There is something fascinating about the 1940s’ fashion when, despite the hardships of wartime, women’s style was undeniably iconic.
Think how glamorous the Hollywood goddesses of the ‘40s were. Who wouldn’t want to be as stylish as Rita Hayworth, Barbara Stanwyck, Katharine Hepburn and the Austrian Hedy Lamarr? So we’re happy to see that the feminine hour-glass silhouettes and the elegant androgynous style of the 40s have inspired many designers for their S/S 2020 collections.
Keep scrolling to discover ten 1940s’ fashion trends you can emulate this spring using pieces you probably already have in your wardrobe.
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The 1940s fashion was all about Christian Dior’s New Look; waist-cinching jackets and full skirts. In 2020, wear structured double-breasted jackets or coats, if belted, the better, and pair them with an A-line skirt for a typical ’40s silhouette.
Whether pencil skirts, A-line or pleated, the length of dresses and skirts was anywhere from below the knee to the mid-calf.
Puffy shoulders and sleeves helped create the ultra-feminine hourglass silhouette. You can also add shoulder pads to any shirt and T-shirt to recreate the boxy shape typical of the 1940s fashion.
The German actress Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn helped make masculine trousers fashionable for women. The classic pleated trousers were wide-legged and high-waisted, which we think is flattering and very chic. Pair them with a waistcoat to add nowness as we saw at Celine and Gucci.
Cardigans were a must for the put-together looks of the 1940s. You can wear them tucked into a belted waist and with a scarf around your neck à la Ava Gardner. For a contemporary take on the timeless cardigan, read The new way to wear your classic sweater will make you look super fashionable.
The divas of Hollywood golden era like Rita Hayworth, were incredibly sexy, wearing scandalous satin dresses with slits, cropped tops and the first bikinis. Having this sexiness in mind, wear satin tops with lace as seen at Fashion Week. You can also layer a cardigan over your lingerie, leaving the top buttons undone to show the lacy top.
Peter Pan collars
Blouses and dresses had Peter Pan collars, which have become much wider in 2020. The Peter Pan trend has invaded our Instagram feeds, with influencers from all over the world wearing them.
As for women in the 1940s, polka dot dresses and skirts are spot-on now. It is a trend that is going strong this spring and will continue throughout summer too. In fact, Polka dots are timeless so you can invest in some items without worrying about their wearability.
Flat Oxford shoes and loafers were worn with white Bobby socks, comfortable enough to swing dance all night! Add a ’40s feel to your outfit by wearing pumps, sandals or loafers with cute socks.
Every woman, from Hollywood divas to country girls, loved to wear a turban in the ’40s. From simple headscarves to outrageous headwraps embellished with voluminous flowers, fruits and bows. Choose a nice scarf and learn how to tie your turban.
Street style photos taken during Fashion Week via Shutterstock