Women had been wearing sweaters for sport since before the turn of the 20th century. The Met has several wonderful examples they got when the Brooklyn Museum transferred their collection over. These are very, very rare. Actually, sweaters made anytime before the 1940s are pretty hard to come by. Could it be that many were unraveled and reknit during WWII? Or maybe because they were not so fashion-forward, they were simply worn longer, and so, worn out. And then there is the problem of moths.
Pre-1940 sweaters belong in the category of “It’s easier to find a 1930s evening gown than a 1930s…” You can fill in that blank with many things that were worn and worn and worn.
So I was pretty happy to recently run across these two 1930s examples of pullover sweaters. By the 30s sweaters had morphed from being strictly worn for sports into being suitable for casual wear and for campus wear. A look through magazines and catalogs of the period show just how popular they were.