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December 23, 2023

Vintage Found Photos of ’40s Young Women in Shorts

Shorts were not a new item in women’s 1940s wardrobes, but they weren’t very common. The 1930s style short had a high waist with wide waistband and pleated legs, giving it the look of a tennis skirt/skort. This continued to be the trend in the early 1940s for women gradually slimming the leg and bringing up the hemline.

1940s shorts were made of medium blue denim, navy blue denim, corduroy in tan or navy, and rayon or cotton in green, white or sky blue. While shorts with a print or pattern were less common, they did exist, especially in the later years. Vertical stripes were popular, too. Usually, patterned shorts came with a matching top for a playsuit look.

Denim shorts often had a cuff hem and leg press just like denim trousers. As the decade moved away from the war, shorts lost the skirt-like pleating and took on the short trouser look with slit pockets on the side. Some shorts mimicked little boys’ and girls’ styles with a small flap coin pocket on the front. Others had a simple elastic waistband, making them look like men’s underwear (worn as gym shorts).

These vintage photos were found by Steven Martin that show young women wearing shorts in the 1940s.


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