Classy hiking fashion in the 1930s

Picture (c) Beeldtype: My mother, grandmother and her sister on a hiking trip in the German Harz area / Schierke, 1938)

In my last blogs I wrote about the skiing and bathing fashion of the 1930’s. If there’s one word to attach to the photos I posted, it must be ‘classy’. I really do enjoy looking at the elegant way of dressing. Too bad the photos are black and white, because I keep wondering: ”What colour were these dresses?” I am so curious about the colour of the dress my great-aunt Willemien Burgers is wearing. My guess is ‘green’ with yellow flowers…but I’ll never know.

I shiver when looking at the shoes! Especially the shoes my grandmother (on the right) is wearing. These can’t be comfortable, can they? My feet hurt by just looking at them! Compare these to the sturdy big boots I wear, when hiking :-/

And then there’s the purse that my grandmother, Greet de Rooij-Burgers, is holding. No big backpacks to take water or camera’s or whatever hikers take with them these days. My bet is that this tiny purse just contained 4711, handkerchiefs and cigarettes and a lighter. When I was young I remember that my grandmother smoked a brand called St. Moritz. I am not sure whether she smoked these in the 30s. In my search trying to find out what she could have been smoking, I came upon this creepy fact about selling a cigarette brand in the 30s and 40s.

Back to fashion. Here’s a nice piece of history about hiking fashion in the 1930s and how it was influenced by what actors and actresses wore in the movies. (I read that as: glitter and glamour before comfort :-D). In my opinion could nobody have been comfortable wearing these clothes while out on a hiking trip… but they didn’t know what else was possible. Although I do know that my grandmother and her sister really liked glamorous clothes. My grandmother was a big Dior fan.

Here’s another photo of the two sisters. Have a look at the shoes my great-aunt is wearing. Aren’t they gorgeous!!! Not really the right shoes to cross a stream with…

And another one of the three graces, my mother and grandmother wearing comfortable shoes this time…

Published by Françoise Vaal

My addiction to visuals started with cartoons on tv, comic books, and movies. I dreamt away while looking at my mother’s landscape photographs and imagined going there and capturing the landscapes for myself. For more than twenty years I was a picture editor for newspapers and magazines but my own photography had been limited to snapshots of faraway countries. My wish of dedicating myself to my own photography and art finally came true. My home base is The Netherlands.

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