1940s fashion was all about frugality. The world was at war in the 1940's, which meant that and resources were restricted everywhere. Women were coming into the work force and men were going off to war. 1940's clothing reflected this dire time.
Women's skirts became much shorter and much simpler in the 1940's. Fabric and other resources were in short supply, so a shorter hem was seen as patriotic rather than lewd. There was also a lot of mixing and matching of patterns going on, due to the fabric shortage. This made for some colorful and lively attire. Heels became thick and sturdy to help with the heavy walking enduring by most citizens trying to conserve fuel.
Overall, women's fashions became much more working class in the 1940's. Undergarments became much more industrial and useful. Women were working in factories and needed clothing that stood up and took a beating. Shoulders were square, though not padded, due to the military influence. Sleeves were short so as to allow for fabric rationing. Shorts and sportswear came began to be seen on women as well as men.
Men's fashion was very simple and streamlined during the 1940's. This was obviously due to the resource rationing and the fact that many off the men were off fighting. 1940's fashion for men meant a simple suit with slick and basic pants. Leisurewear was starting to become popular, and matching a basic set of slacks with a cardigan slowly began to become acceptable.
One of the popular men's fashion items from the 1940's was the fedora hat. This slim hat had a narrow brim that was usually slightly turned down. After the war had ended in the mid 1940's, men paired the fedora with long, colorful and full cut suits, similar to the zoot suits of the 1930's.
Fashion Trend Hits
The cute and simple skirts of the 1940's are hard to get wrong. They looked good back then and they look good now. The basic A-line frame or slight flare of many of the skirts tends to flatter many figures.
Women's thick heeled shoes were one of the marvels of 1940's fashion. Finally, there were sexy shoes that could still be functional. These are definitely still hot today, and like their predecessors, can be worn almost anywhere.
Men's fedora hats made every man look at little mysterious in the 1940's. However the classic fedora is so versatile and fun that it still looks great for modern fashion. Best of all, it makes anyone who wears it instantly look like they're in a spy movie.
Fashion Trend Misses
The military shoulders of women's fashion in the 1940's does not translate well to modern day fashion. It's a little too severe and masculine for most figures. The massive shoulders also have a way of drowning out the bosom, something most women would prefer not to do.
What set the tone for 1920's fashion was an idea of rebellion, scandal and otherwise mixing things up.