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October 20, 2021

20 Rare Color Photos Show Bridal Trends and Styles From the 1940s

In the early 1940s, during the war, the fashion industry was heavily impacted by rationing. However, wedding dresses were exempt, meaning wedding gowns were free to be. Still, with the strong need for silk in various war materials, many women decided to go with the more sensible fabric: rayon.

Brides in the 1940s

As the decade progressed, wedding gowns became more snug and less extravagant. Sure, you’d see wedding dresses that could double as parachutes, but it was a noticeable different how much more trim wedding dresses are in the late 1940s.

The bouquet was an absolute necessity for every bride, and most women wore a headpiece, ranging from tiaras to full length veils. Matching gloves were optional if the wedding dress had sleeves. If the dress did not have long sleeves, then it was fashionable to wear gloves that came up past the elbow.

Traditional wedding dresses in the 1940s were white. Starting in the mid 1940s, many young celebrities were getting hitched, being photographed wearing dress suits or their Sunday best. It had become pretty normal to skirt the whole wedding dress altogether.

These beautiful color photos show what brides looked like from the 1940s.

Lisa Fonssagrives leaning against tree stump, wearing veil with pompadour chou and silk jersey wedding dress in rose-beige, 1940

Model is wearing an organdy bonnet framed with flowers, and a billowing organdy, chintz-banded wedding dress, 1940

Toni Frissell, Vogue, April 1940

Brides and grooms, 1941

Bride and groom, June 15, 1942

Bride in satin wedding Gown, 1942

Photo by Nickolas Muray/George Eastman House/Getty Images for McCall's magazine, 1942

Bride and groom, 1942

Bride, 1942

Bride and bridesmaids, 1943

Lady in her wedding dress, 1943

Brides, 1944

Bride, 1945

Wartime bride, 1945

Bride, 1945

Photo by Constance Bannister Corp/Getty Images, 1947

Photo by Lambert/Getty Images, 1947

Bride, 1947

A young bride taken by JCA Redhead (1886-1954) during WWII

Photo by Nickolas Muray/George Eastman House/Getty Images, circa 1940s


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