Eleven months before America's entry into the war found sailor suits playing a heavy role in the thought processes of the Great American Fashion Designers.
- from Amazon
Click here to read about the military influence on W.W. I fashion...
Five fashion photographs and a few words on the "government-approved" look for the autumn of 1943. The wartime fashion news for 1943 was apparel order L-85 that had been issued by the War Production Board in order to "conserve material for victory".
To read another article about 1940s fashions and the hardships of fabric rationing, click here. Click here to read about the fashion silhouette of the early Fifties.
New York fashion journalist Gertrude Bailey wasted no time in applying for her overseas press pass upon hearing the news that the Germans had been driven from the banks of the Seine in August of '44. Although the fashion column she filed largely anticipated the glorious return of Paris chic, mention was also made of what Paris fashion was like during the German occupation - sitting ringside at one of the runways, Bailey found that
"One found significance in the appearance of green as a color, and noted that the reason it had been absent for four years was because it was the color of the German uniform, which no Frenchwoman would wear until France was free."
In their book about American soldiers in the war-torn Britain of W.W. II, Overpaid, Over-Sexed and Over Here (1991), authors James Goodson and Norman Franks recall how thoroughly impressed Americans were with the standard issue British Army uniform. The Supreme Allied Commander, U.S. General Dwight Eisenhower, was no exception - he promptly ordered his tailor to suit him in a similar get-up. Other American generals followed in his path as did the cocky young pilots of the Army Air Corps - shortly there after the look soon spread to other branches of the Army. This 1944 article discusses the broad appeal of this jacket and that civilian fashion designers had begun manufacturing the "Ike Jacket" for the Home Front.
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 print, 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.