Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Part 3: "Fashion through the Decades" ~~ 1940's

(Photo courtesy of: Parade)

Ah, the 1940’s! With World War II  in full swing, what was fashions biggest influence? Well, one very crazy theory says that is was Adolph Hitler who “dictated” the fashion of the era. I know, absolutely preposterous!

My idea, fashion, especially for women, was styled to better suit the working aspect of life in those days. During the war it was not uncommon to find women serving  in all branches of the military and therefore needing to “design” clothing that matched that lifestyle.

(Photo courtesy of: Vintage Dancer)

That does not mean that everyday fashion went the “way of the wind.” Up until now it is important to note that the fashion capital of the world was France. But, with the hardships the war placed on Europe New York quickly took over as the new fashion capital.

You could find designers like, Claire McCardellwho made use of the “less appealing” fabrics like denim or jersey and would turn them into works of magic. Wool fabric became a staple in clothing also and was often mixed with rayon to help improve the comfort appeal.

(Photo courtesy of: Fashion Encyclopedia)

The 1940’s also found us with shorter hemlines for dresses. It is said that this is result of fabric restrictions which in turned caused new garments to be made with less fabric. While these restrictions were made out of necessity of the situation, a little fun trivia is that sequins became all the rage as a simple way to add glitz to a boring outfit.

Other restrictions that were placed on clothing cover everything from swimsuits to shoes. The fabric needed to make swimsuits was cut to minimum, so women no longer had the little skirt attached to their one piece. Because of the reduction, in fabric you began to see smaller suits that bared a woman’s midriff. The bikini officially made its appearance in the fashion world in 1946.

(Photo courtesy of: Old Magazine Article)

Shoes of the 1940’s had us seeing women in heels that were shorter than the previous two decades. We found three major changes: the introduction of the wedge, t-straps, and open toed shoes. All of these not only looked lovely but they were designed to save on the leather required to make them.

(Photo courtesy of: Glamour Daze)

Now we get to the good lookin’ hunk a dunks of the era! My favorite part! As with women’s clothing, the men also wore clothes that were made for substance versus style. Suits lost their vests, pockets and cuffs and the wardrobe became much simpler.

(Photo courtesy of: 1940's Style Guide)

However, once World War II was over and our men were back home, their fashion became a lot more prominent. It seemed to be a time for men to experiment and they did that with full cut trousers and longer coats. 

(Photo courtesy of: retrowaste)

Also, the post war era introduced to the Hawaiian shirt  that could be seen decking out the hunks at the California beach scene. Thank you Elvis for making a brightly colored, flower printed shirt look hot!

Well, that concluded this section of my “Fashion through the Decades” post. I truly hope you enjoyed it!!!

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