Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Forties Fashion #7: Day Wear 1942

If I've worked out Blogger's Scheduled Post function correctly then thanks to the wonders of modern technology this post should appear while I am still laid up in hospital.  We haven't had an excerpt from the 1940s Fashion Sourcebook for a while and as it lends itself to the kind of simple, straightforward pre-planned post now would seem to be the perfect time to revisit it.

We now find ourselves in the middle of the war years - 1942 to be precise.  Restrictions on cloth allowance seem not to have quite come in yet judging by the following outfits, although they would not be much longer in appearing.  Even so basic simplicity appears ever more obvious, although fashionable flourishes still abound - as we shall see.

Top left wears: wine red wool two-piece suit comprising of a hip-length edge-to-edge jacket, fastened with loops and buttons in four sets of four from above the hemline to under the narrow stand collar and self-fabric buckled belt; two inset bands of bias-cut self-fabric from under arms to centre-front and full-length tight inset sleeves with padded shoulders; bias-cut knee-length flared skirt.  Accessorised with a red silk turban, black leather envelope clutch bag and matching lace-up high-heel shoes.  Red and black are such wonderfully contrasting colours (as anyone who has seen the film "Dick Tracy" could attest to; cf. some of Jessica's outfits over at Chronically Vintage as well), I could imagine this looking quite striking - especially if the two inset bands were black too perhaps?

Bottom right wears: Knee-length green and blue herringbone wool-tweed coat, single-breasted fastening from waist level to under wide lapels and large collar; flared from under arm to hem with long raglan sleeves, padded shoulders and hip-level welt pockets with top-stitched edges and raised & top-stitched seams.  Complemented by a blue and green patterned silk scarf, navy blue felt hat with small crown & turned-down brim and navy blue leather shoes with round toes & high heels.

Top left wears: two-piece wool jumper suit comprising of a long single-breasted turquoise jacket with large hip-level patch-and-flap pockets, the upper bodice tucked from above the self-fabric tie belt to under the high yoke seam; shirt collar in fawn with matching lapel facings, yoke, full-length sleeves under padded shoulders and a knee-length box-pleated skirt.  Finished off with brown leather shoes.  Another clever use of colours - blue and brown is an often-overlooked combination, I find.

Bottom right wears: two-piece blue and grey striped wool suit comprised of a double-breasted unfitted jacket with wide lapels, patch pockets and stitched cuffs; wide trousers with turn-ups (I'm surprised to see turn-ups and skirt pleats so far in to the war because as far as I was aware both were prohibited/restricted - by the Utility Clothing Scheme I believe - from 1942 due to fabric rationing).  White cotton collar-attached shirt with blue and silver-grey patterned silk tie.  Black leather lace-up shoes.  Quite a modern ensemble for our lone chap, blue and grey/silver being a popular combination even today.

Left wears: Cherry red wool dress with a semi-fitted bodice above a self-fabric belt with covered buckle, knee-length flared panelled skirt, black wool yoke with scalloped top-stitched edges continuing over the padded shoulders above long sleeves with scalloped pockets set vertically at hip level into panel seams.  Topped off with black high-heeled shoes with turned-down tongues.  Yet another excellent use of red and black - I bet this would look as good as the first outfit, not to mention more than suitable even among today's fashions.

There we have it then for another selection - and in my opinion one of the best yet.  Some striking designs very much in the wartime style, I think you'll agree, but also I'd like to believe rather inspirational this time.  Certainly there are if not entire outfits certainly aspects of them that could be incorporated into achievable looks today and which I'm sure I have or could easily see on several vintage blogging gals, if I may say so.  I hope you agree with me - do let me know what you think!

The next two scheduled posts should more than redress the balance for us chaps, however.  Despite no Miss Lemon fashion post from any of you ladies recently (what's the matter - suffering from bow cardigan fatigue?! ;p) another Captain Hastings-fest is on the horizon, as well as an extra-special addition to the Style Icon series.  Hopefully I'll once again be able to take inspiration from both before long, in the meantime I hope everybody's continuing to keep well!


  1. Oh Bruce, I haven't been able to do any further Poirot posts - a series of unfortunate events! DVD drive breaking on old laptop, realising set of Poirot I had borrowed was not in release order (very confusing), and going from working part time to full time have all scuppered my plans. I am saving up to buy complete Poirot boxset, and will resume fashion musings on Miss Lemon at some point after that!

    I love these sketches, though I'm mentally colouring them all in!!

    P x

  2. Hope you are on the mend. One of the reasons I like old films is that the clothes etc are how it really was, not someone's interpretation of it.

  3. As usual, an excellent post, from an excellent blogger. So sorry you are going through the wars old boy. I truly hope you are being well looked after. Take care x

  4. Very cute images and the jacket is looking awesome.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Hip Length Jacket for Sell


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