Fashion In The 1940s Essay

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It is impossible to discuss fashion of the 1940s in the United States and Europe without considering the impact of World War II. World War II dominated all aspects of society, including fashion. The need to conserve resources forced the implementation of strict limits on the types of clothing which could be produced. In the 1940’s, fashion wasn’t the top story—World War II was. Each soldier needed weapons and clothing, thus the factories on both sides of the Atlantic had to start devoting themselves to producing war goods instead of consumer goods. Rationing first started in Britain in June 1941 and later spread to the United States a year later. In Britain, first, 66 coupons were given to each adult a year, but that quickly got reduced to 48 and in 1945, 36 coupons. To buy a women’s tweed suit, they would have to spare 18 coupons, 11 coupons on a woollen dress, 7 coupons on a skirt and 5 coupons on a blouse or cardigan. As a result, separates became popular because they were the best value. Shoes were also very expensive,…show more content…
Purses took the form of small box bags, usually black plastic patent with a mirror on the lid. During the day, over-the-shoulder bags or big clutch-like bags without handles were worn. Gloves were another important addition to a woman’s outfit. Suede gloves with loose “crushed” wrists were worn during daytime (“crushed” because the gloves are actually elbow-length, but are worn pushed down the arm). In the evening, rayon jersey gloves (considered glamour accessory around 1944, when fabric was replacing leather) were worn. Hats were still an essential part of a women’s ensemble. Hats that were tipped over foreheads and placed on the head were both popular. However, hats became a “casualty of war” because they kept on getting replaced by head scarves. Head scarves were worn by women working in war production factories (5, 6,
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