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Tag Archives: wartime fashion

Fashions for January 1940

More January fashions, this time from 1940, and Summer in Australia.  The war had only been going a few months at this stage and long  and full skirts are still popular. 

rice starch ad1940

Rice starch, an essential fashion tool

  
Beach fashions 1940

Beach fashions 1940

 

vintage 1940s fashion

  

vintage fashion 1940

 Fasjion patterns are still being sold for the making of new garments, still using quite a bit of fabric. I love the school tunics! fashion patterns 1940 Frocks for maids (teenagers) and children – love the check playsuit grace brothers ad 1940   

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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. 

Fashion for the Business Girl, January 1941

You can see by these illustrations that although the wartime silhouette had made it to Australia by 1941, we didn’t yet have fabric rationing – the shoulders are gathered and the pockets are large, and there are also lots of buttons……

Image

“Fashion” ideas for 1939

One of the hints during wartime austerity was to sew your own clothes. ‘Fashion’ magazine from October 1939 was filled with ideas for the home sewer, with mail order patterns cheaply available – the equivalent of about $4.25, about half the price of a modern pattern. Image 

Slenderizing Frocks and Practical Overalls, 1942

Slenderizing Frocks and Practical Overalls, 1942

Slenderizing Frocks and Practical Overalls, 1942

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/22155693@N04/

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