Title:  the suit
Posted:  Tuesday, 16 August 2011 @ 17:38
I think the mainstay of the 1940s wardrobe has to be the classic, boxy, slightly military inspired suit. It's certainly the most recognisable image of the fashion of the decade and I think it deserves that place. Yet I don't have one. I'm determined this autumn/winter to make myself one but I'm not sure if I'll have time before my wedding in November so this may be something that happens after that.

The women's uniforms of WWII were, of course, very much functional garments but they were also incredibly stylish. This is due in part to the fact that military uniform designers had absolutely no idea how to design for women - they'd never created clothing for women's bodies - so they handed the task over to the people who could - fashion designers. As such, uniforms reflected not just practicality but also style that made women want to wear them.

But of course mainstream fashion had the converse effect - it was inspired by military design. Suits became less feminine, as they had been in the late 30s, with nipped in waists and intricate detailing, and more utilitarian. I think these suits are very much my idea of the 'typical' 40s suit - even if there is no such thing as a typical 40s suit.

There were, of course, even in the midst of war-time, many ways to make a plain suit (this particular one is a mix-and-match suit in order to make clothes go further) a lot more feminine.

And of course a talented designer could make the most simple of wardrobe basics impeccably stylish.

Finally, a few more images for inspiration!

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