1940s Fashion – Women’s Dress and Style-
Free e-publication World War Two Fashion – by Tia Craig .Just click on image to download or right click and save PDF
Welcome to the main hub to several entertaining posts on 1940s fashion for women: – dress codes during and after the war, hairstyles, make-up looks etc.
Search for all our 1940s era posts from the top menu or click on the recommended links below for delicious and beautifully illustrated articles on all aspects of women’s fashion and beauty in the 1940′s.
Top 1940’s Women’s Fashion and Dress Posts.
The Easy Guide to 1940s Women’s Dress and Style
Vintage Swimwear of the 1940’s.
1940’s women’s hairstyles.
New York Women’s Fashion n the late 1940’s.
1940’s fashion – How to wear Fully Fashioned Stockings.
A Young Woman’s Wardrobe Plan 1947.
Betty’s Winter Wardrobe Plan 1948.
1940’s Wedding Dress Fashions.
1940’s Vintage Makeup Guide.
What Makeup did women really wear in the 1940’s?
The Complete 1940’s Makeup Guide and History.
1940’s Fashion – Women’s Dress Style after the War
The 1940’s Silhouette.
Broad padded square shoulders, trim waist and hips, with shoulder length curled hair. See The 1940’s Silhouette
The 1940’s silhouette above from a 1940 issue of Woman, suggests that women take into account their ‘real’ body shapes. Some of the descriptions like ” Matrons Bulge” are hilarious.
Below a page from John Peacocks 20th Century Fashion, gives a clear guide to how the silhouette developed in the first half of the 1940’s.
1940’s Fashion Line.
Whether it was a dress,sleeveless sweater, cardigan, silk dressing gown or bodice, the padded or puffed shoulder was the dominant look. Originally made popular in the mid to late 1930’s by designer Elsa Schiaparelli and actress Joan Crawford , it now defines the look of the 1940’s woman.
Click to enlarge>
Traditionally a two piece garment sewn together. Popular 1940’s bodices had padded or puffed
shoulders with Long or short sleeves.
High round, sweetheart, small collars.
1940’s Shoe Style.
Oxfords, Pumps and Sandals were the order of the day. Visit the Complete guide to 1940’s women’s shoes
Inset, short or long, puff.
The War Years – Ration Fashion in the 1940s.
In all countries involved in the conflict, fashion houses either closed, or worked for their governments. In Britain – Designer Norman Hartnell speedily produced designs which were mass producible – yet colorful and feminine.
1940s Nylons ! Though not commonly available when the war started, as there was a huge drive to ‘ hand in ‘ your nylon stockings to the authorities, so they could be used for the war effort. Everything from parachutes to the nose cones of bombs. Whilst American women at home went without, the US army issued American soldiers on their way to Europe with nylons to woo British and French women with. By all accounts it worked ! When the war ended, the sale of nylon stockings went through the roof. The make do and mend philosophy had women on both sides of the Atlantic using cosmetic or painted stockings - seams included.
This charming film from our YouTube vintage fashion archive shows Veronica Lake demonstrating how a girl should tie up her hair in the factory.
The 1940’s Skirt.
Knee-length, flared, straight, single pleat plaid skirts.
Image courtesy Life Magazine Archive
Fabric used in the 1940’s.
Wool, cotton, linen, easy-care synthetics.
Limited buttons, contrast color collars and cuffs, patch pockets
Subdued, blue grey, bottle green, donkey brown.
Tiny hats, large bags, shoes with high thick heels and some wooden soles.
For more popular posts on the style and fashions of the glamorous 1940’s visit the following:
Read Debbie Sessions definitive guide to the 1940s – The 1940’s Style Guide.