Women's Fashion During World War 2 by Grace Davis and Maria Johnson

Fashion in America

  • Women’s dresses took on a masculine militant look with the invention of shoulder pads. Every dress, blouse or jacket was fitted with shoulder pads that extended just past the edge of the shoulder.
  • The shortage of fabric caused by the war caused the popularity of the two piece suit know as a Victory or Utility suit. Women could mix and match skirts, blouses, and jackets for a new outfit everyday.
  • Pant Suits
  • At first women just wore mens’ pants. Later manufactures made pants for women although they still looked very masculine.
  • The most popular shoes were oxfords and saddle shoes. They were causal, comfortable, and all the rage with teenagers and working women.
Dresses, pants and suits.

Fashion in Europe

  • Women during WWII wore split skirts to travel to & from work, then changed into more proper work attire for clothing.
  • In 1940 an ID card was set up with a total of 66 points for clothes.
  • In 1942 it was cut to 48 & in 1943 to 36, & in 1945 to 24.
  • Children aged 14-16 got 20 more coupons to compensate for outgrowing clothes quickly.
  • Clothing rationing points could be used for wool, cotton & household textiles. People had extra points for work clothes, such as overalls for factory work
  • In January 1941, a ban on silk for civilian clothing came into effect. Rubber and silk disappeared as they were mainly imported from Japan.
  • The British government banned civilians from importing clothing from outside of Britain. They risked being fined if caught doing so. This was to ensure money for clothing would fund the British war effort.
  • The Austerity directives set rules for how a garment is made: Jackets and Coats could have no more than 3 pockets, dresses may only have 2 pockets, metal or leather buttons were not allowed. No tail coats, all braid, embroidery, and lace were banned.
Dresses, suits, and work attire

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