Men’s pants in the 1930s were high waisted, full around the hip, and long column-like wide legs. The high waisted look lasted until the early 60s. Men’s wide leg pants started in the mid-20s and gradually narrowed down into the 1950s. Men wore patterned trousers in the 30s such as plaid, herringbone, check, tweed, windowpane and stripes for both business and casual wear. Some younger men’s looks had wide “Hollywood” waistbands and a pleated front for extra fullness. Finding 1930s vintage or reproduction pants in your size can be difficult. However, with the right modern pants, you can approximate the 1930s look.
Choose wide leg or classic fit pants that come up to your belly button (you may need to order up 1 or 2 sizes from your “normal” pants size.) Avoid skinny or low rise modern fit pants at all costs. A pleated waist helps create fullness. Pants could be wide cuffed (most popular) or uncuffed. Typically men’s 30s pants matched a suit jacket or paired with a contrasting sportscoat in a darker color. Grey, tan, ivory, and navy are great vintage choices.
Blue jeans and overalls were mostly worn by working-class men. Knickers or plus fours were worn by boys and men playing sports such as golf. Scroll down to see these and more vintage 1930s men’s pants pictures.
We handpicked the following trousers for their high waisted rise and wide legs as well as color and patterns associated with 1930s men’s fashions.