The 40s

World War II had a great effect on the fashion of the 1940s. Natural materials were confiscated from the government and manufacturers had to start creating other fibers to produce clothing. This is when rayon production went way up and nylon stockings disappeared in 1943. The main fashion of the 1940s for women can be described as an austere silhouette of narrow hips, padded shoulders and all different kinds of hats. With the class barriers falling, people dressed down.

Designers introduced the concept of separates and coordinating tops and bottoms to show that people had more outfits than one actually had. This came along with the depression and low money supply of the time period in the United States.


working girl

The 50s

In the 1950s, consumerism became popular because of the post-war economic boom in the United States. A popular skirt style was the simple circle skirt, like the characterized poodle skirt of the 50s.

Men's fashion consisted of a very trim, quiet look. Dark colors and shades of blue, brown and gray took over the color of men's suits.

For teenagers, the beatnik look of leather, Levi's jeans and converse sneakers became popular.

Stilettos became popular as well as the look of pointed toes on shoes. Reasons for wearing heels are changing the angle of the foot to acccentuate the calf, changing the wearer's posture to be more upright, making the wearer appear taller and making the legs look longer.


Circle Skirt