2 the fashion of the 1940’s for both upper and lower class people Upper class women wore suits which were short straight skirts topped by short jackets of 25 inches or less in length. Cardigans were worn to match the skirts and sheath evening dresses replaced the long flowing gowns of the thirties. In the early 40’s a popular fashion for upper class people was an austere silhouette with narrow hips, padded shoulders and a hat. Many varieties of peplums were worn by the upper class people. Butterfly, bustle and gathered peplums are some examples ruffles found their way to skirt hems, necklines and waists. Line skirt s was topped with soft feminine blouses. Blouses were worn with a bow at the centre front neck line and had puffy sleeves. Lace accentuated around the neck line and collars were cut full.
3 Material used for shoes could have been a variety of reptile skins and mesh. Cork or wood soled “wedgies” were also used. The heels on shoes were limited to one inch and came in only 6 different colours (stockings were unavailable). People use to paint their legs with back seams and tan using makeup. That was what people would do for a special occasion or outing. Otherwise socks became a popular trend.
4 Men’s suits were made without vests and pocket flaps, trousers lost their multiple pleats and cuffs. The ‘bold look’ came out in 1949 which was a loose fitting jacket with pronounced shoulders (for men). Also notched labels with double breasted. Males in lower class wore sneakers and upper class wore shoes. Males in lower class wore jeans and white t-shirts and upper class often wore shorts. Lower class women wore knee length skirts and to make them longer ruffles would be sewn onto the bottom of them. ‘Saddle oxford’ shoes were fashionable (brown and white). Wearing your dads big shirts (the sloppier the better) and hair was worn form lower ear to shoulder length.
5 Accessories in the 1940’s1940's Navy rayon purse. The purse has tiny medal dots, in rows of 3 in each colour. Red, green, yellow and navy. The purse is lined in a light tan rayon taffeta1940's Off White satin evening purse, The purse is an embossed design with gold threads. Embossed brass frame, brass clasp and chain, purse is very gathered at the frame . Lined in off white satin, lining is slightly soiled1940's Black cotton evening gloves. Elbow length On the back of the gloves going full length are many tiny black beads forming diamond patternsVintage 1940's ladies hat crochet patternJoseph Weisner earrings. Oval prong set emerald foil back stones, open backed surround smaller sparkling crystal rhinestones. Tiny bit of wear to the foil backs.
6 What are the hair styles the 1940s? Hair styles in this decade saw tresses curled and rolled longer than shoulder-length. A few rare big nights out, meant putting your hair up into compact elegant up-dos. The 1940’s saw lot of curls and updos being used. Using rollers to curl the hair was a common factor during that period. Most women used soft curls to get a feminine look in the 1940’sOne of the popular 1940’s hairstyles was the Chignon. This is derived from the French phrase ‘Chignon du cou’. This hairstyle required one to pin the hair into a knot at the base of the neck. Of course, there were many versions of the Chignon seen in the society. The 1940’s period saw the Chignon being worn with a headscarf while women worked in the factories.
7 The pin curls were amongst the most basic types of curls . The pin curls were amongst the most basic types of curls. These could be done for the entire area of the head, but pin curls were mainly used to curl smaller portions of the hair. Such curls are also used to frame the shape of the face for a feminine look. The Omelete fold was also one of the 1940’ hairstyle that was frequently worn by many during that period. Here, the hair was parted at the back and the stylist used a criss cross effect for the hair to create folds.
8 In the 1940’s the down wavy/curly hairstyle was very popular and so was peroxide bleached hair. Glamorous styles with curls were preferred to the short styles of the 1920’s.Women of the 1940’s liked to wear a lot of accessories. Bags/purses were very popular as were pearls used in jewellery. Cloves, broaches were very important accessories for the upper class females.
9 Hairstyles were smooth and longer; the pared-down look of the Thirties gave way to the more romantic, softer look of the War Years. The Bob haircuts disappeared; women were going for longer locks, even if they did have to be pinned up at work. Curlers and irons created wavy hair that was pulled away from the face. Forties' hair styles were glamorous and high maintenance. You could wear your hair down, with long, rolling curl. Finger waves and pin curls were still among the hair designer's repertoire, and many women slept on curlers or did the dishes with their hair in a bandana to cover the pin curls drying tightly against the head. And hair colour wasn't unheard of: peroxide became the way to have more fun as women turned blond in salons and at home.
10 Hairstyles were smooth and longer; the pared-down look of the Thirties gave way to the more romantic, softer look of the War Years. The Bob haircuts disappeared; women were going for longer locks, even if they did have to be pinned up at work. Curlers and irons created wavy hair that was pulled away from the face. Forties' hair styles were glamorous and high maintenance. You could wear your hair down, with long, rolling curl. Finger waves and pin curls were still among the hair designer's repertoire, and many women slept on curlers or did the dishes with their hair in a bandana to cover the pin curls drying tightly against the head. And hair colour wasn't unheard of: peroxide became the way to have more fun as women turned blond in salons and at home.
11 Materials used in the 1940’s Fabrics Available Natural fibers (linen, cotton, wool, and silk), rayon, acetate, and nylon. Light- to medium-weight fabrics used, with light and sheer materials for nightwear. Nylon was seen as net overlays on formals and as the sole material in some sheer day dresses.Silk and nylon became difficult to come by as a result of WWII.Many fashion materials previously available were needed for the war, and were not readily available as they had been.Nylon was donated for the purpose of making parachutes.
12 The women would use their husband’s suits and old curtains, or any material they could find to make clothes for themselves.To make up for the lack of good materials used, the women began to wear more vibrant colours.Materials were used that enhanced the female figure.Leather was rationed, so wooden wedge heels became a popular choice for women's shoes.Heels of 2 inches were popular, and the shoes would most likely have had peep-toe's and be of a slip on style.Artificial materials were used as substitutes, such as, viscose and rayon.During the late 1940's blouses became more fitted with short sleeves.Skirts began to take on a fuller look, and the broad shoulders of the past were virtually gone.
13 What styles were popular in the 1940’s Before Dior introduced the ‘New Look’ women of the 1940s flaunted austere silhouette with narrow, trim waist and hips, contrasting with a broad chest and padded shoulders, plus many different types and styles of hats.Many varieties of peplums were in vogue at that moment . styles like: butterfly, bustle and gathered peplums. Ruffles ended up on skirt hems, necklines and waists. A-line skirts were topped with soft, feminine blouses. Blouses dropped at the centre-front neckline and supported puffy sleeves. Collars were large and lace found its self onto just about any garment.
14 ShoesLeather was now restricted as it was used for materials for the war. So shoe markers incorporated many different materials into shoes. Reptile skins and mesh being the most successful substitutes. Cork or wood-soled "Wedgies" were another substitute.
15 dressesDresses had small waists, tight busts and full skirts. Women were expected to tighten their belts; silk stockings disappeared when silk was used for parachutes and other wartime items, so women drew lines up the backs of their legs with eyebrow pencils to simulate stocking seams.
16 makeupLips were a true, patriotic red; creamy skin was powdered and smoothly pink. Mascara had founds its place on women's eyelashes to make the look complete.“THE NEW LOOK”In 1947, Dior introduced the “New Look”, featuring longer lengths and fuller skirts; a return to classic femininity with a nipped waist. The use of many yards of fabric in garments was now seen fashionable. Women’s fashion changed to a soft, feminine and romantic image
17 Common designsThe fitted jacket-and-skirt suit, with a peplum to the hipDresses with curved necklines, and the bust was shaped by soft gathers above or below, and sometimes swags or drapery on the skirtLace and taffeta eveningwear with asymmetric, bouffant stylingCap-sleeved cotton or rayon blouses and matching tap-style shorts or wide-leg pants for sports and recreation
18 Popular designs and pants Most daywear was in conservative colors, though some morning dresses had bright or bold floral or abstract figured prints. Evening saw more soft shades, and also classic navy and black. Casual clothes were sometimes boldly colored, with a lean towards western motifs.
19 Hemlines day and nightFor day, just below the knee was standard, but some dresses fell to mid-calf. At night, at least ankle-length was a must except for cocktail hour.
20 hatsHats of every shape and size were fashionable, and was a style that began in the previous decade. Shoulder pads were occasionally made wide or pointy. Hot items were alligator accessories, platform shoes, and marten stoles (long fox-like animals strung together).