Make me a… 1940’s Wartime Woman October 15, 2009Posted by Lauren Cooke in Makeup/Cosmetics, Vintage.
Tags: 1940s fashion, Fashion, vintage fashion, wartime fashion
The third in my series helping modern girls to wear the fashions of their ancestors, this week I address the changeable period of time that was the war-torn 1940’s. These will contain clothes (both vintage, vintage inspired and direct repro), makeup and more, to help you achieve that distinctly vintage fashion style!
This week I tackle the smart suits and working woman’s styles that characterise that most austere and determined part of history.
The war had a dramatic effect on the women of the war in the 1940’s, plunging housewives into working roles for the first time in modern history. My own grandmother was a wartime worker, and never quite got over the disappointment of having to go back to the home once the men returned to their jobs. Because of this the need for practicality over high fashion was dramatically apparent, and women often wore suitable trousers and dungarees in preference to the suits and dresses that are used more often to represent this era. Consequently these are what I will show you now, suitable as they are for modern day wear.
The trousers are great fun, with a high waist and wide bold legs. I think that curvy girls with bigger hips can wear them just as well as the willowy type, mainly due to the fact that they were designed to be comfy and easy to wear. Vivien of Holloway produced these incredibly cute denim trousers, whilst if dungarees are your thing (much harder to wear in my opinion!) then try these from Freddie’s of Pinewood. Personally I think inspired looks are better for this, as you can look 1940’s whilst still getting to wear modern measurements for differently proportioned women.
If you love the gorgeous dresses and suits of the 1940’s (and let’s face it, who doesn’t) then you are probably fed up of me going on about the wonderous trousers and funky vintage dunagrees. The suits and dresses, I must admit, are where you can really go all out and enjoy the look, cinched waist and all. For dresses try Swirls and pretty work wear, any online vintage shop will stock a beautiful example! Whilst the look was still designed for waspish beauties, curvy girls need to concentrate on excellent tailoring, spending a bit more to make the sexy look right. Think Christina Hendricks in Madmen (I know it is 1960’s, but the tailoring point stands across eras!) and you can understand that curvy shapes do work brilliantly for suited looks!
Keep the skirt length long to the knees to make the look 1940’s, and have a little fun with gently padded shoulders. Personally I would dream of a truly vintage suit, but inspired looks are available all over the interwebs and can often give a brilliantly modern twist on the general 1940’s look. The colour range out there is great, so why not try rocking this dramatic orange look if you want to add an 80’s on trend vibe, or keep it sophisticated and office friendly in tan. eBay is teaming with these! Having fun with a suit and adding some vintage feeling can really update your outfit, especially if you throw in a modern scarf or a totally noughties pair of heels!