1940’s Fashion – A young womans wardrobe plan 1947

Annual Clothing Plan and Budget 1947 –


Now see the lavishly illustrated concise history of 1940s fashion !!


A typical yearly clothing plan for a 19 year old San Francisco woman in 1947 for 1940’s dress, hats, underwear, shoes, stockings, gloves,handbags etc. The chief fabric is the new Rayon !

1940s style winter coat

It’s an interesting insight not only into the normal clothes a fashionable young woman of moderate means would wear in the post world war two years, but of the actual cost !
Even with the limited budget, a 1940’s woman still managed to be glamorous

1940’s Clothing Plan – Hats and Coats

1 Straw hat
1 Winter coat
1 Summer coat

1940s style hats
1940s style hats

1947 Clothing Plan – Dresses

1 Evening Dress – rayon
2 Afternoon dresses – rayon
2 Street dresses – wool
2 street dresses- rayon
2 house dresses – cotton

Paris Evening Dress – 1946 [ not made from Rayon of course ! ] Many women of a sewing disposition would attempt to copy these with patterns,

1940s evening dress

Typical Street Dresses from 1947

Typical street day wear for the mid 1940s

1947 Clothing Plan – Underwear and Hosiery

2 Slips – rayon
2 Girdles
3 Brassieres
3 Panties – rayon

1940s style lingerie

1947 Clothing Plan – Shoes

2 Pairs of Street shoes – Oxfords
1 Pair of Dress shoes

1940s style shoes

Henry Fonda started out his film career as a shoe fitter to Barbara Stanwyk !

1940s shoe styles

1 Bathrobe – cotton
3 Pyjamas – cotton
3 Pair of Stockings – rayon
1 Pair of Slippers – leather
1 Pair of Galoshes
2 Set of Gloves – leather
1 Handbag

1940s ladies hosiery
1940s gaytees - for rainy days
1940s makeup powder1940s style handbags

Total purchase cost annually – $ 112.00
Annual maintenance costs

Cleaning and pressing – $ 2.20 total
Heels – 5 replacements at $ 1.35 total
Toe Tips – 5 replacements at $ 1.70
Half soles and heels – 1 replacement $1.37

Clothing budgets is not a term that modern women in the developed west tend to think about these days, but back in the frugal post depression and war years, it was a necessity. These budgets for women were usually published in magazines by budgeting experts and were for anything from one year up to three years.

That’s all !

Original source material – Clothes for Girls -1927 by Elizabeth Todd
©Glamourdaze 2010

The 1940s Make-up & Beauty Guide

Other 1940s related posts – 

The Easy Guide to 1940s Fashion – Women’s Dress and Style
1940’s Fashion Wardrobe Plan – How to dress Accurately
1940’s fashion in the War Years
1940’s Fashion after the War
1940’s Fashion – Betty’s Winter wardrobe Plan
A 1940’s Housewife’s Daily Routine
1940s’ Make-up Guide
Vintage Make-up Tutorial Film


  1. Great post, my husband and I jokingly say we are in “war times” I mean, we actually are though! (referring to our budget)… I was just watching a couple classic 1940’s movies and wondering what they would usually buy for a wardrobe.. this is very informative! We could stick to this now a days and do without the stockings, corsets and hats, gloves, so it would be even cheaper!

  2. I love this post! Very useful information. Just some food for thought though.. her clothing budget with maintenance totals at $119. With inflation that would be close to $1150 now! I definitely don't spend that much annually on clothes but maybe this means I should go shopping ;)

  3. this is really great iv been trying to simplify my wardrobe for ages this really helped and i love the style of this era =)

  4. Perfect! Since I'm a 19 yr. old College girl this is the perfect info for me! Especially since being on a budget will help me simplify. I love that it's 40's too!

  5. I've been wanting to make more wardrobe more home-sewn, but wasn't sure where to start, so this list is extremely helpful for me! Though I could probably nix the evening gown for a different type of dress.

  6. Oh how wonderful to read! It really has changed.
    But I cant set my mind on if it´s a good change or not…
    Because I like the way they thought before,
    but it was somewhat conservative.

  7. What an amazing post! Thank you! I look on shamefully at my vastly reduced shoe collection which is still far too large, it does make you realise how little you can actually live with, an important lesson in this tough financial times.

  8. Isn't it funny how priorities have changed – I would go without the three pairs of pajamas and one pair of slippers in order to have another dress or pair of shoes!