Thursday, 12 June 2014 09:43

How to identify a 1940s Dress

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Although it is the 21st century, vintage garments are as popular as ever. Each era from the past century has made a real impact on how people dress today.

With so many more options available on the market today, we are able to express our personality through our choice of clothing and accessories. Whether the rocking 70s were your era or the 90s pop season is what you prefer, each decade provides us with a clear picture of the different cliques present during each phase.

The 1940s is an iconic decade that has had a huge impact on fashion today. As one of the most loved decades of our time, there are still thousands of people who like to incorporate pieces from the 40s into their everyday attire.

If you are looking to add a dash of 1940s fashion to your wardrobe you can do so by looking in small boutiques and charity shops that will have genuine one off pieces from the era. Back in the 1940s, a lot of the dresses took more than 8 times longer to design and create than they do today. Many had up to 5 seamstresses working on them at one time so you can imagine the hard work that went into creating each bespoke frock. Here's what to look for when you are shopping for 1940s dresses...

Think Modestly

In the 1940s, women were more conservative than they are nowadays so the hems on the dresses always sat below the knee, similar to the length of midi dresses we have today. In addition, high necklines were also a popular feature on the dresses from this time to ensure women didn't have too much on show.


During the early years of the era, pleating was a very popular detail on dresses. However this trend began to fade as rationing came into play during World War II in an attempt to save fabric.

A Defined Waist

As the style in the 40s was very modest, women defined their figure with a clinched in waist. This was either with a buckled belt or a waistband fitted into the dress. Accentuating the ladies smallest part of her body for a flattering look, this looked particularly good with a full skirt.

Attention to Detail

As the UK fazed in and out of the rationing stage during World War II, so did the attention to detail. When fabric and other materials weren't being strictly rationed, seamstresses took greater attention to detail with additions such as full skirts, lace trims and embroidered collars.

Visit Collectif for an exquisite collection 1940s and 1950s reproduction clothing.

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