Katharine Hepburn, Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford, Spencer Tracy, Vivien Leigh, Judy Garland, Cary Grant, Lauren Bacall, and Humphrey Bogart. Each of these stars had a style all their own. Kate Hepburn, especially helped usher in a new style, in that she always wore slacks, she was hardly ever seen in gowns or skirts, this was extremely rare for that day, she was definitely ahead of her time.

Women of the 1940's emulated what they saw on the screen. For instance, women had their eyebrows either tweezed or painted on very thin and very defined. They also wore their lipstick in what was called a "cupid's bow" which was where the upper lip was accentuated rather than the fuller, bottom lip.



Welcome to Pastreunited, here you will find hundreds of videos, images, and over 80 pages about all aspects of the 20th century. A great deal of the content has been sent in, other content is the work of numerous writers who have a passion for this era, please feel free to send in your memories or that of your family members, photos and videos are all welcome to help expand pastreunited's data base.

You may also add a dedication to a loved one if you wish, we have been on-line for many years and intend to be here for many years to come as new family members will take over the website, all content is regularly backed up to safe guard the content, so what are you waiting for send us an email and we will do the rest.




1940S fashion


Since social trends dictate fashion, the events of World War II would change the world of fashion forever. In 1939, Germany invaded Poland and France and Great Britain declared war on Germany and this sparked the Second World War that would rule the lives of people for the next 6 years. Because of the war, Germans considered moving the French couture houses to Berlin.

Since the United States entered the war in December of 1941, which is more than two years later the war begun, the travel difficulties between Europe and continental America meant that American designers would receive more attention from the press. Before this, Paris fashion trends were followed in the States. 1940s fashion was affected by the fact that many factories were given to producing military supplies with fashion taking second place.

This means fashion houses worked on restrictions on how much fabric per garment could be used. As soon as Paris was liberated, fashion editors once again started to showcase their French designs again in magazines. The Paris couture once again became the leader when Christian Dior showcased his ‘New Look’ of lengthened and widened skirts, a move that was a reaction to the deprivation of fabric that was experienced during the war years.

American designers had also begun to be more prominent and to see them take a place in the world of fashion. In an effort to comply to the war yardage restrictions imposed on garments, American designers began to create a new 1940s fashion of short skirts and short jackets that were less than 25 inches in length.

This new fashion trend of the 40s replaced the long flowing gowns that had emerged in the previous decade. This conservative look would remain fashionable through multiple seasons. Classic sportswear styles took hold on college campuses and were adopted by all levels of society and age groups. The 1940s fashion would also see the emergence of separates that would create the illusion of more outfits.

This was seen with the transition of the separate pieces in women fashion, the bra and the girdle. The end of the severe rationing of metal would also see the emergence of leather shoes studded with ‘nailheads’, a sign of opulence and luxury. Interestingly, the classic look created in the 1940s fashion era never seems to go out of style. Wonder why?


Hubert de givenchy


Hubert de Givenchy opened his first couture house in 1952 and created a sensation with his separates, which could be mixed and matched at will. Most renowned was his Bettina blouse made from shirting, which was named after his top model. Soon, boutiques were opened in Rome, Zurich, and Buenos Aires. A man of immense taste and discrimination, he was, perhaps more than any other designer of the period, an integral part of the world whose understated elegance he helped to define.

Impressed by the 1937 World's Fair in Paris, young Givenchy decided he wanted to work "somewhere in fashion design". He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His first designs were done for Jacques Fath in 1945, an association that came through family members who knew Fath personally.

Later he did designs for Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong (1946) — working alongside the still-unknown Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior. From 1947 to 1951 he worked for the avantgarde designer Elsa Schiaparelli. Silk blouse and skirt ensemble designed by Givenchy for Givenchy Haute Couture, circa 1985. In 1952, Givenchy opened his own design house at the Plaine Monceau in Paris.

Later he named his first collection "Bettina Graziani" for Paris's top model at the time. His style was marked by innovation, contrary to the more conservative designs by Dior. At 25, he was the youngest designer of the progressive Paris fashion scene. His first collections were characterized by the use of rather cheap fabrics for financial reasons, but they always piqued curiosity through their design.

Audrey Hepburn, later the most prominent proponent of Givenchy's fashion, and Givenchy met in 1953 during the shoot of Sabrina. He went on to design almost all the wardrobes she wore in her movies. He also developed his first perfume collection for her (L'Interdit and Le de Givenchy). At that time, Givenchy also met his idol, Cristóbal Balenciaga, who had also influenced Paco Rabanne's work previously.

Although a renowned designer, Givenchy not only sought inspiration from the lofty settings of haute couture but also in such avant-garde environments as Limbo, the store in Manhattan's East Village. In 1954, Givenchy's prêt-à-porter collection debuted; later a men's line was also launched.

The House of Givenchy was split in 1981, with the perfume line going to Veuve Clicquot, while the fashion branch went to LVMH's portfolio of upscale brands. As of today, LVMH owns Parfums Givenchy as well. The first Givenchy store opened its doors in 1952, the brainchild of owner Hubert de Givenchy.


Audrey Hepburn in 1953


To trace the origins of this event though however,it is necessary that we step back a few years in time. Givenchy was born in 1927 in France. At the age 10, having shown a flair for fashion from an early age, he attended the World's Fair in Paris. Leaving the Pavilion of Elegance and filled with awe by the beauty of the gowns and models of the prominent Fashion Houses his decision to become a fashion designer was cemented.

Following the Allies liberation of France towards the end of World War II, Givenchy relocated to Paris. One of his first mentors was Jacques Fath, who along with Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain was considered as one of the major influences on the postwar fashion industry. His training continued under the expert guidance of Robert Piquet and Lucien Lelong.

When in 1947, Elsa Schiaparelli appointed him to manage her boutiques on Place Vendôme, his entrance into the world of high fashion was secured. Indeed, 5 years later in 1952, Givenchy opened his own Maison de Couture at No8, rue Alfred de Vigny, on the Monceau Plain and won instant acclaim with the release of his very first collection. Meeting the famous Audrey Hepburn in 1953 was a fateful event for Givenchy.

Hepburn eventually became both an ambassador for the Givenchy brand, and a life long friend. Givenchy's associations with masters of the industry continued. The influence of his friendship with Cristobal Balenciaga, for example, is reflected in many of the Givenchy collections. In 1954, Givenchy became the first designer to present a collection of luxury women's ready to wear clothing. Among his many contributions to the fashion world were the "Bag Dress", the "Enveloped Dress" and the funnelled collar coat. His work was both audacious and elegant.

Some of his most original designs were of printed textiles, inspired by Miro, Matisse and Christian Berard. Givenchy continued to diversify and in 1973 released the "Gentleman Givenchy" menswear line. In 1987 Givenchy joined the French luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, along with other prestigious names like Dior, Louis Vuitton, Christian Lacroix and Céline. Following his retirement in 1995, Givenchy was succeeded by several acclaimed young designers namely: John Galliano (January 1996), Alexander McQueen (October 1996), Julien MacDonald (March 2001)and Riccardo Tisci (March 2005).


Judy Garland 1955


The 1940's was a very glamorous era in the history of fashion. The stars of the day that you would probably be interested in researching would be: Katharine Hepburn, Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford, Spencer Tracy, Vivien Leigh, Judy Garland, Cary Grant, Lauren Bacall, and Humphrey Bogart. Each of these stars had a style all their own. Kate Hepburn, especially helped usher in a new style, in that she always wore slacks, she was hardly ever seen in gowns or skirts, this was extremely rare for that day, she was definitely ahead of her time. Women of the 1940's emulated what they saw on the screen. For instance, women had their eyebrows either tweezed or painted on very thin and very defined.

They also wore their lipstick in what was called a "cupid's bow" which was where the upper lip was accentuated rather than the fuller, bottom lip. The hair was worn in a loose "finger wave." If you really want to see a true lady of the 1940's, I suggest you rent the movie "Chinatown," Faye Dunaway's character Evelyn really captures a woman of the 1940's.

Back to clothing, silk stockings were a wardrobe staple for any 1940's woman. However, the United States was rationing silk, being in the midst of World War II. So the only silk stockings woman could get their hands on had a very noticeable line down the back of them. In order to hide this, women would take a permanent marker and draw down the back of their legs in order to hide the large run in their stockings.

The basic silhouette for women from the 40's was broad shoulders, a small corseted waist and full hips. Fabrics were very light as many new synthetics were being introduced. Also, while Hollywood glamour was very 'in', the US was at war at the time, rationing was in effect and many women were not able to afford things like pantyhose and stockings.

One thing women did at the time was draw a line of the back of the leg to make it look like they were wearing stockings, even if they weren't. (silk stockings had seams). Shoes had a heel and a slight platform. Round toes, peep toes and ankle straps were common. If you're looking for famous 40's women to model your look after I'd look for images of Veronica Lake, Rita Hayworth or Ingrid Bergman. All had the classic '40's' look. One of the most effective ways of communicating 40's fashion is through hair and make-up.

Hair was worn long, smooth with intricate finger waves. Make-up was striking and simple. A dramatically arched brow, liquid black liner (ONLY on the upper lid) and bright classic red lipstick. But very matte, no gloss ever. You mentioned the New Look, but that style didn't debut until the late 40's and didn't become more popular until the 50's. With the new look shoulder silhouettes became more 'soft', the waist was worn more tightly corseted and hips became even fuller.

Pierre Balmain opened his own salon in 1945. It was in a series of collections named 'Jolie Madame' that he experienced his greatest success, from 1952 onwards. Balmain's vision of the elegantly-dressed woman was particularly Parisian and was typified by the tailored glamour of the New Look, with its ample bust, narrow waist, and full skirts, by mastery of cut and imaginative assemblies of fabrics in subtle colour combinations.

His sophisticated clientèle was equally at home with luxurious elegance, simple tailoring, and a more natural look. Along with his haute couture work, the talented businessman pioneered a ready-to-wear range called Florilege and also launched a number of highly successful perfumes.


1940s Fashion


The realm of fashion design, by its sheer glamour and grace, has always been exciting and intriguing. When we talk of fashion design, it implies a form of art that incorporates the nuances of creating clothes and accessories. The history of fashion design can be traced back to the beginning of the19th century when the designs were the product of the dresses worn in the royal courts.

Eventually, Charles Frederick Worth, the first fashion designer, set up his first fashion house in Paris. His designs greatly influenced the people and they labeled them as the designs of the "House Of Worth." As a result, a designer became synonymous with a particular brand. Another important designer who made a significant contribution to the evolution of the fashion was Paul Poi Ret.

He blended the classical style consisting of aesthetic dressing with Paris fashion. Other important designers of this age were Patou, Vionnet, Fortuny, Lanvin and Chanel. Throughout the 20th century, Paris remained the world's fashion hub, with countries such as the US and Britain openly aping the French designs.

The post World War era saw the emergence of other countries as the centers of fashion and Paris ceased to be the sole influential factor. The rising British fashion industry brought a new range of street fashion focusing mainly on the young consumers. Fashion for real women follows function and form.

Women were '40s morale-boosters dresses had small waists, tight busts and full skirts. Women were expected to tighten their belts; silk stockings disappeared when silk was used for parachutes and other wartime items, and women drew lines up the backs of their legs with eyebrow pencils to simulate stocking seams.

Thin figures were in: shoulder pads made their first appearances on the female figure. Women's jobs were male jobs welding and soldering, building and production so, at work, they were wearing costumes like coveralls and denims. Many women discovered the comfort and ease of wearing pants, and actresses like Katherine Hepburn and Bette Davis made trousers for women into lasting trends.


1940s hairstyles


Hairstyles have continued to evolve over the last century and every decade seems to have its own look. Just as the look now is straight and sleek, the look back in 1950s was more youthful. 1950's was a time of innovative and flamboyant hairstyles, some of which even today continue to inspire hair artists. It was a time when there was peace and prosperity across the globe. The war had just ended and unlike the utilitarian look that characterized the 1930s and the 1940s, the look of this time was more glamorous. Back in the 1940s, the predominant style was feminine and romantic.

With soft curls falling onto the shoulders or long, wavy natural hair gently blowing in the breeze, the 1940s hairstyle was an invocation of the eternal feminine form. This however was the look for the people in the higher rung of the society or a look reserved for the evening parties. 1940s was a period when the world was going through a major economic crisis. This economic scenario had forced many a woman to come out and work. The hairstyle of the time was thus practical and suited to workingwomen.

At that time, women mostly worked in farms or factories and hair products as shampoo were tough to acquire. In this scenario, the look was strictly utilitarian and women wore their hair usually in a neat roll around the nape and over the ears, often covered with a headscarf knotted. Styling lotions that held the hair in place was much in vogue.

This all changed in the 1950s when the look became more glamorous. The essential aspiration was to look like a domestic goddess, one who effortlessly did household work despite looking like a diva. In the early part of the fifties, the ponytail was the most popular hairstyle.

The casual yet chic look offered by the ponytail had many takers among women. In the early part of the fifties, the look for the evening party was a French pleat or chignon. However, in the later part of the fifties we see the origin of more elaborate and complicated hairstyles. Every woman during this time aspired to look stylish and well groomed. This was the time when women were just returning to their homes after the demands of wartime. Because of this reason, women now could spend more time on their make up and hairstyles.

This led to an era of heavier makeup and flamboyant hairstyle. As we see eyebrows, mascara and eyeliner come to be applied more in the make up area, so also in the hair section, we see a lot of experimentation with hair. Straight hair was absolutely out and beauty meant having curly or wavy hair. In fact, fifties was the time probability when the regular womanly visit to the parlor for hair care and shampoo became must.

As hair setting achieved magnum proportion with hair being teased, sculpted, sprayed, permanently waved and forced into perfectly formed curls, more and more women started to spend a lot of money on hair care products that were essential to maintain the "well groomed hair look".

For men the look was the greased back hairdo with heavy sideburns such as James Dean and Elvis had. Women on the other hand copied styles dictated by Hollywood divas as Elizabeth Taylor and even the young Queen Elizabeth II.

Other popular stars whose looks were copied by almost all women were Leslie Caron, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot and Doris Day. Among the most popular hairstyles of the time was the poodle cut which seeked to frame the face in a round fashion offering it an youthful demeanor. In fact, by end 1950s, hairdressing was a big industry and there were about almost 30,000 new salons only in Britain.

Elaborate hairstyles and hair rituals were the order of the day. From gigantic back combed bouffants, beehives, and French pleats that were twisted in a fashion so as to form the intricate coiled hairstyles, the look late 1950s for sure was dressy.Most of these styles are no longer in vogue now. Nonetheless, they continue to remind you of an era when there was prosperity in the world and people had enough time as well as money to think and spend on their hair. 


1940s suspender belts


Suspender belts can complete a stocking set. Stockings were first introduced in 1940s; suspenders or garter belts came into fashion in 1950s. But at that time, the stocking suspenders that were available in the market were made of laces and ribbons, thus making them uncomfortable to wear. They were not at all practical as they were not durable. After these ribbon suspenders, suspenders with clips were introduced. But even these were uncomfortable. The reason behind this was that these could not hold the stockings for more than 20 minutes.

The main job of a stocking suspender or a garter belt is to hold up the stockings. And by keeping this purpose of a suspender in mind, suspenders with metal clips were introduced. A majority of women found that the suspenders with metal clasps are much better than plastic clasps, as these could actually grip the stockings and prevent them from falling.

For being comfortable, it is necessary to have a proper choice of stocking suspenders. Suspenders usually come with either four or six straps. Good quality suspenders are comprised of different length straps on the front, back and sides. If the belts have four straps, the back pair should be 2 inches longer than the front.

But if you are considering buying a six-strap suspender, then, the back pair should be longer than the side pair, which in turn has to be one inch longer than the front pair. Sometimes, one gets skin allergies with these suspenders - be they plastic or metal.

A comfortable and practical stocking suspender should be of cotton, as it remains in the place and the straps do all the grip work. The straps should be gently stretchy and not too thick and loose. Many women believe that wearing stocking suspenders is much better than wearing tights. 


Cristobal Balenciaga Esagri


Flying in the face of continuity, logic, and erudite sociological predictions, fashion in the 1940s, far from being revolutionary and progressive, bore strong nostalgic echoes of the past. A whole society which, in the 1920s and 1930s, had greatly believed in progress, was now much more circumspect. As fashion looked to the past, haute couture experienced something of a revival and spawned a myriad of star designers who profited hugely from the rapid growth of the media.

Throughout the 1940s, although it would be for the last time, women around the world always continued to submit to the trends of Parisian haute couture. Three of the most prominent of the Parisian couturiers of the time were Cristobal Balenciaga, Hubert de Givenchy, and Pierre Balmain. The frugal prince of luxury, Cristobal Balenciaga Esagri made his fashion debut in the late Thirties.

However, it was not until the post-war years that the full scale of the inventiveness of this highly original designer became evident. In 1951, he totally transformed the silhouette, broadening the shoulders and removing the waist.

In 1955, he designed the tunic dress, which later developed into the chemise dress of 1957. And eventually, in 1959, his work culminated in the Empire line, with high-waisted dresses and coats cut like kimonos. His mastery of fabric design and creation defied belief. Balenciaga is also notable as one of the few couturiers in fashion history who could use their own hands to design, cut, and sew the models which symbolized the height of his artistry.


Dior's designs 1940s


The actual phrase the "New Look" was coined by Carmel Snow, the powerful editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar. Dior's designs were more voluptuous than the boxy, fabric-conserving shapes of the recent World War II styles, influenced by the rations on fabric. He was a master at creating shapes and silhouettes; Dior is quoted as saying "I have designed flower women." His look employed fabrics lined predominantly with percale, boned, bustier-style bodices, hip padding, wasp-waisted corsets and petticoats that made his dresses flare out from the waist, giving his models a very curvaceous form.

The hem of the skirt was very flattering on the calves and ankles, creating a beautiful silhouette. Initially, women protested because his designs covered up their legs, which they had been unused to because of the previous limitations on fabric. There was also some backlash to Dior's designs form due to the amount of fabrics used in a single dress or suit--during one photo shoot in a Paris market, the models were attacked by female vendors over the profligacy of their dresses--but opposition ceased as the wartime shortages ended.

The New Look revolutionized women's dress and reestablished Paris as the center of the fashion world after World War II. The designers of Hollywood created a particular type of glamour for the stars of American film, and outfits worn by the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, or Grace Kelly were widely copied.

Quantitatively speaking, a costume worn by an actress in a Hollywood movie would have a much bigger audience than the photograph of a dress designed by a couturier illustrated in a magazine read by no more than a few thousand people. Without even trying to keep track of all the Paris styles, its costume designers focused on their own version of classicism, which was meant to be timeless, flattering, and photogenic.

Using apparently luxurious materials, such as sequins, chiffon, and fur, the clothes were very simply cut, often including some memorable detail, such as a low-cut back to a dress which was only revealed when the actress turned her back from the camera or some particularly stunning accessory. The most influential and respected designers of Hollywood from the 1930s to the 1950s were Edith Head, Orry-Kelly, William Travilla, Jean Louis, Travis Banton, and Gilbert Adrian.


German occupation of Paris 1940


Many fashion houses closed during occupation of Paris during World War II, including the Maison Vionnet and the Maison Chanel. Several designers, including Mainbocher, permanently relocated to New York. In the enormous moral and intellectual BUM-education program undertaken by the French state couture was not spared.

In contrast to the stylish, liberated Parisienne, the Vichy regime promoted the model of the wife and mother, the robust, athletic young woman, a figure who was much more in line with the new political criteria. Germany, meanwhile, was taking possession of over half of what France produced, including high fashion, and was also considering relocating French haute couture to the cities of Berlin and Vienna, neither of which had any significant tradition of fashion.

The archives of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture were seized, most consequentially the client list. The point of all this was to break up a monopoly that supposedly threatened the dominance of the Third Reich. Due to the difficult times, the number of models in shows was limited to seventy-five, evening wear was shortened and day wear was much skimpier, made using substitute materials whenever possible. From 1940 onward, no more than four meters (thirteen feet) of cloth was permitted to be used for a coat and a little over one meter (three feet) was all that allowed for a blouse. No belt could be over 3 centimetres (one and a half inches) wide. Despite this, haute couture tried to keep its flag flying.

Humor and frivolity became a way of defying the occupying powers and couture somehow survived. Although some have argued that the reason it endured was because of the patronage of the wives of rich Nazis, in actuality, records reveal that, aside from the usual wealthy Parisiennes, it was the wives of foreign ambassadors, clients from the black market, and a whole eclectic mix of people who continued to frequent the salons, among whom German women were but a minority. In spite of the fact that so many fashion houses closed down or moved away during the war, several new houses remained open, including Jacques Fath, Maggy Rouff, Marcel Rochas, Jeanne Lafaurie, Nina Ricci, and Madeleine Vramant.

During the Occupation, the only true way for a woman to flaunt her extravagance and add to color to a drab outfit was to wear a hat. In this period, hats were often made of scraps of material that would have otherwise been thrown away, sometimes incorporating butter muslin, bits of paper, and wood shavings. Among the most innovative milliners of the time were Pauline Adam, Simone Naudet, Rose Valois, and Le Monnier. Paris's isolated situation in the 1940s enabled the Americans to exploit the ingenuity and creativity of their own designers.

During the Second World War, Vera Maxwell presented co-ordinates in plain, simply cut outfits and also introduced innovations to men's work clothes. Bonnie Cashin transformed boots into a major fashion accessory, and, in 1944, started to produce original and imaginative sportswear. Claire McCardell, Anne Klein, and Tina Leser formed a remarkable trio of women who were to lay the foundations of American sportswear, ensuring that ready-to-wear was not simply thought of as second best, but as an elegant and comfortable way for modern women to dress.

Among young men in the War Years the zoot suit (and in France the zazou suit) became popular. Many actresses of the time, including Rita Hayworth, Katharine Hepburn, and Marlene Dietrich, had a significant impact on popular fashion. The couturier Christian Dior created a tidal wave with his first collection in February 1947. The collection contained dresses with tiny waists, majestic busts, and full skirts swelling out beneath small bodices, in a manner very similar to the style of the Belle Époque. The extravagant use of fabric and the feminine elegance of the designs appealed greatly to a post-war clientèle and ensured Dior's meteoric rise to fame.


1940 Mens fashion


Like today, young people of the 1940s enjoyed wearing their clothes a certain way. Baggy, rolled-up blue jeans with dangling shirt tails seemed to be the teenager fashion of the 40s. Bobby socks and loafers were also part of the day’s dress. In the first half of the 40s, American dressmakers designed dresses that looked a lot like the war uniforms of the day.

Wrap-around skirts were made because zippers and metal snaps were scarce. Remember, people were asked to conserve on products and materials needed for the war. Following the war, dress designers from Paris, France, had a lot of influence on America. The popular ladies magazines, Vogue and Glamour also carried pictures and descriptions and told American women what they should wear. Following World War II, nylon helped create the wash-and-dry dress. Hats of all kinds, with feathers, flowers and lace, appeared on women’s heads.


1940s Corset


The corset fell from fashion grace in the 1920s in Europe and America, replaced by girdles and underwired bras, but thankfully survived as an article of sexy lingerie. Now the corset has become a popular item of outerwear in the fetish, BDSM and goth cultures. In the fetish and BDSM literature, there is often much emphasis on tightlacing. In this case, the corset may still be underwear rather than outerwear.There was a brief revival of the corset in the late 1940s and early 1950s, in the form of the waist cincher sometimes called a "waspie".

This was used to give the hourglass figure dictated by modern fashion designers. However, use of the waist cincher was restricted to haute couture, and most women continued to use super not sexy girdles. Since the late 1980s, the corset has experienced periodic revivals, these revivals focus on the corset as an item of outerwear rather than underwear.

The strongest of these revivals was seen in 2001 and 2002 fashion collections and coincided with the release of the film Moulin Rouge, the costumes for which featured many corsets as characteristic of the era.Similarly, other films have used these garments as costume features, generally to suggest a period effect, as in Van Helsing, where Anna Valerious wears an underbust corset as part of her costume.

Sometimes this is used for humorous purposes, as when Elizabeth Swann almost suffocates from wearing a tight corset in Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl. One distinctive feature has been to portray them in combination with catsuits, as in Star Trek: Voyager where Seven of Nine throughout the series wears catsuits with contained built-in corsets, or Underworld, where Selene wears a black leather corset over matching latex catsuit.Today many sexy lingerie manufacturers still carry corset ranges. The sexy corset designs that spring to mind from Coquette, Dreamgirl, Shirleys Of Hollywood all have their own distinct styles and can be worn as either lingerie or outerwear.


Rita Hayworth 1940s


Ever desired to have an authentic 1940s hairstyle like Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth, Katherine Hepburn or Susan Hayward? Have a special event or occasion coming up with a 1940s theme that you want to incorporate into your outfit and hair? While there are several different hairstyles from the 1940s to choose from, you want to select a style that is appropriate for you hair length and easy for you to do in 10 minutes or less.

The key to achieving an authentic 1940s hairstyle is to part your hair correctly. In this decade, women didn’t part their hair down the center, but instead opted to part it on either side. Curls or rolls were also a major component of hairstyles during this time, and most styles incorporated them in it. Page boy style was one of the most popular 1940s hairstyles, especially for women with mid-length or long hair.

It was often used by ladies when they were headed out for the evening to go swing dancing, and often times, they accented it with a flower or two. You can master this hairstyle in no time at all, since it simply involves parting and curling your hair correctly. If you have long hair you can style it the way a lot of women did in the 40s, which was to wear it in rolls. This was a popular look for women when they were out at parties and social gatherings in the evenings.

This was due to the fact that hats in the 1940s were important pieces of evening wear for women, and this hairstyle worked well and looked good with a hat. The other popular style for long hair in the 1940s was a dressy updo style, which was also often accented with a flower tucked or pinned in to the hair. For individuals with short hair, finding a style from the 1940s that you can use for you hair can be difficult as short hair was not as common then as it is today.

However, you can still create an updo from the 1940s. Focus on parting your hair on the side and adding curls that shape your hair into style lines. In addition, you can consider getting extensions or rats as they were called in the 1940s, which will allow you to achieve a hairstyle made for longer hair.


American fashion 1940


World War II closed many fashion houses in Paris. Couture was among those affected by the re-education program initiated by the French government. German invaders took possession of French high fashion, and even considered the relocation of the haute couture to German cities Berlin and Vienna, both of which had little traditional history of fashion. These were some of the more significant changes in the French fashion landscape. During those times, models in fashion shows were limited to a maximum of 75, while the time for evening wear was significantly lessened.

Day wear was also made skimpier. In the 1940s, coats were limited to no more than 4 meters in length. Blouses were limited to be of at least 1 meter. But despite all these restrictions in place, the fashion industry pushed on, emphasizing humor as a way to defy the foreign powers. While there were many fashion shops that closed down or relocation during the war, there were a few new names that opened shop. During the World War, women flaunted extravagance by wearing a hat.

It was the only way they can do so without earning the ire of the authorities. Americans took advantage of Paris' isolation to show off their creativity. American designers introduced innovations in the way men wore work clothes. Sportswear among women also became more popular with American designers manufacturing more of these items. In 1947, couturier Christian Dior made waves with his collection of dresses with tiny waists, and extravagant busts, a style similar to the Belle Epoque.


1940 The sexy corset


Many women love to wear sexy costumes. From an elegantly sensual basque to an exotic bustier, sexy costumes are a terrific way to spice up the bedroom. Some basques and bustiers can even be worn as outerwear, offering a daring choice for a night out. Basques and bustiers have been around for many centuries, although they have adapted and changed over the years. Provided here is a brief guide to the history of these beautiful and sexy costumes. Both basques and bustiers developed out of the corset. Corsets first came into vogue in the 16th century.

By the Victorian era, they were all the rage. Victorian women wanted their waists to appear as small as possible, and the era of tight lacing was born. At the time, corsets were not considered sexy costumes, but simple required undergarments. Girls received their first corsets at a very young age and wore them all of their lives. Victorian corsets were longer than those of earlier eras, flaring over the hips and extending several inches down from the waist. This shape became extremely popular, and soon other clothing items adapted the shape.

Basques were originally Victorian-era jackets that mimicked the shape of the corset. The jackets were tightly fitted and extended past the hips, flaring out to accommodate a bustle. Over time, fashions changed. Corsets began to fall out of favor in the 1910s, as the rational dress movement took over. Gradually bras and girdles took the place of the corset. Basques fell out of fashion as women stopped wearing bustles and waistlines crept upward.


Knitted swimming trunks


God, I think at one point, every kid in England had the knitted swimming trunks. Make sure you’re hanging on to them when you come out of the water! The twentieth century defined a new era for swim wear. The revolution was instigated by two things: a greater interest in recreational sports and the influence of daringly cut French swi msuits.

The torturous corset was finally dispensed with and the task of eroticizing the body was taken over by exposing the skin itself since there was nothing to equalize or camouflage the shape of the body. What occurred during the evolution of the ba thing suit during the 20th century was a merciless exposure of the flesh due to the rapidly shrinking suit.

The first Jantzen swimsuits that were introduced at the turn of the century featured the "rib stitch" that consisted of a rubber-like material that retained its shape wet or dry and had the advantage of not soaking up a large amount of water. By 1910, female athletes looked forward to a functional suit introduced by Annette Kellerman, an Australian polio victim that had taken up swimming to strengthen her legs. Her practical offering was a tight-fitting black wool one-piece that did away with the skirts and sleeves but kept the trousers cut two inches above the knees.

Besides these kind of sports suits, ladies also had the option of dressier styles that showcased sashes, embroidery and vibrant colors of formal feminine dress. The 1920's brought a collection of suits sporting the war spirit; suits featured short-skirts on a sailor costume. The new suits in general covered less and less of the bather while simultaneously subtracting the skirt..

The suit that symbolized the dec ade was the malliot style, a two-piece that consisted of a vest-shaped top extending to the upper thigh and shorts. As the decade wore on, a new "California style" suit was introduced. This one-piece suit was the conservative response to the more daring cuts of the age since it was essentially the top and skirt of the two-piece malliot but assembled into a single piece of fabric.

As the age wore on, corporate influence over the swimsuit and beach culture took foot, instigating standards that would be s et more by market-driven entrepreneurs than governmental bodies. The tubular suits of the decade were influenced by the popular Art Deco mode, featuring deer, gazelles, antelopes, and greyhounds. The ability of the swimsuit to pick up the newest fads an d trends from the fashion world was remarkable. By the end of the 20's "novelty suits" had latched to industry.



The 1940's was characterized by the two-piece suit. A popular model was the "Taboo," a diaper trunk tied into large bows at the back of the waist and thighs, leaving a little bit of the hip exposed to the sun. Wartime shortages put a dampen on color, however; designers scoured military technology and provisions for inspiration and materials. "Camouflage colors" were all the rage while linen, cotton, sharkskin, and rayon were used inst ead of wool, silk, and linen.

At the end of the war, synthetic fibers were substituted for natural fabrics, making Celanese rayon, satin Lastex, and Nylastic popular choices for swimsuit material. By the end of the decade, designers were aimed at flatte ring female silhouettes.

The curvaceous ideal came about in 1947 with Christian Dior's 'New Look." Entire bathing wardrobes came into existence, making it possible to facilitate the matching of activity to dress. Formfitting elasticized suits in either one or two piece models came in colourful hand-printed fabrics. "Dressy" suits were also popular, complete with waist control and a full-length zipper to achieve the fashionable new hourglass shape. 


1940 Jeans Fashion


It would be worthless to talk about 1940s fashion without first understanding the tremendous impact the Second World War had on the lives of people. Since social trends dictate fashion, the events of World War II would change the world of fashion forever. In 1939, Germany invaded Poland and France and Great Britain declared war on Germany and this sparked the Second World War that would rule the lives of people for the next 6 years.

Because of the war, Germans considered moving the French couture houses to Berlin. Since the United States entered the war in December of 1941, which is more than two years later the war begun, the travel difficulties between Europe and continental America meant that American designers would receive more attention from the press.

Before this, Paris fashion trends were followed in the States. 1940s fashion was affected by the fact that many factories were given to producing military supplies with fashion taking second place. This means fashion houses worked on restrictions on how much fabric per garment could be used. As soon as Paris was liberated, fashion editors once again started to showcase their French designs again in magazines.

The Paris couture once again became the leader when Christian Dior showcased his ‘New Look' of lengthened and widened skirts, a move that was a reaction to the deprivation of fabric that was experienced during the war years. American designers had also begun to be more prominent and to see them take a place in the world of fashion. In an effort to comply to the war yardage restrictions imposed on garments.

American designers began to create a new 1940s fashion of short skirts and short jackets that were less than 25 inches in length. This new fashion trend of the 40s replaced the long flowing gowns that had emerged in the previous decade.

This conservative look would remain fashionable through multiple seasons. Classic sportswear styles took hold on college campuses and were adopted by all levels of society and age groups. The 1940s fashion would also see the emergence of separates that would create the illusion of more outfits. This was seen with the transition of the separate pieces in women fashion, the bra and the girdle

The end of the severe rationing of metal would also see the emergence of leather shoes studded with ‘nailheads', a sign of opulence and luxury. Interestingly, the classic look created in the 1940s fashion era never seems to go out of style.


1940's summer dresses


Up until the outbreak of hostilities in Europe during WWII, American fashion designers simply copied the styles of French designers. The US did not make any of its own fashions, but became quite skilled at making inexpensive, mass-produced copies. This allowed most American women, even those on a modest budget, to be fashionable. Once the Germans occupied Paris, the American designers were cut off from Paris haute couture and were forced to design new fashions for the United States market.

Many concentrated on sportswear which led to the United States emerging as the sportswear capital of the world. In 1941, war good manufacturing took center stage. During 1942, the War Production Board began severely restricting the amount of yardage used in garments.

On March 8, 1942 the War Production Board issued regulation L - 85, which regulated every aspect of clothing. Stanley Marcus was the apparel consultant to the War Production Board. At this time he took the stand that it was the designer's patriotic duty to design fashions which would remain stylish through multiple seasons.

American designers introduced the concept of separates and co-ordinating components in order to create the illusion of more outfits than one actually had. Classic sportswear styles took hold on college campuses and were soon adopted by all levels of society and all age groups.

Dresses and suits became slimmer and shorter; most skirts were only as wide as was needed to walk and sit, and hem lengths rose to the knee. Padded, square shoulders imitating a military uniform were popular, and a common dress style buttoned down the front of the bodice and was trimly belted at the waist.

Many bodices and blouses had gathers or darts at the shoulder and waist to give shape and fullness at the bust but still keep a trim waistline. Suits remained popular, with padded, square shoulders and fitted skirts. Dress and suit styles were simple and practical with clean lines. "Air force blue" becomes the popular colour. Slim tubular look in knitted dresses or chemises with cinch belts also became popular. Another popular style was the one strap dress with an uneaven hemline.



Summer time in the 1940's meant it was time to play. Trips to the beach. Lunch with the girls at a café. Garden parties with the neighbors. All these events required you to wear one of your 1940's summer dresses. These dresses were made to be light weight, colorful, and flattering on your body. Let's take a look at what 1940's dresses looked like and where we can buy vintage 1940's summer dresses today. In the 1940's Dresses were made using rayon. Rayon came in thick wool like material for winter garments or light weight crepe or jersey in warmer months.

Crepe was very light and airy- like a silk handkerchief or sheer drapery. American cotton was also used for summer dresses for home wear. Dresses were much more colorful than suits and skirts. They could be plain, in blues, greens and reds, but patterns in a rainbow of colors were used a lot in dress fabrics. Small floral patterns in blues, purples, pinks and yellows were popular.

Gingham checks and colorful stripes were equally common. During the war in the early 40's patriotic patterns, using red, white and blue colors and a 'V' for victory motif was frequently seen. After the war, Hawaiian prints became very popular for women's dresses as well as Hawaiian style sarong dresses.

Decorations like bows, ruffles and lace were rare . Colorful brooches, earrings, and bracelets provided sparkle. Dresses in the summer were all knee length, otherwise known as a tea length dress. The skirts were a-line with a little swing to them.

Pleats and gathers were minimal until the late 40's and sleeves gradually became shorter too. The most popular style dress was the button down shirtwaist dress with the apron dress being a close second. These dresses were easy to button over a playsuit or swimwear, which made them versatile and practical.

Another fun summer outfit was a Dirndl skirt with a peasant blouse top. Fun and girlish, this two piece outfit was a must for any young women's wardrobe. Shopping for a 1940's summer dress shouldn't be too hard. Most 40's dresses were made of rayon or cotton and could be worn year round. The key it so find a dress that is colorful and light, wear appropriate undergarments, and complete with a pair of fun wedgies or sling back sandals.


Germans occupied Paris 1940s


Also notable is the return of Coco Chanel (who detested the New Look) to the fashion world. Following the closure of her salons in the war years, in 1954, aged over seventy, she staged a comeback and on February 5 she presented a collection which contained a whole range of ideas that would be adopted and copied by women all over the world: her famous little braided suit with gold chains, shiny costume jewelry, silk blouses in colors that matched the suit linings, sleek tweeds, monogrammed buttons, flat black silk bows, boaters, quilted bags on chains, and evening dresses and furs that were marvels of simplicity.

After the war, the American look (which consisted of broad shoulders, floral ties, straight-legged pants, and shirts with long pointed collars, often worn hanging out rather than tucked in) became very popular among men in Europe.

Certain London manufacturers ushered in a revival of Edwardian elegance in men's fashion, adopting a tight-fitting retro style that was intended to appeal to traditionalists. This look, originally aimed at the respectable young man about town, was translated into popular fashion as the Teddy boy style. The Italian look, popularized by Caraceni, Brioni, and Cifonelli, was taken up by an entire generation of elegant young lovers, on both sides of the Atlantic.


Coco Chanel 1940s
Christian Dior


Christian Dior (January 21, 1905 October 23, 1957), was an influential French fashion designer. He was born in Granville, Manche, Normandy, France. Dior flagship boutiques are found in Paris, Milan, Rome, London, New York, Beverly Hills, Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Boston, Honolulu, San Francisco, Seoul, Madrid, Barcelona, New Delhi and Shanghai. Acceding to his parents' wishes, Dior attended the École des Sciences Politiques from 1920 to 1925.

The family, Safari, whose fortune was derived from the manufacture of fertilizer, had hopes he would become a diplomat, but Dior only wished to be involved in the arts. After leaving school he received money from his father so that in 1928 he could open a small art gallery, where he sold art by the likes of Pablo Picasso and Max Jacob.

After a family financial disaster that resulted in his father losing his business, Dior was forced to close the gallery. From 1938 he worked with Robert Piguet and later joined the fashion house where he and Pierre Balmain were the primary designers. In 1945 he went into business for himself, backed by Marcel Boussac, the cotton-fabric magnate. Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel (August 19, 1883 January 10, 1971) was a pioneering French fashion designer whose modernist philosophy, menswear-inspired fashions, and pursuit of expensive simplicity made her arguably the most important figure in the history of 20th-century fashion.

Her influence on haute couture was such that she was the only person in the field to be named on TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people of the 20th century Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel's stylish, elegant designs revolutionized fashion during the 1910s, freeing women from the uncomfortable and stiff apparel worn at the end of the 19th century.

Whether by chance or by design, Chanel furthered her own image: the woman of the 20th century, embodying independence, success, personality, style, and confidence. Coco made sure women would love her products. The influential Chanel suit, launched in 1923, was an elegant outfit composed of a knee-length skirt paired with a trim, boxy jacket, traditionally made of woven wool with black trim and gold buttons and worn with large costume-pearl necklaces.

Coco Chanel also popularized the little black dress, whose blank-slate versatility allowed it to be worn for both day and night. The black Chanel dress was strapless, backless and more than a little risque. It shocked the general public at large but quickly became a fashion sensation. The Chanel dress premiered in the third ever edition of Playboy. This added to the controversy surrounding the Chanel.


Karl Lagerfeld

 Just a few words to say thank you, for all the images and text you have kindly sent in, it is very much appreciated, having said that, if an image or some text is copyrighted, and you wish for it to be removed we will remove it A.S.A.P. © Copyright 2003-2017  PastReunited.com, No animals were harmed in the making of this site although a few contributors were recycled.


Karl Lagerfeld (born Karl Otto Lagerfeldt on September 10, 1933) is widely recognized as one of the most influential fashion designers of the late 20th century. He has collaborated with a variety of different fashion labels, with Chloé, Fendi and Chanel the most notable. But with contracts with companies internationally, throughout his career, he has probably built the most complicated resume of any designer. Furthermore, he has his own labels, which he launched in the early 1980s, including perfume and clothing. He has also played a role in equipping leading artists. Karl-Otto Lagerfeld was born 10 September 1933 in Hamburg, although Lagerfeld has long asserted that he was born in 1938.

Karl Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg, Germany in the 1930's; the exact year of which is still under much debate! Renowned throughout the world as a prolific and influential fashion designer, an artist and also a photographer, he can speak many languages and also has books published of his photography and diet secrets. Now based in the innovation central of Paris, this creative force was spurred on in the realms of design by a fortune teller, who told him he would "succeed in fashion and perfume". Related Articles How fur still ‘cuts' it in the summer months Summer fashions prove less is not always more Royal wedding fashions past & present Spring forward thinking.

One of the most popular and photographed of the designers, his trademarks include his white ponytail, suit and tie, dark glasses, fingerless gloves and hand fan. A man who enthuses about bringing fashion to the masses; Lagerfeld has collaborated as a creative director with fashion houses such as Chanel and Fendi but also alongside high street brand H&M, and his unique take on fashion has won him a large legion of fans with his clothes adorned by millions worldwide.

Lagerfeld has been involved with theatrical film and music projects like the La Scala Opera, Madonna's ‘Re-Invention' tour and Kylie's ‘Showgirl' tour and has also designed for countless famous celebrities, who can often be seen on his arm at fashion shows and parties. Kaiser Karl, as he is sometimes known, is also just as famous for his many quips and sound bites.

Not afraid to air his thoughts and feelings, this passionate, outspoken designer is now one of the most quoted. While he believes that "Vanity is the healthiest thing in life", when it comes to being PC, he mused "Be politically correct, but please don't bother other people with conversation about being politically correct, because that's the end of everything.

You want to create boredom? Be politically correct in your conversation." These are not just words as Lagerfeld has been publicly and flirtingly controversial with his love of fur. Despite enormous pressure, he has never backed down regarding his fur allegiance and has successfully ridden the storm. He is now joined by over 400 designers who are willing to stand up and be counted as fur lovers with it being heavily used in everything from accessories such as hats or gloves to coats and shoes throughout the collections in 2010/2011.

Lagerfeld is noted as the man who changed the whole concept of fur in fashion as working alongside the quality of product from Fendi, his love of the material was consistently displayed in his gentle manipulation and new cuts which lead to the more lightweight and easy-to-wear designs we see today. Lagerfeld has expressed his loyalty to Fendi furs many times before but perhaps more notably after his faux fur collection at Chanel when he stated that Fendi were in possession of the best furs around and he didn't want to compete.

While he has addressed important global issues through his fashions and art, his photography is also well known as he has worked with models such as Carla Bruni and many of his photographs are used in the advertising campaigns for both Chanel and Fendi. Accomplished in so many arenas, his triumphs can perhaps be attributed to his ability to move with the times.

A champion of finding beauty in every era, Lagerfeld once famously said "Beauty is also submitted to the taste of time, so a beautiful woman from the Belle Epoch is not exactly the perfect beauty of today, so beauty is something that changes with time" – as of course, is Lagerfeld, with every breathtaking new collection he creates.