fashion

Top Ten Fashion Trends From the 1940’s

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Rationing:

World War II impacted virtually every aspect of American life and fashion was no exception. In 1942, the United States imposed a rationing system similar to the one Great Britain had implemented the previous year, limiting, among other things, the amount of fabric that could be used in a single garment. Materials including wool, silk, leather and a fledgling DuPont Corp. invention called nylon were diverted for use in uniforms, parachutes, shoelaces and even bomber noses.

Jackets could be no more than 25 inches in length, pants no more than 19 inches in circumference at the hem, belts no more than two inches wide and heels no more than an inch in height. Hemlines rose to the knee in an effort to conserve fabric. Buttons, cuffs, pockets and decorative details like ruffles and lace were used sparingly. Women wore shorter, boxy jackets for a V-shaped silhouette reminiscent of military uniforms. Even Hollywood traded elaborate costumes for simplified designs, a move many claimed lent movies a new air of realism.

Nylon:

As soon as it was introduced in 1938, women embraced synthetic nylon as a replacement for silk stockings. In the early 1940s, however, with silk already diverted to the war effort, the government recognized similar uses for nylon and commandeered it as well. Women responded by coating their legs in tan makeup and drawing lines up the backs of their calves to mimic seams. By the time the war ended and stockings returned to store shelves, nylon had become a generic term for hosiery.

Swing skirts.

The swing skirt had a round cut designed to look best in full jitterbug twirl. Swing skirts were a common sight on USO dance floors as young women danced with uniformed men to the jazzy horns that characterized the Big Band Era. Housewives were known to wear a more conservative version of the swing dress, sometimes in polka-dot or tiny floral prints.

Hats:

Hats became one of the few ways to express individual style with minimal resources. They were worn in a wide range of styles and personalized with scraps of foil, sequins, netting, paper and string.

Hair and makeup:

Hairstyles became more elaborate as women sought ways to contrast their dull wardrobes. Shoulder length or longer hair was rolled into complex shapes and secured with bobby pins. Screen sirens like Lauren Bacall, Veronica Lake and Rita Hayworth popularized side parts and finger waves. Makeup was dramatic, characterized by matte foundation, powder, heavy brows and bright scarlet lips.

Platform pumps:

The wartime shortage of leather and steel forced shoe designers to get more creative and, as a result, shoes were cobbled from materials ranging from crocodile hide to cork. Shoes were more utilitarian than stylish, with low heels and limited color choices. By the mid to late 1940s, platform pumps with high heels in T-straps, ankle straps or open toes had replaced the dowdy wedgie with its flat shape and thick cork soles.

Menswear as womens wear:

A number of men may have …

gift

Ten Tacky Things To Avoid At Your Wedding

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Sometimes in the midst of planning their wedding, impressionable couples can have a tough time sorting out the good ideas from the bad. Just because you have seen something done at another wedding does not necessarily mean that is is okay to include at your own. Ten tacky things to avoid are:

1. A dollar dance with the bride. I don’t care how many times you have seen this done, it is never acceptable. And no, you should not have a “money tree” either.

2. A cash bar. These people are your guests – you cannot expect them to pay for your reception. You didn’t call them up and ask them to pay for your wedding gown or bridal jewelry, did you? Graciously serve what you can afford. If that means beer and wine instead of French champagne, that is perfectly fine. Or create a signature drink; it is a very stylish way to avoid the expense of a full open bar.

3. Speaking of the wedding gown, be very wary of lace-up or corset backs. Unless they are done extremely well by an expert in corset construction, they just look trashy. Also beware the danger of back fat squishing through the laces – very unsightly, and it can happen to almost anyone, no matter how slim she may be.

4. While we are on the subject of the bridal ensemble, let’s talk about accessories. You will surely want to be fully bejeweled on your wedding day, from your hair on down to your feet. Remember, though, to keep it tasteful, and to balance your bridal jewelry with your other accents. For instance, if you are wearing a grand and opulent tiara, chose a delicate pendant instead of a three inch wide rhinestone choker to adorn your neck. You want your to wear your accessories, not to have them wear you!

5. For the gentlemen – don’t try to get too creative with your black tie. A vest or cumberbund in a color that ties in with the bridesmaids’ dresses is fine, but one covered with cartoon characters crosses the line. And need I even mention that a tuxedo print t-shirt is frightening, not clever?

6. This one is for the guests: the invitation is meant only for those to whom it was addressed. That means that you cannot bring your children or your cousin visiting for the weekend, unless they were specifically invited.

7. Bridesmaid abuse. Please remember that your bridesmaids are not indentured servants. Being close friends of the bride, they are likely to volunteer to help her go gown shopping, assemble favors, etc., but a bride should not demand that for the one year preceding her wedding these women dedicate every spare minute to preparing for her wedding. Nor can you make unreasonable demands regarding the appearance of your friends. If you liked your someone enough to ask her to be in your wedding in the first place, you should like her enough to let her be …