The 1940s were a perfect example of fashion reflecting the issues of the decade. Styles adapt to the society they’re worn in. There were two different types 1940s fashion that divided the decade, both centered around World War II.
The first came about during World War II. Women’s fashion was geared towards utility during wartime. Squared shoulders and skirts that came up to the knee were popular. Women were encouraged to make their own clothing, especially because of the wartime rationing. The focus of fashion switched from Paris to New York, with many embracing the “American Look” that made use of fabrics that weren’t in demand by the military. Pants became a popular choice for women at this time, a trend that would carry over to later decades. Though much of the fashion of the early 1940s encouraged repurposing older styles, women were still able to DIY their own chic outfits in this wartime period.
After World War II, the emphasis on conservation and utility began to fade in favor a new, feminine look. Rounded shoulders replaced the utility style’s squared version. Instead of straight skirts that ended before the knee, women embraced a full, billowing skirt in this new feminine style.
When trying to channel the 1940s, there are so many options. Pick your look and dress for the decade!
For more inspiration, check out Back In Style selection of 1940s fashion!