The 1940s’ fashion is all we want this spring Flattering and timeless.

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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Double-breasted jackets

Two fashionistas during Fashion Week, wearing double-breasted jacket and coat, a typical silhouette of the '40s.
Tailored suits were quite popular in the ’40s

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.

Midi length

Two show-goers during Fashion Week, one wearing a green midi-long dress and matching coat, the other wearing a pleated Midi skirt and belted outwear.
During the 40s, utility clothes typically featured squared shoulders, narrow hips, and skirts that ended just below the knee

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

Stylish women during fashion week wearing jackets with puffy shoulders.
Puff and Squared shoulders were a key design in the 40s

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.

Marlene pants

Street style photos of two show-goers during Fashion Week wearing beige wide-legged pants.
Pants or slacks first gained popularity among women in the 40s

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

Stylish woman at Fashion Week wearing a light blue cardigan and matching skirt.
Add a contemporary touch, wearing your cardigans with nothing underneath

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.

Lingerie

Fashionista wearing a pink lace top layered under a matching dress and silver oversized blazer during Fashion Week.
Hollywood Diva effect

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 

Stylish woman wearing floral dress with wide Peter Pan collar.
Miu Miu dress with big lace Peter Pan collar

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.

Polka dots

Two stylish women wearing Polka dot dresses during Fashion Week.
Polka dots add a happy and vintage touch to your wardrobe

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.

Bobby socks

Street style photo during Fashion Week showing woman wearing mules with Bobby socks with polka dots matching her skirt.
Teenagers started to wear bobby-socks in the ’40s

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.

Turban

Stylish woman wearing a turban and statement earrings.
Every form of knot is possible, Just be creative

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

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