Pre-WWII fashion made its way out of the figure-hugging 1930s with stronger shoulders and slim A-line skirts. The war required even stronger shoulders to bear its weight, so utilitarian suits with shorter, fabric-preserving skirts became de rigeur. But once the war was over, and austerity measures a thing of the past, Christian Dior reinvigorated fashion with his über-feminine, fabric-rich New Look of 1947.
The pieces I got to pull for this post span the huge spectrum of the 1940s, one of the most varied decades in fashion history. Given my love for the 1930s, I really do prefer the early 1940s, but I'm happy to say I found some great dresses from the second half of the decade I'll be showing you next week. So, how about we jump into the first half of the fab Forties?
Click "read more" to jump on in!
This gorgeous, full-length red rayon gown comes, as best I can date it, from the early 1940s. This dating stems from the beaded bodice, which is reminiscent of the blue 1930s gown I showed in my last post. The shift up to the natural waistline, while retaining soft shoulders, sort of straddles the style line between the two decades.
It's not quite my size, so I've pulled it back to approximate the correct fit.
I mean there's pretty much nothing not to love about a red, full-length gown. Right?
I put this black embroidered rayon in the early '40s based on the soft lines and unstructured fit. The best details here are the heavily embroidered sleeve, and the tab buttons run a really close second.
This green gown is a hands-down show stopper. Draped like a dress straight out of a Hollywood movie, this thing is amazing. It's easily one of the most photogenic pieces I've ever been lucky enough to wear.
The color, the cut, the drape detail, the neckline-- everything about this dress made me feel honestly gorgeous, which is quite a feat for a mid-day, mid-work, in-between-sorting-dusty-bins-of-shoes photo shoot. The dress done good.
The shape of this barely-blue dress is your familiar early Forties style, and I love it.
I'm pretty enamored of this peach gathered dream.
To round out Part I is this adorable white cotton print dress.
I would've put this at a later date, but the length of the skirt is longer than mid- to late-1940s dresses. In any case, the tiny red polka dots, brought out by the clear red buttons, make this a really adorable day dress.
Nobody doesn't like day dresses! I hope you've enjoyed this taste of the early 1940s. And hey, what do you think-- do you prefer the early, mid, or late 1940s?
Stay tuned for Part II!