Fashion History - A tribute to 1940s Women’s Vintage Fashion Trends

Tribute to 1940s Women’s Vintage Fashion Trends

Got a passion for vintage fashion? If yes, you may want to consider recycled vintage clothing.

Womens’ fashion in the 1940s was about accentuating the hourglass silhouette with touches of masculinity. The fashion trends included tucked-in high waist blouses, padded shoulders, and figure-hugging, A-line skirts during that time.

Surprisingly, even women who were not naturally blessed with an hourglass figure could wear these fashions to create this shape!

Fashion accessories especially handbags, gloves, jewelry, and hats were a must during that period. When adorned together, 1940s clothing was practical, composed, and happy.

Which of the 1940’s Fashion Trends have been Resistant to Time?

If you’ve got a love for 1940’s fashion trends, not to worry, you can still get them at vintage clothing venues. If you look at the right place, you can find the recycled vintage clothing easily.

What were the trends that have stood the test of time brought by the war? Read on to learn more.

The Impact of War on Women’s Clothing and Style

The start of World War 2 brought strict rationing on many items other than food, such as fabric and clothing. As a result, the 1940s saw shorter dresses; the length ended at the knees.

Blouses were also designed with a practical approach. In fact, they embraced a more masculine and militant look with the advent of shoulder padslining the dresses and jackets that extended past the shoulder’s edge. This gave a sharp shoulder angle and a square neckline to a feminine frame.

Sleeves shortened as well, often ending just near the elbow.

The neckline on recycled vintage clothing featured many different cut-outs ranging from sweetheart necklines, to cross front, V-shaped, square, and even keyhole. However, showing your cleavage was still a major faux-pas during the 1940s, except, of course, with evening dresses.

                       Fashion Tribute - Vintage Women Costume

Check this Evening dress from LA Vintage store. You can add this to your wardrobe today and flaunt your way anywhere!

Women had the chance to flaunt their figures in evening gowns featuring risque designs like halters and spaghetti straps. These not only revealed a woman’s cleavage but her bare shoulders and back as well.

The fabric material in recycled vintage clothing was typically synthetic, usually rayon. Home dresses were made using American cotton as this material was airy and light.Work clothes had stiffer fabrics like wool.

Suits for Women

The scant availability of fabric led to the popularity of the two-piece Utility or Victory suit. Women were able to mix and match jackets, blouses, and skirts to create a new ensemble every day.

Even after the war ended, this trend remained because of it’s practicality and comfort.

Suit Skirts

The 1940s was the birth period of the A-line skirt, a trend that remains popular even today!

A-line skirts, tucked at the waist and flared out gradually passed the hip and even more so towards the knees. A majority of skirts didn’t have pleats and gathers because this would’ve been a waste of fabric.


Here is a mini skirt from our stores at LA Vintage. Isn’t this just the perfect vintage heritage?

When worn with a suit jacket, it completed the outfit. The jacket's material was usually the same as the skirt, but it was sometimes mismatched as well. However, the shoulders were padded high, and it was tucked at the waist.

These jackets were also buttoned down with different lapel widths, shapes, and points. It wasn’t compulsory to have a blouse on under the suit jacket. The bolero jacket evolved during this period. It is considered a lasting trend in recycled vintage clothing.

LA Vintage Suit Skirts


Women wore blouses as they were or with a light sweater, such as a cardigan. Most blouses were either stripped or a solid color. Some blouses boasted short sleeves or long sleeves with poufed gathers and wide cuffs near the wrists. Blouses had buttons with a Peter Pan collar or a V-neck for an opening.

These blouses are some of the most sought after items in recycled vintage clothing.


Pants and trousers were usually only considered menswear until the 1940s. Once women started working in the factories, they were required to wear clothing that was safe and wouldn’t get caught on machinery. Hence wearing pants and overalls became a common trend in factories.

Later, manufacturers started designing pants for women; however, they were quite high waist and had zippers down the sides. The legs were full of wide cuffs at the ends.

Pants in the 1940s were made of wool blends, cotton, or denim. Women could now wear them to work, wear them at home, or even run errands.

Recycled Vintage clothing venues still has many 1940's style women pants.


Vintage fashion has a very strong affiliation towards the history. The styles, clothing, and trends we have today are more of a tribute to the past it holds. For anyone with a love for 40’s fashion, you don’t have to look anywhere else now.

LA Vintage specializes in recycled vintage clothing. At our unit, we collect used and discarded clothing. We sort them, clean them, and give them new life. Now you can shop for vintage clothing from the 1940s at our location. You can shop for blouses, dresses, pants, overalls, and many other trends from the 1940s.

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