1930's fashion - Lingerie and Pre Code Hollywood

Thursday, August 27, 2009

In the 1930s, the stars of Pre Code Hollywood dictated the body shape. The escapism that Hollywood offered drew huge audiences and many women and men were captivated by a new generation of sex idols, such as Marlene Dietrich and Jean Harlow.

The bosom was captivatingly emphasised by Hollywood with careful fitting over the bust together with the appearance of the bare back.The Pre code era was actually a bit of a misnomer,as there was indeed a code in place,but the studios just ignored it until the infamous Hays Code was finally enforced in an increasingly conservative leaning USA.This period always has a fascination to me!

1940's fashion - Womens Dress Code in the War Years

Monday, August 24, 2009

1940's Fashion - Womens Dress Code in the War Years.

1940's Make-up Styles .

For the definitive breakdown on 1940's makeup styles, see the Vintage Makeup Guide
The 1940s Make-up & Beauty Guide - Instant Download.

See also 1940's Fashion - Womens Dress Code after the War

The following links are also packed with delicious and beautifully illustrated articles on all aspects of womens fashion and beauty in the 1940's. They also feature archive fashion films from our YouTube Channel.

Vintage Swimwear of the 1940's.
1940's womens hairstyles.
New York Womens Fashion n the late 1940's.
1940's fashion - How to wear Fully Fashioned Stockings.
A Young Womans Wardrobe Plan 1947.
Bettys Winter Wardrobe Plan 1948.
1940's Wedding Dress Fashions.
1940's Vintage Makeup Guide.
What Makeup did women really wear in the 1940's?
The Complete 1940's Makeup Guide and History.
Broad padded square shoulders, trim waist and hips, with shoulder length curled hair.
See The 1940's Silhouette

The 1940's silhouette above from a 1940 issue of Woman, suggests that women take into account their 'real' body shapes. Some of the descriptions like " Matrons Bulge" are hilarious.
below a page from John Peacocks 20th Century Fashion, gives a clear guide to how the silhouette developed in the first half of the 1940's.

Fitted with drapery, ruching or gathers; padded shoulder.

High round, sweetheart, small collars.

Oxfords, Pumps and Sandals were the order of the day. Visit the Complete guide to 1940's womens shoes

Inset, short or long, puff.

Knee-length, flared, straight, single pleat plaid skirts.

Image courtesy Life Magazine Archive

Wool, cotton, linen, easy-care synthetics.

Limited buttons, contrast color collars and cuffs, patch pockets

Subdued, blue grey, bottle green, donkey brown.

Tiny hats, large bags, shoes with high thick heels and some wooden soles.

For more popular posts on the style and fashions of the glamourous 1940's visit the following:

1940's fashion - A Womans Guide to Posture.
 1940's Fashion - A Vintage Guide to being Glamourous.

1940's Fashion - Women serving in the War

These recruitment posters say it all.
While the nose cones of many US planes depicted glamourous Hollywood bombshells, there were however brave women overcoming centuries of gender bias who joined these organisations to serve their country.These come courtesy of Jackson Library University of North Carolina
These brochures highlight the attractiveness of the uniforms, tout the variety of jobs for which women are eligible, and offer careful reassurances that military service is compatible with traditional ideas of femininity.blah blah

World War Two Fashion - Women serving their nation

Waves - Women accepted for volunteer emergency service

1930's Fashion Style - Lingerie and Hosiery

Thursday, August 20, 2009

1930's Fashion Style - Lingerie and Hosiery
While the 1920's might have heralded new styles in outwear, it was the 1930's that saw a real
development in the marketing of women's 'unmentionables'.
With the help of slick and sexy marketing,corsetry and hosiery became high fashion.
Full figured ladies were all the rage, not like the Victoria Beckham size nothing waifs we have now as our icons.
Catalogues like Sears Roebuck in particular made shopping by mail a lot more interesting.
The lingerie departments began to mushroom in size in the major department stores and were no longer the habitat of old ladies drapery stores.

1940's Fashion - Hairstyling Tips - The one Pin Curl

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This was originally published in the December 1942 issue of American Hairdresser.
It shows a very neat way of pinning your hair with single pins.Enjoy.

1920's fashion - History of Makeup

Monday, August 17, 2009

Head over also to a Full tutorial on 1920's Makeup
 Don't miss 1920's Fashion - Womens Dress and Style

The Complete 1920s Make-up & Beauty Guide [ Instant download].

The heavily made-up look of the 1920s was a reaction to the demure, feminine style of the pre-war period.In the 1920s, an international beauty culture was forged, and society increasingly focused on novelty and change.Fashion trends influenced theater, films, literature, and art.
Women also found a new need to wear more make-up. A skewed postwar sex ratio created a new emphasis on sexual beauty.Additionally, as women began to enter the professional world, publications such as the French Beauty Industry encouraged women to wear makeup so as to look their best while competing with men for employment.

1920's Hairstyles - The Bob

Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Louise Brooks - The Bob hairstyle - GlamourDaze

Colleen Moore - The Bob -1920's Hairstyle - GlamourDaze
Louise Brooks - The Bob Hairstyle - GlamourDaze
Colleen Moore - The bob hairstyle - Glamourdaze

As modelled by the imcomparable Louise Brooks and Colleen Moore
Below is one of the first references to the ' Bob' written by F.Scott Fitzgerald in a little
short story published in 1920.

Bernice stood on the curb and looked at the sign, Sevier Barber-Shop. It was a guillotine indeed, and the hangman was the first barber, who, attired in a white coat and smoking a cigarette, leaned nonchalantly against the first chair. He must have heard of her; he must have been waiting all week, smoking eternal cigarettes beside that portentous, too-often-mentioned first chair. Would they blindfold her? No, but they would tie a white cloth round her neck lest any of her blood--nonsense--hair--should get on her clothes.
"All right, Bernice," said Warren quickly.
With her chin in the air she crossed the sidewalk, pushed open the swinging screen-door, and giving not a glance to the uproarious, riotous row that occupied the waiting bench, went up to the first barber.
"I want you to bob my hair."
The first barber's mouth slid somewhat open. His cigarette dropped to the floor.
"My hair--bob it!"
Refusing further preliminaries, Bernice took her seat on high. A man in the chair next to her turned on his side and gave her a glance, half lather, half amazement. One barber started and spoiled little Willy Schuneman's monthly haircut. Mr. O'Reilly in the last chair grunted and swore musically in ancient Gaelic as a razor bit into his cheek. Two bootblacks became wide-eyed and rushed for her feet. No, Bernice didn't care for a shine.
Outside a passer-by stopped and stared; a couple joined him; half a dozen small boys' noses sprang into life, flattened against the glass; and snatches of conversation borne on the summer breeze drifted in through the screen-door.
"Lookada long hair on a kid!"
"Where'd yuh get 'at stuff? 'At's a bearded lady he just finished shavin'."
But Bernice saw nothing, heard nothing. Her only living sense told her that this man in the white coat had removed one tortoise-shell comb and then another; that his fingers were fumbling clumsily with unfamiliar hairpins; that this hair, this wonderful hair of hers, was going--she would never again feel its long voluptuous pull as it hung in a dark-brown glory down her back. For a second she was near breaking down, and then the picture before her swam mechanically into her vision--Marjorie's mouth curling in a faint ironic smile as if to say:
"Give up and get down! You tried to buck me and I called your bluff. You see you haven't got a prayer."
And some last energy rose up in Bernice, for she clinched her hands under the white cloth, and there was a curious narrowing of her eyes that Marjorie remarked on to some one long afterward.
Twenty minutes later the barber swung her round to face the mirror, and she flinched at the full extent of the damage that had been wrought. Her hair was not curly, and now it lay in lank lifeless blocks on both sides of her suddenly pale face. It was ugly as sin--she had known it would be ugly as sin. Her face's chief charm had been a Madonna-like simplicity. Now that was gone and she was--well, frightfully mediocre--not stagy; only ridiculous, like a Greenwich Villager who had left her spectacles at home.
As she climbed down from the chair she tried to smile--failed miserably. She saw two of the girls exchange glances; noticed Marjorie's mouth curved in attenuated mockery--and that Warren's eyes were suddenly very cold.
"You see"--her words fell into an awkward pause--"I've done it."
"Yes, you've--done it," admitted Warren.

Hosiery History - 1940's Fashion

The first nylon stockings appeared in New York stores on May 15, 1940 and over 780,000 pairs were sold in the first day alone.

In the first year, 64 million pairs were sold in the US, and nylons soon became the generic name for all hosiery products containing nylon.

However once the USA joined World War II all production of nylon went into the war effort and nylon stockings became very hard to obtain - during this time women painted seams on the back of their legs instead so it appeared as if they were wearing stockings.

At the time that nylon was invented only stockings existed. These traditional stockings were known as "Fully Fashioned" in that they were fashioned to the shape of the leg as nylon did not stretch. For this reason they came in a large number of sizes. These traditional stockings were knitted flat and then the two sides were joined manually by hand with a fine seam up the back.

See My Tights