Men wore shoes of black, brown and tan leather. Two-toned brogues were a popular style and the loafer trend started in this decade. Laborers were likely to wear boots.
Suits during the early 1930s were close cut to use less fabric. The Great Depression started a conservative fashion climate. Extravagant colors were in bad taste; somber hues like gray, brown, beige or light blue were more acceptable. Men's suits were fitted with single or double-breasted lapels, button fastenings and wide shoulders. Wool, flannel, tweeds and linens, depending on the season, were the most popular fabric choices. Knitted waistcoats were also popular. Men wore shirts of plain or striped cotton with attached collars. Trousers had straight wide hems turned up with center creases and cloth color that matched jackets and waistcoats.
In the later 1930s, with a return to greater economic stability, cuts of men's suits were more generous. Jackets with heavily padded shoulders and fuller sleeves were popular. Businessmen wore tapered trousers, whereas younger men wore flowing trousers with long coats in the zoot suit style. Buttons were used to fasten men garments in the early 1930s but zippers were promoted as an alternative for men to avoid humiliating exposures caused by missing or unhinged buttons. Storekeepers also promoted zippers as a cheaper alternative to buying buttons. Fashion designers, especially the Italian Elsa Schiaparelli, made these devices popular in couture.