It’s impossible to consider the 1940s without the impact of the second world war. The decade was very much dominated by these events, both during the fighting and the aftermath in the latter half of the decade.
What are the forties known for?
The 1940s was a decade dominated by war. Many gentlemen spent much of this period wearing a military uniform thanks to conscription. For those who were left at home, it was very much a case of make do and mend. The 1940s saw huge shortages in clothing, along with everything else, even after the war ended in 1945.
Many other things of note happened during this period. The first computers were created, along with jet engines, commercial televisions, microwaves and radar.
What was the fashion of the period?
The impact of the war and rationing meant that fashion went through a significant transformation during this decade. Clothes became more utilitarian across the board. This meant that less fabric was used to make each garment of clothing, so full cut trousers and double breasted jackets declined. Function was driving fashion rather than style, which resulted in clothes that were much more practical to wear.
Fashion was very much inspired by military uniforms during this period. Military inspired colours such as khaki, navy blue and dark green were very popular. Many styles crossed from military uniforms into off-duty fashion.
What style lessons can we learn from the forties?
There are some excellent ways to incorporate 1940s fashion into your look. The concept of making function as important as style is one that we believe is well worth keeping in mind: the best tailored garments are the ones that are designed to work for you and your lifestyle.
You may also want to introduce some more military inspired pieces into your wardrobe. Why not consider investing in a classic trench coat or a pair of chukka boots?
If you’d like to see some more vintage style inspiration, take a look at what we can learn from the tailoring of the thirties.