Aesthetics Wiki
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A 1930's evening gown.

A classic hair-do.

A longer hairstyle.

Old Hollywood is an aesthetic surrounding the movies, music, and fashion popular from the 1930's to the 1960's. It's meant to draw you into a time before and forget about the current things happening, back into a time where everything felt simpler.

History

The Old Hollywood period was the beginning of the Sound Era: when silent movies faded out of the spotlight as the industry transitioned to sound-film production. The beginning of the Sound Era isn't exactly set in concrete. Some think of it as when the movie The Jazz Singer was released in 1927, which was the first full movie with synchronized dialogue, while some see it as 1929, the official end of the Silent Era.

Old Hollywood movies adhered to strict set of genres: Western, comedic, musical, and biography, sometimes multiple at once. The movies have linear timelines that leave no room for speculation, except when a character has a flashback, and the problems are always solved at the end (one of the reasons people are drawn to this aesthetic).

Fashion

Clothing

Fashion from the old Hollywood days include:

  • Midi length dresses, large collars, puff sleeves, belted waists
  • A long evening gown, backless, deep cut, sleeveless
  • High waisted sailor pants
  • Slouch hats, tilt hats, knit berets
  • Pillbox hats
  • Fur boas and jackets
  • Oxford Shoes
  • T-strap and Mary Jane heels
  • Kitten heels
  • Pearl earrings
  • Small handbags
  • Opera gloves

Makeup was minimal but bold, dark lips and thin eyebrows were popular.


You can get pieces like these from vintage/thrift stores, there are also lots of sewing patterns on Etsy.

Hair

  • Lots of waves
  • Shorter hair is ideal, but you can still have lots of hair-do's with longer hair.
  • Classic finger curls are an amazing look.
  • You can find lots of inspiration from actors at the time.

Notable Figures

1930s

  • Greta Garbo
  • Rudolph Valentino
  • Colleen Moore
  • Norma Shearer
  • John Barrymore
  • Lon Chaney, Sr.
  • Joan Crawford
  • Gloria Swanson
  • Ginger Rogers
  • Barbara Stanwyck
  • Fred Astaire
  • Vivien Leigh
  • Errol Flynn
  • Clark Gable
  • Shirley Temple
  • Olivia de Havilland
  • Judy Garland
  • Jean Harlow
  • Fay Wray
  • Marlene Dietrich
  • Bette Davis
  • Katherine Hepburn
  • Mickey Rooney

1940s

  • James Stewart
  • Lauren Bacall
  • Laurence Olivier
  • Cary Grant
  • Humphrey Bogart
  • Veronica Lake
  • Ava Gardner
  • Henry Fonda
  • Lana Turner
  • Gary Cooper
  • Rita Hayworth
  • Gene Tierney
  • Hedy Lamar
  • Bob Hope
  • Ingrid Bergman
  • Bing Crosby
  • Robert Mitchum
  • Burt Lancaster
  • William Holden
  • John Wayne

1950s

  • Elizabeth Taylor
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Elvis Presley
  • Grace Kelly
  • Marlon Brando
  • Rock Hudson
  • Dorothy Dandridge
  • Ruby Dee
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • James Dean
  • Shirley MacLaine
  • Debbie Reynolds
  • Lucille Ball
  • Jeanne Crain
  • Sophia Loren
  • Natalie Wood
  • Charlton Heston

Film

  • The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  • Gone with the Wind (1939)
  • King Kong (1933)
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
  • Frankenstein (1931)
  • Dracula (1931)
  • Snow White (1937)
  • Singin' in the Rain (1952)

There are also many later movies, set in or pay homage to the era:

  • Sunset Boulevard (1951)
  • Cats Don't Dance (1997)
  • Silent Movie (1976)
  • Singin' In The Rain (1952)
  • The Artist (2011)
  • Myra Breckinridge (1970)

TV Shows

  • Hollywood, Ryan Murphy (2020)

Gallery

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