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Fashions for October 1939

Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, and by the next day Britain put Air Raid Precautions into effect and school children and pregnant women were being evacuated from London. Great Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September, and Australia followed suit.

By October 1939 American fashions were already seeming a lot more colourful and extravagant compared to English fashions, according to this article (Australian Womans Weekly  8 October 1939).

 american vs englinsh fashions october 1939 
  Some more fashion from the same magazine – this one for easy care sportswear.

vintage wartime fashion ad 1939  

Quite a utilitarian suit –

  

Dresses with pleats, still using quite a lot of fabric, and the length is below knee to almost mid calf- 
calf length pleated dressses october 1939  

These evening dresses are still quite frivolous too, with long full skirts and frills (as well as the odd midriff!)

summer evening dresses october 1939  

And the home pattern service also shows pleats, long  and full skirts and even roomy pajamas. Let’s hope whoever bought the patterns also bought their fabric straight away, before rationing started!
patterns to sew at home october 1939  

To finish are these quite full skirts, in not so practical white. 

  

Fashion was still important during the war, and underwent significant changes. I’ll continue next time with fashions of November 1939, and I’ll move on through the war so we can see the changes as they happen. 

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About thewartimewoman

I love history, fashion, art and design, especially of the 1930s to the 1960s. I am also a mother, wife, interior decorator & a treasure hunter who wishes she could drive a 1933 Delage. I studied Architecture at Melbourne university, briefly, and completed a Diploma of Art in Interior Design at the Melbourne College of Decoration in 1991. I have worked on an off as a decorator ever since, in between stints as a florist, balloon artist, having my five children and helping my husband in his law firm. in my spare time I love researching history, blogging and gardening.

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