It certainly had been a while. As middle-class Americans began to enjoy more leisure time, sportswear became a popular element of US fashion. Instead, bright nail colors became popular. It was the total opposite of what had been worn for the last three years.
She had all kinds of perfumes to choose from: How about a trip to the big game? He needs a waterproofed cotton gabardine coat, lined and collared in lamb.
Waterproofed boots with a lining of warm electrified sheepskin. Fur was very popular in For black tie nights, he wore a shirt with attached collar and French cuffs, with gold plated cufflinks, matched to its pique pleated bosom.
An eighteen year-old guy thinks his poplin jacket is pretty special. The pure wool alpaca lining zips out and makes a separate sleeveless vest. He also loved his ulster, complete with wombat fur lined collar and the sleeves are leather lined.
An eighteen year-old girl loved her figure cutting outfit with its bright red and green plaid skirt and matching stocking cap. And for her trim little sweater in jacquard knit, all pure wool.
The college girl wore a stocking cap made of hand-knit virgin wool with a roll-neck jerkin. She loved those goofy elbow mittens, to echo her knee-high hand-loomed socks. All cable-stitched in fireman red or white. Complete with a knapsack muff in safari or beaver brown mouton lamb. With purse space inside, the muff is a perfect spice for her off-campus visit. Practically required equipment for the gal on the move was an imported Shetland wool sweater in pink, blue, yellow or white.
Fashion in began to show momentum of its own, an honest freedom from the great tradition of Paris on which it had leaned so heavily, for so long. Clothes were at once less cautious and less tricky. Still marked by the simplicity that wartime fabric shortages and the wartime work and psychology of women demanded, the simplicity was tempered by inventiveness of cut, a genuine suppleness of line.
Two very distinct silhouettes emerged over the year. One was tubular, slim, reedy, exemplified in straight chemise dresses cinched in at the waist by belt, not fit; in knitted dresses that pulled on over the figure like knee-length sweaters. With either silhouette, the look of the head was decidedly neat and small, the hair folded up off the ears and moored on top of the head, netted neatly at the back of the neck, or twisted in tight neat braids.
Hats fitted close to the skull were hot. This curvette was the most popular headpiece it could scarcely be called a hat of the young. It was seen in every material: Many secured their hair in simple snoods of veiling anchored on the head by a band of ribbon.
The straight, spare skirt was broken across the front by soft trouser pleats, and a new hike-back skirt appeared still straight in front, but hiked up slightly in back to make it swing out gracefully behind.
The suit jacket grew shorter and niftier. Simple tweed reefers, loose box coats, slim mid-length tuxedo coats all wore fur linings. Even the raincoat made a welcome fur-lined appearance, giving women an opportunity to be warm in any weather. The younger generation made almost a uniform of the pinafore or jumper dress, perfect in cottons for summer; and in gray flannel, checked tweed, or bright wool jersey a wonderful campus costume worn with any of many shirts and blouses. This basic outfit dispensed with stockings and most underclothing, and over it a pinafore or simple wrap-on skirt completed a whole costume.
After several years of covered-up necklines for both day and evening, decolletage came back in fashion. By winter, , the covered-up, short-skirted dinner dress of had become a full-fledged, decollete evening dress: The deep oval decolletage with its little cap sleeves proved so becoming to so many women, and such a relief from high-neck, long-sleeve fashions that it spread to clothes of every description.
Both the oval and the halter neckline were uppermost also in a new genre of play dress for the south. A casual, feminine type of dress, made in coarse colorful cottons from Mexico and Guatemala, that threatened to supplant the shirtwaist dress, to banish the ubiquitous slacks from the beach forever. The rounded line replaced angles, which was the primary means of avoiding boring designs.
At the beginning of , the roundness was first achieved by pulling the waist tight, emphasizing fullness above and below the waistline. Eventually the round look took every costume.
Often the only tight parts of an outfits were at the neck, waist and wrists. Suit jackets had round collars and round-cut hemlines, while suit skirts belled out in front. Shirts were ready to wear, came in a wide variety of styles and mixed well with skirts.
Advertisement A few horseblanket skirts appeared among the younger crowd. These unique skirts were made of plaid wool horseblankets, bound with black braid and fastened with horseblanket buckles. Gold neckbands, African-inspired metal rings and gold chains were wrapped around the neck and wrists.
Due to the absolute necessity of belts in the wardrobe, manufactures began producing more inventive belt styles than had even been seen before. Some were wide burnished bands of leather and others were cut to fit the waistline. Women were particularly fond of ballet slippers in They came in all colors: Like a huge sigh of relief. Colors lightened and fancy fabrics slowly came back. It certainly had been a while. Femininity was in full swing in , After long, wartorn years of wearing suits, women turned to dresses again.
The curves that were so popular in were replaced by a more natural look. The shoulders and bosom were much more exposed this year, but never in a flamboyant way. Even though Paris was short on just about everything but talent, designers did their best to keep their position as the fashion capital of the world. An asymmetrical look was important in Long evening skirts swayed to one side. Dinner dresses appeared with just one shoulder strap.
It was a very flattering look to the female figure. Two popular suits, the cutaway suit and the bellhop suit, were very successful for designers. While not overly feminine, they still had a distinct look from man-tailored suits, and were exactly what women were looking for. The Kiltie, a short pleated skirt which came in varied lengths, was a vital part of the playtime wardrobe.
With the end of the war, designers were finally able to dip into their array of beautiful fabrics again. Fine Irish linens returned and were used for simple things like day dresses, or for extravagant lace. Embroidery was seen in almost every form: Colors were delicate, pale blues and pinks, pale yellows and violet, were common color combinations. Hats were trimmed with fantastic feathers. The tricorne, bicorne and tiny pillbox were popular hat shapes. The ankle-length evening dress eclipsed the picture-skirted ball gowns in importance.
Shoulders were covered by tiny boleros. Flowing capes draped over day dresses and evening gowns alike. One extravagant wrap was a greatcoat cut like a cape, lined with seal. The feminine look was certainly aided by the fact that women could buy nylon stockings again. Also, with the rising of the hemline came a new focus on shoes. Shoes were designed with grace. Gentle arches, high heels and ankle straps all gave the foot a renewed appeal.
Nail color generally matched a woman's lipstick color. Gloves were less essential to complete a woman's look than they had been in the s and less than they would be again in the '50s , but remained a popular staple. Handbags and pocketbooks were fashionable, as well.
For men, a fedora tipped at a jaunty angle was the hat of choice. As America eased into post-war prosperity after , fashions became more elaborate and indulgent again.
Here are a few examples of this trend. Imitate the "New Look". Christian Dior's "New Look" silhouette, introduced in , was a direct response to the wartime austerity look. It featured a tailored, pleated jacket with a nipped waist and a peplum a small skirt emphasizing a narrow waist and wide hips that flared out into a mid-calf length, full skirt made up of several folds.
Instead of the leggy wartime look, the New Look emphasized the bust and hips in an hourglass figure. The outfit was usually completed with a hat, jewelry, gloves and a handbag or pocketbook, and it came in a variety of colors. Bring back the complicated undergarments. After the war and with the advent of fuller skirts, structural undergarments were necessary once more. Garters were used to hold up stockings, girdles helped achieve the popular "nipped waist" look, and petticoats were sometimes necessary to fill out skirts.
Women were reluctant to give up the pants and shorts they'd enjoyed during the war, and retained them in slimmer, more feminine cuts. Sporty sweaters and jackets were fashionable for men. Style hair more loosely. In response to the longer locks of the war, women again cut their hair shorter and kept it curled, or added bangs. Men wore hair with a "wet" look, achieved with pomade or cream, and combed back from the forehead or up into a pompadour.
Complete a feminine look with makeup. Postwar makeup remained similar to wartime makeup, with the exception of a less-bold lip. Liner and color followed a natural lip line, instead of the wartime "Cupid's bow" look. Instead, bright nail colors became popular.
Horn rimmed glasses came out in and have been stylish ever since. As middle-class Americans began to enjoy more leisure time, sportswear became a popular element of US fashion. The boys were back home and they came with souvenirs. This led to a popularity in island themed fashions and home décor. Hawaiian themed parties were popular by the movie stars during the war and now the rest of the nation was catching up.
Tropical prints were all the rage. Hawaiian shirts were the backyard BBQ favorite of the fellas. If you have high-waist jeans, tuck a loose button-down shirt into them, and add a cute belt. You can tie a scarf around your hair for a more casual look.
For something more dressy, opt for an A-line dress with a belt and kitten heels. Dress pants with a short-sleeved button-down shirt, tucked in and belted is great. Leave the top button of your shirt unbuttoned. Not Helpful 1 Helpful Fashions come back around over the years, so you could definitely use modern day clothing styles to get that '40s look.
You should go for patterned dresses to the length of a credit card above the knee that are bright colors but simple -- maybe dots or flower patterns. Skin color tights would work well, but, if you wish to try stockings instead, choose skin color ones with simple black suspenders to hold them in place: For heels, go with brightly colored ones with a simple strap. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 6. Were wide leg culottes or capris popular at the time, maybe with wedge heels and jackets?
Wide leg culottes were popular, but capris not so much. Wedge heels were popular. You could wear a classy low heel or high heel stiletto.
For a jacket, women wore a lot of blazers. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 5. You should also be able to find 's costumes sold by online retailers. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 3. Answer this question Flag as How did Americans dress back in the 40s? Is there any guide like this for 30s? I've been trying to find one but have not had any luck so far. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other.
Shop the selection s style clothing and fashion at ModCloth. Find s style dresses, tops, bottoms, swimwear, and other fab women's clothing! Menu. ModCloth. Search Catalog Search Go. New Categories. Dresses Tops Bottoms Shoes Accessories s Fashion & s Style Clothing. 40s dresses and clothing is a current trend thanks to the sexy pin up and classic Agent Carter inspiration. Casual s swing dresses for dancing the Lindy hop, Jive and Balboa are on the rise around the world. What influenced s men's and women's fashion? Learn s fashion history here. Over 50 articles to learn from. What influenced s men's and women's fashion? Learn s fashion history here. The very silhouette that dominated the ’40’s was a casualty of war. In Britain and elsewhere in Europe.