1930s Beach Ensemble

In August, I attended the 1920s Crane Estate Lawn Party again for it’s 3rd year. The last two years I’ve worn dresses (my 1926 sailor dress and my 1922 blouse, hat, and parasol ensemble), but this year I had hoped to go to the beach prior to the lawn party and I really wanted a more beachy ensemble than a dress. It was also on my to-do list to make a 1930s beach ensemble, so I bent the time period of the lawn party a bit and decided to make and wear a new 1930s beach ensemble despite not actually making it to the beach.

It was a super hot day, unfortunately, so I spent a lot of time huddled under an umbrella in the direct sun before we got smart and moved to the shade. Before we hunkered down to avoid the sun I did get some good pictures, though! My hair turned out very well–I’m quite pleased with it, though I can’t remember what I did to get it to look like that!



The halter was made using Leimomi’s tutorial “How to make a 1930s style handkerchief halter top“. I used an old striped silk twill fabric remnant rather than a handkerchief, so I had to finish my edges, but I also had to piece the fabric to get the right beginning square rather than rectangle shape. I also made my square a bit bigger than a scarf’s dimensions so that my lower back would be totally covered by the halter. And I used hug snug for my tie, because it was all I had on hand that matched. The halter was pinned around my body to a comfortable point on each side.






My inspiration: one of the images that Leimomi includes in her tutorial post (just like the lady in the middle, I decided to make my center front seam decorative and do a chevron–it makes me very happy!). Beach pyjamas on the Cote D’Azure, colourized postcard, 1930s


Cutting and piecing to get the chevron.

The pants I drafted myself. They’re actually based on the same pattern I made my dotty tap pants from, adjusted to have a waistband, full length legs, and much more fullness in the width of the legs! The pants close with an invisible side zip. They are constructed from soft washed crepe-like polyester fabric that is super comfy to wear while lounging around on picnic blankets. And bonus, both of these fabrics have been in my stash for years: the stripe for about 7 or 8 years and the pants fabric for about 4 years. Free, and yay for using up stash fabrics!




There are more very fun examples of wide leg beach pajamas on my 1930s Sportswear Pinterest page. I’m looking forward to finding other opportunities to wear these again and hopefully getting pictures of them on a beach at some point!


About TheQuintessentialClothesPen

The Quintessential Clothes Pen creates historical clothing and accessories as well as modern garments.
This entry was posted in 1930s, 20th Century, Costume Construction, Patterning, Wearing Reproduction Clothing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to 1930s Beach Ensemble

  1. Laurie says:

    What a fun project with so much great information. Thanks!

  2. L.R. says:

    I know I saw these in person, but man they look so good on you!
    (and in reply to your comment about Star Island–you could totally wear these to that event…so you’re all set for next year 🙂 )

    • Thanks so much!!! They sure were comfortable, which comes across in the pictures. Hm… I’d love to wear these for that next year–now I’ll have to see what else might make sense and start planning ahead! 😉

  3. Doris says:

    You look very smart in the beach outfit. Love seeing your posts with the creations.

    Aunt Doris

  4. Mercy! Lookin’ fabulous, Quinn. Love you. ~ Mom

  5. John Burgess says:

    Love your beach ensemble! Looking forward to seeing pictures of you wearing it on the beach.

  6. Gina White says:

    Oh this is fabulous! The colors are so fun and summery and the chevron! Wonderful with the lining up of the stripes!! Mad matchy matchy skills you have!

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