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August 10, 2014

Right and Wrong Clothes for Boys and Girls, 1939

Until boys reached the age of 12 or 13, they wore long socks paired with trousers or shorts. They also sported blazers and jackets, often finished off with a tie.

Girls in the 1940s wore dresses almost exclusively, though overalls were acceptable when they were still young. By the time these girls reached the age of 16 or 17, they started dressing like older women, although both the cuts of the dresses were simpler and the colors were pastel. School age children usually wore uniforms.

During the 1940s, most of the clothing for children was knitted and handmade due to rationing because of World War II. It was especially more economical to make baby clothes. According to the website Northern 40s, toddlers typically wore dungarees, which are similar to overalls. They also wore jersey suits, which were matching shirts and shorts, and buster suits, which consisted of a shirt and short attached via buttons.

For footwear, sandals and ankle bars were popular because the rubber needed in lace up shoes was hard to get.

Plaid dress with pleated skirt for school. Saddle oxfords are the most popular shoe.

All occaison coat, double-breasted, has the new back fullness. Her bag, like mother's, swings from the shoulder.

Twin sweater sets, similar to those popular in colleges, are good for teenagers, too.

Party dress of rose velveteen, feathered bonnet and a matching bag, make this young girl a perfect little lady.

Siren effect produced by slinky black dress and up-hairdo is inappropriate.

Single-breasted fitted jacket, a prep hat and inconspicuous glasses look right on youngster.

Jumper skirts and shirtwaist dresses are outstanding oufits.

Appropriate sub-deb party dress.

Double-breasted jacket, exaggerated shoulders, broad lapels, man's hat, make him look lile dad but they're bad.

Husky boys look like this in profile unless their coats are beltless and full.

Plaid coat and suede hat with visor (poularized by Marlene Dietrich) for spring.

Her dress is too short and the neck is too high.

Snug fitting suit on a husky boy is likely to bind around middle, puff out at back and make boy look like a sausage.

Easy fitting suit, double-breasted, produces a flattering square line on husky boy. Hat with a turned down brim helps the face.

(Photos by Alfred Eisenstaedt, via LIFE archives)


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