Shortages of everything during the war had a great influence on the fashion of the 40's - silk was used for parachutes so many of the wartime dresses were made from rayon, synthetic jersey and other man made fabrics. When rationing came into place in 1941 and the government Utility scheme forbade all trimmings and certain fabrics. So detailing in the form of pin tucks, turn back cuffs and other intricate details became the norm.
America had it's own designers with functional and easy ready-to-wear - play suits in denim, gingham and cotton.
- Fly fronts on jackets
- Flap pockets on dresses and jackets
- Bolero jackets
- Narrow revers collars on jackets and flyaway revers on blouses and dresses
- Dolmen sleeves
- Crossover bodices on dresses
- Pussy cat bows on blouses
- Seamed stockings
- Sculptural hats - these weren't rationed so you can go town with them
- Shoulder pads - think Joan Crawford
- Peplems on dresses and jackets
- Peep toe shoes with a platform or flat sandals a wedge.
Trousers became popular as women got used to wearing pants in the workplace, Heyday do the very best repro versions in every colour - team them with a fitted jacket or pussy bow blouse for a formal look or try a slim sweater and a vintage brooch pinned at your shoulder or a scarf tied at the neck for a more casual feel..
For daytime put a collection of original or repro dresses that you can change up with different accessories - add a jacket or a little cardigan, mix between flat sandals for daytime and high heels for evening. Patriotic prints were all the rage so for a authentic look see if you can find a scarf or flag brooch.
Add brooches to you lapels or hat to dress it up, or if you can find a pair of dress clips put it on your dress or shoes.
Clutch bags were very popular and over sized, felt hats that perch on the side of the head, trilby's and gloves.
After the war skirts were longer and in 1947 with Dior's New Look fuller which was carried on into the next decade - the 50's which will be the next blog post.
J by Jasper Conran Debenhams.
Ditsy Print dress M & Co £35
Peplem dress M & Co £39
Peter Pan collar blouse Matlan £12
Navy pants Gok for Tu collection at Sainsburys £30
H by Henry Holland for Debenhams £40
F & F Tesco peep toe shoe £22
Primark Jacket £22