Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Forties Fashion #6: Sports and Leisure Wear 1941

It's still far too quiet around here for my liking and I'm afraid I'll lose my touch if I don't blog about something, so with that in mind I think it's high time I do another excerpt from my copy of the Fashion Sourcebooks: 1940s.  We're at the penultimate section of 1941 now and with timing that could have been better considering the sudden seasonal shift it's sports and leisure wear, although a couple of them may be adaptable for the autumn weather.

Like this first example (left) of standard casual wear, for instance:  a short-cropped, double-breasted, ruby-red wool-tweed jacket with wide lapels, long inset sleeves and padded shoulders; paired with some high-waisted, pale grey wool-flannel trousers with wide legs and turn-ups; finished off with a pair of flat-heeled lace-up leather shoes in oxblood red.

I must admit that sounds jolly attractive and makes it all the more regrettable that the illustrations aren't in colour.  It must be quite a striking combination, the kind of thing you might expect to see in an episode of Poirot - anyone care to give it a try?  It sounds like it would be warm enough for the cold wind and rain that's blown in this week, if it was accompanied by an overcoat or somesuch.

The second outfit (right) is supposedly golfing wear (which I suppose can still be played at this time of year...) but could no doubt be worn away from the links as well.  It consists of:  a single-breasted dark green wool jacket with a single self-fabric covered button under the small shawl collar and above the wide round-stitched neckline seam; another matching button on the inset waistband, two below to hip-level and one on each cuff of long full sleeves; padded shoulders and thigh-length flared skirts.  Rust brown wool trousers with wide legs and turn-ups; tan leather flat-heeled, step-in shoes with fringed tongues.  Sounds far too nice to be confined to the golf course if you ask me!

The lone chap below (us poor fellows are outnumbered throughout this book, unfortunately!) is very much dressed for tennis, in:  a white cotton shirt with buttoned-strap fastening to under attached long pointed collar worn open and two matching chest-level patch pockets with buttoned flaps, short sleeves with stitched cuffs.  White flannel trousers with straight-cut legs, turn-ups, pleats under a wide waistband and a self-fabric buckled belt, hip-level pockets set into the side seams; white leather lace-up shoes.  All very Fred Perry!

It seems he has a choice of partners with which to play; the girl at the bottom left wears:  a white cotton dress with wide mock lapels from the centre front seam, a small collar and short sleeves with narrow cuffs, padded shoulders, a wide tuck from the outside edge of hip-level pockets to the hemline of the flared knee-length skirt which has a self-fabric belt with metal clasp fastening.  White canvas lace-up shoes with flat heels complete the look. 

Meanwhile the girl on the right is wearing:  a white linen all-in-one playsuit with single-breasted fastening from the waistline through a deep inset waistband to under narrow lapels, small collar and short inset sleeves with stitched cuffs and padded shoulders, a short divided skirt with knife-pleat each side centre-front (again, pretty much gibberish to me I'm afraid, although I'm well aware of the popularity of playsuits with you girls); white canvas lace-up sports shoes with rubber soles/toecaps and flat heels.

I hope this edition of Forties Fashion has brought a little bit of summery happiness and maybe memories into this autumnal day (and perhaps given some ideas for next year) but for this author it is quite definitely time to roll out the woollens, tweeds and corduroys.  Stay dry, everyone, and remember - there's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong sort of clothes.

1 comment:

  1. The fourties had some really fun styles! I really loved many of the films that took place in that time period. Betty Grable could pull off any look, but she was so darn cute with her Victory Rolls and fourties fashions. :)

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