During the 1930s a much more feminine and sophisticated look was promoted by designers such as Coco Chanel and Jean Patou. Sporting past times like tennis, cycling, and motoring became more popular. Showing a tan and dieting were soon essential for the athletic silhouette.
As more women took on paid employment, daytime looks became tailored and angular. Square shoulders, plumed hats, low heels and gauntlet gloves were stylish. Women also wore trousers more often. Some knitted garments from the 1920s were cut to the new higher waist.
In the evenings women sipped cocktails in long, backless, figure-hugging gowns. Designer Madeleine Vionnet popularised the bias cut dress, which flowed gracefully over the body. In 1935 nylon was invented and used as a substitute for silk in many different products.
The new ideal male shape had wide shoulders, a prominent chest and narrow hips. Double-breasted coats, peaked lapels and striped suiting helped to achieve the desired shape.
On 3rd September 1939 Britain declared war against Germany. Once again, fashion would have to leave luxury behind and look for ways to survive.