How the War Years can inspire...

Fashion trends of a decade follow a well-worn path: styles that define it will oftentimes be the exact opposite from the preceding era.  So we have Christian Dior’s “New Look” that exploded in popularity from the austere fashions during the WWII years.  The flowing and natural look of the 70s was a marked contrast from the radical and abstract mod look of the 60s.  It all boils down to the age-old desire for something different.

Which is exactly why I think the Greatest Generation are the next trendsetters.  These last few years we’ve lived in the hipster world, and tastes are already changing again.  There’s renewed interest in the 1970s even as I type this article, with flare-leg pants clogging the runways.  But fashion in a new decade can be influenced by several eras at once, so I think it’s time for the clothing worn during the WWII years to make a comeback.  The late 30’s to mid 40’s were characterized by simplicity, as government rationing of materials found in clothing meant so-long to any flair.  It was back to the basics for our grandparents.    Let’s take a look at the styles we can create in homage to the Greatest Generation:


Pants With Actual Legroom!

Let your legs breathe

Channel Katharine Hepburn and dare to be different.  Wide-leg, high-waist pants are a direct rebellion against the skinny jeans and low-riding styles that took over in the previous decade.  Women who felt like they were wearing tourniquets while sporting skinny jeans will fall in love with the roomy style of wide-leg trousers.  And you’ll never be afraid of giving an unintentional show when you bend over in a pair of high-waist pants.  Pair them with a form-fitting top to give eye-catching contrast to the voluminous pants and you’re ready to go.  Be advised, if you want to go with the 40s style high-waist pants and not the flared 70s version, make sure to get straight-leg trousers.


All In The Shoulders

Cut a striking figure

The 80s took it overboard, but I always thought the exaggerated shoulders of the early 40s presented a smart look.  The current nonstop parade of empire-waisted tops with spaghetti straps is quickly losing momentum, and you want to be on board the next style before it leaves you in the dust.  I predict (or just hope really) that shoulders will be in.  A 1940s woman with the look cut a stylish yet strong figure, and it’s time for an update.  Take out the pronounced front pockets and the button-down aspect, and heightened shoulders are ready for primetime.


Hats Hats Hats!

Just the finishing touch

Hats have been biding their time, waiting for decades to be in vogue again.  Now they are back with full force, thanks solely to THE Royal Wedding of the New Millenium.  Prince Williams’ and Catherine’s wedding thrust a sea of fascinator-covered heads onto millions of TV screens across the world, and we LOVED them!  A tall man at a high-society event today is likely to get a facefull of ornate hattery.  Soon the trend (again, I hope) will begin to encompass real hats, and we can finally dress as the full package again.


Suit Up

Lookin' sharp in a suitdress

What is more comfortable yet stylish enough than a suitdress?  Today it is more versatile than in the past, as they were mainly worn during the day as a going-about outfit.  Now suitdresses are perfect for work, for cocktail parties, for shopping, almost anything!  When you’re having one of those days when you just want to throw something on yet still look good, a shirtdress is the ticket.  Pair them with an oversize leather belt for a modern update on the classic style.

Straight skirts

Straight From the Hip

Let your legs be the focus

A-Line skirts enjoyed a huge surge in popularity for the last ten years, and now it’s time for something just a little different.  Most dresses and skirts in the 40s hung straight or almost straight down from the hips, placing a lot of attention on the legs.  Let’s refocus on your gams ladies!  This is such a clean and simple look, and there is certainly beauty in simplicity.

Fashion comes in cycles.  We grow tired of wearing the same top over and over again, and it’s easier to look to the past for inspiration on a new wardrobe.  That’s as it should be: what’s worked before can certainly work again, and it would be a shame to let the women in the 40s take all the enjoyment from their styles.  Let’s have fun with them too and create a new look that pays homage to the Greatest Generation.