Pose with Swagger Coat, early 1930s

Found photo

This photo introduced me to a new fashion term.  Although some of the words are cut off, the writing on the back clearly reads, “I wanted you to see my new swagger coat.”  Quick online research revealed that the swagger coat was a wide, loose coat that hung from the shoulders without any waist definition.  It began its popularity in the early 1930s lasting well into the forties.  Perhaps it got its name because it allowed the wearer lots of room to swagger around.  For those of you more expert than I, just how does the swagger coat of the thirties differ from the swing coat of the fifties?

I’ve dated the photo to the early 1930s because of the length of the woman’s skirt and her shoes, which look to retain some of the fun cutouts of shoes from the twenties.  Did she make the coat herself?  Her pose and outfit certainly seem inspired by some of the pattern illustrations from that era, right down to the jaunty hat.

But what is she wearing under the coat?  At first I thought it might be a very long belted tunic worn over another dress.  Then I realized that it could be a color blocked dress with a bit of flare at the bottom, along the lines of the pattern above. 

Whatever she has on underneath, she certainly looks ready to swagger out and meet any challenges that lie ahead.

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1 Response to Pose with Swagger Coat, early 1930s

  1. Sheila Codd says:

    I believe a swagger coat had more fullness in back than front causing movement as you walked. Swing coat of the fifties was more even distribution of fullness.

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