to hand embroider the 5 pointed stars using a modified arrowhead stitch. Will keep an eye out, maybe next post.

https://archive.org/stream/newdressmakerwit00butt#page/54/mode/2up

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From Trimmings, Spool Cotton Co., 1946

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From the Complete Book of Sewing, Constance Talbot, 1943

https://archive.org/details/completebookofse00talb

There is a very interesting research paper about Pearl Levy Alexander, the designer for Andre Studios and the history of Andre Studios here:

http://andrestudios.nypl.org/andre_studios_research_narrative.pdf

You can browse the Andre Studio collection by subject. I chose the search term “bow ties” and “bows, ribbonwork”. Some of the collection is at the New York Public Library and some is from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

http://andrestudios.nypl.org/

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Bows and ties in 1930’s fashion

  1. Carol: I recognize some of these illustrations as the same in “Paris Frocks at Home”. The capelet collar with butterfly bow would make a beautiful focal point for a simple 1930s inspired wedding gown.

    The hat in the 1938 sketch is, like many hats of the past, more ornamental than practical. Many wouldn’t keep you warm in the winter or provide too much shade in the summer. except for broad brimmed portrait hats. I’m going to take a wild guess but I could see this hat being in three colors: black on the inside of the brim, yellow for the outer part of the hat and the bow could be any color. I can also see the black jacket being trimmed with a plaid or striped fabric in yellow and black. In this case I think the bow could be the same fabric with the hat remaining yellow and the inside black.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I see now! The same illustrations in both books! A wedding dress would be lovely in the capelet style, maybe lace or a sheer over lace.
    I like your idea of a plaid or striped fabric for the jacket trim. I love bias plaids. A touch of the plaid for the hat bow could really work nicely to liven up the ensemble.
    Those are great ideas, EmilyAnn.

    Like

  3. Hi Norma, I just posted another photo in this post and added this description: “Here are more bows including the one on the upper right of a shaped facing that looks like the tie ends could be lengthened. That way it could tie as a knotted bow in front rather than to pin or tack on a separate bow as in illustration 164 above. If you are interested in the sailor look, there is a chapter on Sailor or Naval Suits in the Butterick Dressmaker book starting on page 53. Somewhere I’ve seen how to hand embroider the 5 pointed stars using a modified arrowhead stitch. Will keep an eye out, maybe next post.”
    https://archive.org/stream/newdressmakerwit00butt#page/54/mode/2up

    Like

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