This is going to involve suspenders, isn't it?
September 16, 2014 1:35 PM   Subscribe

Say I choose to live my life as a (superficially) middle-class educated man from the late 1920's USA, but, you know, with internet and healthcare. What fashion magazines/articles/pictures/blogs do I model myself after? What interior design resources inspire me? What kind of accessories do I use?

Bonus points for resources from the actual time period. Bonus bonus points if anyone can point to examples of people incorporating old-fashioned elements into their current lives in a non-precious way.
posted by Think_Long to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
It's a tinge after your era, being founded in 1931, but I'd try back issues of Apparel Arts, the trade magazine which evolved into Esquire and GQ.

A ton of American magazines which are still around today were founded by then --- the Atlantic, Harper's, Time, and probably especially the New Yorker, which has its archives up on the web in PDF form, with full pages including ads; have to be a subscriber, though.

Home decor wise I'd think you'd want to start exploring Art Deco. Wiki will give you some starting points of influential names.
posted by Diablevert at 2:02 PM on September 16, 2014

Google the fashion phrase "Black Ivy".

Jeeves and Wooster with Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry is currently free on Hulu ;)

I live in a block of four Art Deco units. I love the subtleties of the architecture mixed with "my" stuff. It has a period feel without being overkill. It's the little things like the deco patterns in the moulding around the ceiling, the framing around the sash windows, etc
posted by jrobin276 at 2:34 PM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Library of Congress and National Archives both have excellent photo collections online, searchable by keywords and dates. You can find images of home interiors and of all classes of people. I've used them as a resource for museum exhibit design, and also for finding images of the bobbed haircut I wanted so I could show my hairdresser.
posted by AliceBlue at 3:34 PM on September 16, 2014

For interiors, also have a look at the Arts and Crafts movement.

These aren't fashion magazines, but you could have a look at vintage movie magazines for ideas. The Meda History Project has tons uploaded.
posted by modesty.blaise at 3:40 PM on September 16, 2014

With the twenties you have some choices. You could go full-on Deco, as Jeeves and Wooster so gloriously illustrates. Bertie's apartment is a gorgeous deco marvel. So beautiful!

But if you watch Downton Abbey, everything is antiques from many eras because...mansion, heirlooms, etc.

Here's a Houzz you might like to look at.

Here's a fun bit from the BBC.

The idea is to get modern furnishings that are simple as a backdrop for the really outstanding period items. Don't go overboard. You don't want your house to look like a showroom.

Ditto your dress. Don't haunt vintage stores looking for men's suits from the era. Instead, check stuff like this out. Fashionbeans has some good ideas.

Have fun with it! I've bobbed my hair and I have the shoes!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:23 PM on September 16, 2014

I work at Open Library and I enjoy just looking up keywords within the specified time period with things like

- "catalog" which would show you what an electric range for a kitchen would look like
- "home" which would show you what sort of new houses people were building and what people thought was fancy or new at the time.
- "fashion" which can tell you some of what people were wearing (women in this case, sorry)
- "design" where you can learn what gift cards would have looked like
- "home making" lots of tips about what students were taught that domestic life was like. With a list of references.
posted by jessamyn at 5:50 PM on September 16, 2014 [4 favorites]

Poirot is set in early 1930s but has echoes of the 20s, and frankly I watch episodes just to look at set design and clothes, which it's famous for. It's streaming on netflix.
posted by viggorlijah at 5:52 PM on September 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Maybe check out Seth's comics? In his art and life, he is pretty into this period.

NB that people may raise eyebrows at this because, apart from allegations of being "precious" as you mention, this is a period of time which would only be cute and fun to imagine revisiting for certain highly privileged people, and you're in effect also being nostalgic for a time when a lot of folks had a lot fewer rights. Just something to keep in mind.
posted by ITheCosmos at 6:41 PM on September 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Watch one of my all-time favorite movies, 1999's Man of the Century (trailer here; Ebert's review).
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:03 PM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

You might enjoy watching "Magic in the Moonlight", Woody Allen's latest film, which is set in the 20s.
posted by guy72277 at 1:17 AM on September 17, 2014

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