Penny

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Penny Leventis

Period 4

Decades project report

15 March 2012

Styles of the 1940s

One of the most iconic eras for fashion was the 1940s. This decade combined practicality with simple and timeless elegance. However not much focus was on fashion during the forties due to World War II, which took place from 1939 to1945. The war brought hardship and lack of supplies such as fabrics. However after the war, style seemed to emerge once more. Due to the increase in population after the war new housing styles came into play, new fashion designs popped up in store windows and new hair and makeup ideas flourished.

Around 1938 nylons became a replacement for the popular silk stockings. However in the early 1940s with silk diverted to World War II effort, they recognized similar usage for nylon and demanded it as well. Women responded to this lack of nylons by, coating their legs with tan makeup and drawing lines up the back of their calves to imitate seems. During the war women kept their wardrobes simple. Women typically wore knee length dresses with padded shoulders. Also sportswear became a popular trend. Homemade accessories and elaborate curls became a fade because it allowed women to express themselves without spending a lot of money. Makeup during this time period featured bright lips and strong curls. Women styled their hair more elaborate in contrast with their dull wardrobes. Complex curls were shaped and secured with bobby pins. Style during the war was simple yet attractive.

When the war ended fabrics and materials were available once again. France took the first step into the fashion world and introduced what was called “The New Look”. Christian Dior was the pioneer for “The New Look” which featured full-length skirts, waspy waists and soft shoulders. Dior’s new look was based on his want to let the curves of a female body be molded by the clothes. This look focused on a mature feel with a slight masculine edge. Dior’s love...
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