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1940s Clothing

The 1940s brought us pin-ups girls and elegantly accessorized ensembles. Tupperware was invented, and It’s a Wonderful Life debuted in all its Christmas glory. Due to World War II, money was tight and merchandise was largely rationed. Fabric may have been limited, but the fashion of the 1940s never faltered.

A woman’s outfit was never complete without the accessories of the time. Coordinated driving gloves were a style must-have, and clothing was bright and colorful. The early 1940s saw shorter hemlines due to fabric rations, but the skirts returned to their longer lengths and fuller proportions post-war. Women showed off their midsections with tight waists, cinched belts, and peplum accents. Shoulder pads created the illusion of an even more dramatic hip to waist ratio.

After the war, island prints gained popularity due to the tropical souvenirs the soldiers brought back with them. Gingham fabric and ruffled details were very popular, while matching skirt and blazer suits were an everyday essential for the women who worked while their other halves tended to their military duties.

Tight jackets and bolero designs with intricate collars were the tailored outerwear of choice, while swimwear focused on flirty halter tops and ruched, high-waisted bottoms. Footwear made with rubber was considered a luxury due to limited supplies, which in turn led to wooden shoes, particularly wedges, and the ever-popular peep-toe design. The times were challenging, but women’s fashion remained as classy as ever with no detail ignored. 

At Stop Staring!, our collection of 1940s-themed attire is a throwback to this tough and well-styled generation. From tea dresses to tailored skirt suits, our clothing highlights the details that made this clothing aesthetic so distinct and classic.