Saturday, 10 March 2012

Forties Fashion #5: Evening Wear 1941

Apologies for the dearth of posts this last week but a lack of blogworthy news was compounded by me feeling a little under the weather.  There's still a lack of blogworthy news but as I'm in the right frame of mind for a bit of writing I think it's about time I turned my attention to doing another excerpt from my 1940s Fashion sourcebook.  So without further ado, we find ourselves in 1941 about to don some evening wear.

These first two ladies are wearing quite contrasting gowns, possibly for different "classes" of "social" event.   

Top: a fine grey wool-crepe dinner dress with bloused bodice; button fastening from above waist level to under low V-shaped neckline; self-fabric covered buttons; small beaded patch pockets; short inset sleeves and padded shoulders; floor-length flared skirt gathered at front in decorative pinafore panel; self-fabric belt tied into a bow; silver kid-strap sandals.

Bottom: a floor-length red velvet evening cape with wide padded shoulders; embroidered and beaded stand collar matches large patch pockets at hip level; floor-length black taffeta evening dress; elbow-length black silk gloves and black satin strap sandals.

The next two gals sport more "informal" evening wear, as follows:

Left: a blue, pink and silver flower-patterned fine silk brocade evening dress with a fitted and ruched bodice from low neckline to hip level; shaped epaulette shoulder straps (already there's a military theme creeping in!); floor-length flared skirt; silver kid shoes with peep toes.

Right: a dinner ensemble - bright pink silk-taffeta blouse with wide padded shoulders and shaped epaulette extensions; self-covered button trim and roll collar; full-length black silk-crepe skirt draped around high waist and over hips, front panel of unpressed pleats; black satin shoes.

Finally, the solitary chap.  We men don't get two male fashion models until midway through 1942 I'm afraid!  For now though, this dashing fellow wears:

Two-piece black wool evening suit comprising a single-breasted fitted jacket with linked-button fastening, wide lapels faced in black satin, hip level piped pockets; breast pocket with folded white silk handkerchief (see here for various ways to fold a handkerchief for the breast pocket); straight-cut trousers with no turn-ups and satin ribbon on outside seams; white cotton shirt worn with wing collar (available here) and black satin bow tie (self-tied of course); black patent leather lace-up shoes.

That's it for another Forties Fashion phase.  Have a wonderful weekend, all, whether you'll be in evening wear or not!


  1. I love how the formal and informal gowns are full length, and you just can't beat a guy in a smart suit with a bow tie ;) (Just got back from seeing the artist, loved it)X

  2. Oh so pretty! The dress with the ruched bodice is very reminiscent of something Esther Williams wore and I wish I could remember which movie!


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