Much like 1930’s fashion, 1940’s fashion was heavily influenced by the times. The onset of World War II meant that fabrics were in much less supply and that many of the European fashion houses responsible for fashion innovations were preoccupied. However, 1940s fashion is still a stylish time that dramatically altered the fashion world.
Unable to access the designs of innovative Paris couture houses, American designers began to focus on creating sportswear. The popularity of these new sportswear fashion trends translated throughout society and helped America become the sportswear capital of the world.
The dwindling supply of fabrics meant that designers created a new fashion code for women. 1940s womens fashion saw skirts getting shorter and cardigans replacing the elegant evening dresses of 1930s fashion. 1940’s womens fashion also became increasingly working class. Inspired by iconic images like Rosie the Riveter, 1940s womens fashion became increasingly dressed down to reflect their increased standing in the industrial world.
Of course, like most fashion decades, 1940s fashion was incredibly diverse. Following the war, some fashion designers attempted to bring back an elegant touch to womens fashion. The most successful was Dior’s ‘New Look’ that featured longer and fuller skirts. This rediscovery of fabrics and a return to feminine fashions would show how vast the world of 1940s fashion really was.