In a nutshell, 1940s women’s fashion was about creating an hourglass silhouette with masculine details: padded shoulders, nipped in high waist tops, and A-line skirts that came down to the knee. This was the everyday shape for clothing, from suits to dresses. Even pants had a similar high waisted, wide leg shape. If a woman was not naturally an hourglass shape, the clothes were designed to help her achieve the look. Being put together, cheerful, and practical was the job of women during World War II.
1940s fashion accessories such as hats, gloves, handbags, and jewelry completed an outfit while natural makeup with bright red lips painting a happy face during difficult times.
1940s fashion trends:
- Knee length A-line dresses with puffed shoulders in patriotic colors
- Plaid A-line skirts with white button down blouses
- Victory suits: man-tailored skirt and jackets
- Wide leg, high waisted pants
- Workwear overalls and jeans created the Rosie the Riveter look
- Shoes – peep-toe heels, loafers, oxfords, wedge sandals
- The two-piece bikini debuted
- Hats, turbans, head scarves, snood and flower clips topped women’s heads
- Lingerie – Seamed stockings or socks, simple bra, girdle, slip and panties