The stock market crash of 1929 put an end to the carefree decade of flapper fun, but not to the gangsters or their molls. The Great Depression - along with the continuing Prohibition of liquor until 1934 - ushered in an era of bootleggers, bank robbers, and gangland crime. But it was a great time for the movies, when "talkies" overtook silent films at the box office, and big new movie stars like Bette Davis and Judy Garland replaced actors who couldn't make the transition to movies with sound. World War II loomed on the horizon, and pilots like Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart made headlines with their record-breaking flights. Meanwhile, people fell in love with the outlaws Bonnie and Clyde, whose romance - and murderous crime spree - was splashed across newspaper front pages across the United States.
- Barbershop quartets waned in popularity after the 1910s but experienced a revival in the 1930s. Their brightly striped jackets, straw boater hats, and close harmony singing made them popular all over again!
- "The Tramp" and "The Gamine" - Charlie Chaplin was a big movie star in the silent films of the 1920s and refused to make talkies when they first started in the 30s. Dress up as Charlie Chaplin's most famous character "The Little Tramp" in a black mustache, tuxedo tailcoat, derby hat, and a cane. (Check out our blog post How to Dress Up Like Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp for more suggestions.) Make it a couple costume when you dress up as Chaplin's glamorous co-star and girlfriend Paulette Goddard, a former Ziegfield Follies girl who played "The Gamine" in Chaplin's famous 1936 film Modern Times.
- Daring aviators like Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart captured the world's imagination during the 1920s and 30s. Don a leather jacket, aviator goggles, and a scarf to dress up as either of these daredevil pilots.
- Popeye and Olive Oyl (Flapper Olive was created in 1919 and her "sailor man" a few years later)
- The Marx Brothers - Chico, Harpo, Groucho, Gummo and Zeppo - were a family comedy act who rose to mega-stardom in the 1930s. Dress up as Groucho with dark eyebrows, mustache, a cigar and silly glasses.
- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt (the only president and first lady to serve four terms, 1933 to 1945).
- Shirley Temple and Sailor, Pilot, Daddy, Bo Jangles or Civil War Soldier
(Shirley was a child star who acted in more than 40 movies in the 1930s and had many notable co-stars your partner could dress up as!)
- Babe Ruth (famous American Major League baseball player from 1914 to 1935)
- Little Orphan Annie and Daddy Warbucks, Miss Hannigan or even Sandy the Dog! (the Little Orphan Annie comic first appeared in 1924)
- Bonnie Parker and and Clyde Barrow (A notorious outlaw couple who were madly in love and killed in 1934 after a crime spree)
- Snow White and Prince, Dwarves, Woodsman or Evil Queen (the famous Disney version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was released in 1937)
- Wizard of Oz Costumes - Dorothy and Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Wicked Witch, Glinda, Wizard or Toto (the famous film The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939)
- Betty Boop (The curvacious Betty is a sexy cartoon character created in the 1930s)
- Cabaret performers (The musical Cabaret is set in 1931 Berlin.)