1940s fashion history wiki


1940s-1950s Fall Outfit Ideas

Cool mornings and warm days have descended on my city. That and the massive amounts of pumpkin spice anything being promoted in stores means it is officially fall. I love this time of year and I welcome a return to cozy sweaters and long pants.  A few years ag...

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  • October 29, 2018

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1940-1941 Fashion

Women's 1940 -1941 dress, shoes, separates   1940-41 Evening Dresses 1940s Evening Gown pictures on Pinterest

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  • October 7, 2018

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1930s Hairstyles for Long Hair

I have the perfect hair for styles prior to 1910- long, thick, curly and with enough bobby pins it can hold a ten-pound Edwardian picture hat (I haven't tried it but I think it could be done). But when it comes to the 20th century- just forget it. Long hair an...

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  • July 18, 2018

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1940s Casual Outfits: Summer Clothes & Shoes

I love it when readers ask me for help with vintage outfits.  One recent request was ideas for 1940s casual outfits. I have seen this topic come up a few times in some groups I follow as well. "Casual" and "vintage" usually do not belong in the same sentence....

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  • June 12, 2018

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Vintage Boots- Winter Rain and Snow Boots

  Knee deep in snow? Sloshing through the mud? Dancing around rain puddle? When mother nature gets wet what in the world is vintage loving gal to wear? This is a BIG question asked every winter. Did women wear vintage boots with dresses? How can I...

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  • October 24, 2017

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Vintage Flats – History & Pictures

Question: I can't wear heels. What flats can I wear with my {insert decade} dress and still be authentic? The answer to this common question is a tricky one. For the most part, up until the late 1950s, flats, were not an option. There were some low heel sho...

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  • October 12, 2017

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How to Dress Retro Vintage Casual for Men

Last week I mentioned the trend for wanting/wearing vintage casual clothing is in high demand this year. Request for men's clothing is usually prefaced with "I don't want to wear a suit" or "how can I work with clothing I already have?" While Oscar thoroug...

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  • August 22, 2017

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New Vintage Reproduction Shoes for Fall

It is almost August yet fall shoes and clothing is entering stores already. I always love to see what's new before I am ready to shop for a warmer wardrobe. This is especially true for shoes. This past week I received a double surprise. The Hotter loafers...

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  • July 27, 2017

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1940s Men’s Hairstyles & Facial Hair

1940s Men's Hairstyles The 1940s man had perfectly groomed hair, with frequent visits to the barber. The look is fairly simple to pull off today (unlike those time-consuming women’s styles!) If you want to achieve most men's 1940s hairstyle you will nee...

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  • June 14, 2017

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1940s Hairstyles- History of Women’s Hairstyles

In the ‘40s women were encouraged to use their hair to ‘fix’ any flaws in their face. If she had perfect, shiny hair with a good color, she should use it to frame her face. If she had a full face, she should use a 1940s hairstyle that piled hair on top of...

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  • June 8, 2017

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1940s Accessories: Belts, Gloves, Head Scarf

The purse and hat were the two biggest 1940s accessories a woman wore but they were not the only way to dress up an outfit. Most women wore a belt with their dress, suit or skirt. They were necessary but not emphasized until the late 1940s. Gloves had more sty...

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  • May 30, 2017

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1940s Jewelry Styles and History

Following on from vintage jewelry styles of the 1930s, this article shall examine popular 1940s jewelry styles and trends.  In order to add that finishing touch to a 1940s inspired outfit, highlighted are some vintage reproduction jewelry styles available to b...

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  • May 30, 2017

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1940s Men’s Underwear: Briefs, Boxers, Unions, & Socks

Men’s underwear (very unlike women’s) hasn’t changed much throughout the years, although it did look a little bit different during the ‘40s. Men wore either briefs, shorts or union suits. White knit briefs were made from ribbed cotton with an elasti...

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  • May 11, 2017

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1940s Wedding Dresses & Groom Attire

Although the world was in turmoil during the ‘40s, people did still get married! In fact, so many people did that the Baby Boom exploded after the war. However, 1940s weddings were not as formal as they were before or after the decade. Most weddings we...

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  • May 4, 2017

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1940s Men’s Formalwear

  Dressing up in black tuxedos, tails or dinner jackets was a regular affair even in the depression of the 1930s. For city folks and those wealthy enough to afford a night of dinner and dancing, gentlemen always wore formalwear, as did the wait sta...

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  • April 27, 2017

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1940s Men’s Work Clothes & Uniforms

Starting at the turn of the century  and into the 1960s, there was little change in men's workwear styles. Materials, colors and fit changed, but the overall style of workwear for common occupations remained the same. Overalls, coveralls, uniforms, and workwea...

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  • April 6, 2017

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1940s Men’s Casual Clothing- Shirts, Trousers, Pullover Vests

While men's 1940s business attire moved toward formality, casual style went the opposite way. Ease and comfort blended the lighter business suit style with sports wear established in the previous decades.  This merging resulted in sports coats instead of busin...

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  • April 3, 2017

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1940s Zoot Suit Girls

Although the man's suit is more well known, 1940s fashion history wiki young women also participated in the rebellious 1940s Zoot and Zazou style. Some called their clothing "defense drapes." Their version was a short pleated skirt that showed plenty of leg – it was an inch o...

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  • March 20, 2017

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Women’s 1940s Victory Suits and Utility Suits

The most iconic look of war-time was the two-piece women's 1940s suit. In the United States, it was patriotically called the victory suit. In Britain it was the utility suit. The suit was practical and versatile, worn as often as dresses. The jacket and sk...

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  • March 15, 2017

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1940s Dress Styles

My first love of all the vintage retro decades was with the 1940s. Perhaps because clothing was similar to that in the 1980s, thpine decade I grew up in, and I subconsciously wanted to relive those times? Hmm maybe. The reason doesn't matter but the love f...

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  • March 9, 2017

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1940s Fashion History for Women and Men

Since the stock market crash of 1929 and the severe economic depression that followed for most of the 1930s, fashion had been an escape. Looking to the movies, women and men, escaped their difficult daily lives and imagined a care free and very glamorous l...

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  • February 28, 2017

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Vintage Overalls 1910s -1950s Pictures and History

I a have thing for overalls. In the mid '90s I was a teenager and the trend for overalls came back in style. I wore mine everywhere paired with a striped shirt and heavy boots. Oh and a plaid flannel shirt. I called it the lumberjack look. Eventually it we...

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  • February 14, 2017

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Vintage Socks | 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s History

Socks are often overlooked or disregarded as items of little importance. Indeed, socks are hardly perceived as garments of glamour. Despite this, however unimportant they appear; attitudes towards socks has shifted throughout the twentieth century. In part...

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  • January 31, 2017

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1940s Handbags and Purses History

While the 1930s provided scope for exploration of the aesthetics of bags and purses, the 1940s focused on functionality and practicality. The 1940s was the decade of make-do-and-mend, innovation and functionality. This approach has resulted in perhaps t...

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  • January 20, 2017

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A History of Belts 1920-1960

This article will explore a history of women's belts 1920-1960. Here I will showcase popular styles, materials, and the way in which belts were generally utilized and included as a fashion accessory.   A History of Belts 1920-1960 Whilst belts ca...

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  • November 23, 2016

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10+ Websites with 1940s Dresses for Sale

I spend a lot of time online looking for great vintage inspired clothing. There are many fabulous vintage reproduction clothing designers online now that make our choices more plentiful than ever! While I prefer the classic 1940s dress- simple, a-line, boxy sh...

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  • November 5, 2016

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1940s Day Dress Styles

There are two 1940s silhouettes: the wartime dress was knee-length, shoulder-padded, and tightest at the waist, while the post-war dress was longer, fuller in the skirts, and more feminine.

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  • October 29, 2016

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1940s Men’s Suit History and Styling Tips

During the ‘40s, suits were still everyday wear for men, whether they were going to an office job, to church or out to dinner. They were also probably the hardest hit piece of a man’s wardrobe. It didn’t matter if he were relaxing at home after a hard week...

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  • September 29, 2016

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1940s Men’s Outfit & Costume Ideas

Learning about men's 1940s fashion history is a big help in creating vintage looks for a swing dance or WW2 history event yet questions still come up about how to put an entire look together. The hardest part about finding 1940s men's clothing besides vintage...

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  • September 14, 2016

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Vintage Scarf Styles -1920s to 1960s

Today we take a look at vintage scarf styles in spring and summer weights and how they were worn through each decade 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Later this year we will learn about winter weight scarves and accessories. Vintage scarves have be...

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  • September 6, 2016

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1930-1950s Western Wear for Women and Men

Western wear. Denim jeans, plaid shirts, cowboy boots, and hats. The look hasn't changed much in the last 100 years, but there was a time in the mid-century where practical western wear met mainstream fashion and created new styles. It is a part of fashion his...

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  • August 17, 2016

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1940s Vintage Hair Accessories – 4 Authentic Styles

  For women during the 1940s, the importance of personal presentation and looking ones best was of high priority. Frivolous as that may sound; women were encouraged to be well presented to the best of their abilities. Red lipstick, perfectly rolled pin...

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  • August 11, 2016

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1940s Formal Dresses History

In 1939 Gone with the Wind came to theaters with amazing success. Suddenly fashion turned back in time to the Victorian age, especially formal gowns and dresses, which embraced fitted bodices, puffed sleeves (or sleeveless) and large full skirts. The econo...

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  • June 19, 2016

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1940s Bathing Suits History

1940s bathing suits, like many other clothing items, was also losing its modesty. The '40s was the era when the midriff was born, and it was shown in swimsuits as well as playsuits. 1940s swimsuits were tight, unlike the suits of previous eras. One-piec...

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  • May 13, 2016

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1940s Outfit Ideas: Recreate the 40s Look

Continuing with our Recreate the Look series, in this post I shall show you how to recreate a 1940s outfit with clothing available from the retailers of today. When thinking of the 1940s as a time period, the phrases - practicality, functionality and rebirt...

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  • April 27, 2016

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1940s Men’s Fashion Clothing Styles

1940s men's fashion for day, sport or evening was styled to make a man feel "larger than life." During 1941-1945, WWII fabric rations limited cloth to make suits but not style. Middle class men chose basic business suits that haven’t changed dramatical...

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  • April 16, 2016

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1940s Men’s Accessories: Belt, Suspenders, Cuff Links, Glasses

Part two of the article on 1940s men's fashion continues with a look at accessories in menswear.  Men's belts (or suspenders?), cufflinks, jewelry, eye glasses, sunglasses, pocket squares, watches, gloves, and scarves were all worn by men during the 1940s.  Th...

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  • February 1, 2016

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1940s Hair Snoods- Buy, Knit, Crochet or Sew a Snood

  Snoods were a popular hair accessory in the 1940s for both daytime and work. The were a rayon or cotton crocheted net fitted with a headband. A headscarf could also be tied like a snood. The band was worn around the top of the head and all of the hai...

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  • December 7, 2015

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Vintage Sweaters & Cardigans: 1940s, 1950s, 1960s

Part two of this series of vintage sweaters continues with the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. These three decades were a time of refinement and embellishment for the plain sweater that had been in fashion since the 1900s. Sweaters in the 1930s moved from sportswe...

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  • October 21, 2015

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1940s Sleepwear: Nightgowns, Pajamas, Robes, Bed Jackets

Men's and women's 1940s sleepwear was simple and practical. For women the design stemmed from two directions. The '30s bias cut negligee was romantic, soft, and dreamy- a perfect end of the day pick me up during hard times, the other was the man tailored s...

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  • October 1, 2015

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Vintage Wide Leg Pants 1920s to 1950s History

I was out shopping the other day observing what was in fashion for fall. The one item I was most excited to see again were vintage wide leg pants. Thank goodness! I despise skinny pants with a passion so seeing so many great wide leg pants, especially thos...

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  • September 8, 2015

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1940s Costume & Outfit Ideas – 16 Women’s Looks

The 1940s fashion era is one of my favorites, especially to recreate using used/vintage/thrifted clothing or new vintage inspired clothing I find online.  As you will see in these 16 different looks, there are many choices from casual or formal, day to nig...

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  • July 7, 2015

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1940s Teenage Fashion for Boys and Young Men

In 1940 as many as 8 out of 10 high school graduate teen boys went to war. The teenage boys and college age young men who remained were part of a new fashion movement that was entirely designed for teens by teens. Last week we looked at 1940s teenage fashi...

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  • May 27, 2015

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1940s Men’s Reproduction Clothing

Question: I have had several requests this week for finding 1940s reproduction men's clothing that is either ready made or custom made to measure. Answer: A while back I published a big list of men's vintage, reproduction and vintage inspired clothing brand...

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  • May 22, 2015

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1940s Teenage Fashion: Girls

The term 'teenager' was coined in 1941, and Seventeen magazine printed its first issue in 1944, showing off young teenager-targeted clothing and interests. It was a new market, one that was somewhere between girls and college-age young women. Teenagers wer...

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  • May 18, 2015

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1940s Sweater Styles

Knitted sweaters were a clothing staple throughout the '40s. Sweater styles shared similar designs to the blouse often called knit blouses instead. In the UK sweaters are called jumpers (not to be confused with a jumper dress, popular with teens.)....

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  • May 4, 2015

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Vintage Men’s Swimsuits – 1930s, 1940s, 1950s

Daniel asked: I was just wondering, I know what ladies used during the '30s-40s (swimming suits). But what did the men use? Let's take a brief look at vintage men's swimsuits by decade: 1920s Men's Suits- Read this article about men's swimwear in the 1920s...

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  • May 1, 2015

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1940s Sunglasses, Glasses & Eyeglasses History

Reader Kathy wrote me this question about 1940s sunglasses: I'm desperately looking for a vintage pair, or good replica pair of women's sunglasses for a WWII reenactment.  Can you steer me in the right direction? I thought my collection of 1940s fashion...

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  • March 16, 2015

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1940s Hats History

 1940s hats were both a continuation of the popular styles of the 1930s and new additions to the casual headwear in the form of the beret, turban, headscarf and snood. Women's hats in the 1940s were a diverse collection of styles largely pulled from differ...

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  • March 2, 2015

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Authentic 1940s Makeup History and Tutorial

1940s makeup is one of the most "vintage" looks and rather simple to recreate. There was a push for all things natural, unlike the 1930s and 1950s, which favored reshaping eyebrows and contouring the face. 1940s makeup enhanced natural beauty with just a f...

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  • November 4, 2014

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