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1940s fashion Style & Trends

The fashion of the 1940s is a very classy look. Since it will look so good on you, you will be swamped with compliments. Here's how to get that outstanding 1940s style:

Understand what the '40s was about. With the onset of World War II rationing in the 1940's extended to clothing too. Fabric was scarce, so skirts were perpendicular, and blouses were plain, without ruffles or detailing. Lots of women kept their clothes to one shade, so that they could mix and match pieces and get more use out of each item. Colors had dark, pure hues. Clothes had more natural looking silhouettes because material wasn't available to support unnatural silhouettes. Although most clothing was supposed to be worn with a slip or petticoat. In late 1940s trends had fuller skirts, on quite a few occasions needing a petticoat, and more feminine blouses. These looks from the late 1940s are like the styles we associate with the 1950s.

World War II impacted virtually every aspect of American life and fashion was no exception. In 1942, the United States imposed a rationing system similar to the one Great Britain had implemented the previous year, limiting, among other things, the amount of fabric that could be used in a single garment. Materials including wool, silk, leather and a fledgling DuPont Corp. invention called nylon were diverted for use in uniforms, parachutes, shoelaces and even bomber noses.

Jackets could be no more than 25 inches in length, pants no more than 19 inches in circumference at the hem, belts no more than two inches wide and heels no more than an inch in height. Hemlines rose to the knee in an effort to conserve fabric. Buttons, cuffs, pockets and decorative details like ruffles and lace were used sparingly. Women wore shorter, boxy jackets for a V-shaped silhouette reminiscent of military uniforms. Even Hollywood traded elaborate costumes for simplified designs, a move many claimed lent movies a new air of realism.

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