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March 7, 2022

Vintage Photos Show What Young Couples Wore in the 1940s

World War II dominated the first half of the 1940s as well as fashions in the Western world. Materials such as silk, nylon, wool, leather, rubber, and zippers were needed in wartime production. Clothing was rationed in the United States and parts of Europe. 1940s fashion designers had to be efficient and innovative in how they made suits, dresses, and shoes.

The typical 1940s female dress silhouette was like a uniform: simple and fitted, with boxy shoulders, a slim-belted waistline, and a hemline below the knee. In cold weather, you might see women in long-sleeved dress suits of a similar shape.

Women in the 1940s typically wore their hair shoulder-length or longer, without bangs, styled with waves and rolls. The “victory roll” helped women manage long hairstyles during a hard day’s work; they could unroll it later into shapely waves.

During the 1940s, men not in uniform often wore suits in public. Many made do with older suits from the 1930s. Suit vests fell out of favor as an excess use of fabric. New suits were made with a wool-rayon blend instead of wool and often with patterned (especially striped) fabric.

Here is a vintage photo collection that shows what young couples looked like during the 1940s.











































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