Additional articles about Forties fashions can be read here
Five months before The United States entered the war, the government in Washington had foresight enough to remove silk from the consumer market. Silk would be badly needed for the manufacturing of parachutes and gunpowder bags.
More about silk on the W.W. II home front can be read here...
It's hard to believe - but "Victory Fashion" hit the American home front before it was even called the "home front". However by mid-1941 Americans were pretty outraged by fascist aggression: the U-boats, London bombed, Nanking ravaged, France invaded - the list goes on. When this article went to press, we were not in the war but we were firmly on the Allied side. The word "victory" made its way into fashion circles and the nation's couturiers began turning out novelty accessories and garments. Even the hairdressers contributed.
Months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Washington was gearing-up for the fight by restricting the availability of certain fabrics to the fashion industry and diverting these materials to the defense industry. This started an open discussion in fashion circles as to whether it would simply be best to raise the hemlines until the national emergency was over.
"The Fashion Originators Guild termed shorter skirts silly and added that dresses 'are just as short today as decency and grace will permit."
Who was it who deprived men of their suit vests and trouser cuffs? Who banned silk stockings? Who outlawed the "flow" in "flowing skirts"? Why, it was the War Production Board of course - click the title link if you want a name and a face...
This article tells of the origin and fast times of the zoot suit. Although the garment was popularized by Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles, it had it's origins in Harlem, New York, where it was known as the "root suit".
Here is a small article, illustrated with five fashion images, about the types of intimate apparel and pajamas that were available to the home-sewing girls on the W.W. II American home front.
Click here to learn about the under garments that had to be worn to pull-off the New Look...
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