40s Dresses & Clothes
In Mondo Chaos, we think the 40s were a very exciting fashion decade because World War II had such a huge impact on everything in society, including fashion and style, and therefore we can divide fashion in the 40s into two periods: wartime and post-war. During the war, there were restrictions and rationing on many different consumer goods, including fabric, and therefore both designers and ordinary women were challenged when they had to create something beautiful and fashionable with very little means.
Already in the late 30s, simplicity and minimalism began to characterize the fashion image, and the ultra feminine expression was replaced by practical and usable clothing. The skirts became shorter and less full-bodied, simply because bias cuts and full-length dresses used too much fabric. After the end of the war, the fashion industry flourished again, launching Dior's first two collections from 1947, two collections that were to prove to be iconic for the fashion industry ever since.
As mentioned before, we can divide the fashion in the 40s into two periods, and both periods each had their silhouette. The dress in the early 40s was a simple dress with few details and it had an angular expression with pointed shoulders and a narrow silhouette, inspired by the soldiers' uniforms. Dresses with A-line and pencil cuts were the most used and they were used for everyday as well as festive or solemn occasions. The women during the war were just as vain as the women who were before, and also after, and therefore they were very creative in their personal expression - for example, the peplum skirt was actually invented in the early 40s, by a designer who wanted to create a full-bodied silhouette, with a minimal consumption of fabric. Along with the peplum dress, the shirt dress and wrap dress was the most popular dress models in the early 40s.
The dress in the late 40s was almost the diametric opposite of the simple, practical dress at the beginning of the decade, because the dress in the late 40s had a full-bodied silhouette with a defined waist: the iconic hourglass silhouette recreated by Dior in 1947, and which became really popular in 50s. Dresses with very full swing skirts became popular because, with their large amounts of fabric, they showed and symbolized that the war and the rationing period were over and that a new chapter had begun. Moreover, the new look design was also created to show the soft, round and feminine of the woman's figure, which had been hidden away in the masculine and practical uniforms look of the early 40's.
The shirt dress in the 40s
The shirt dress is one of the classic dress models of the 40s. It is practical and neat, and can be used for many different occasions, both at home and abroad. The shirt dress is characterized by being waist-cut, it has a collar, button closure and short or long sleeves, which often have a slight curl and pouf at the shoulders. The skirt is predominantly A-line, which gives a nice silhouette and which is at the same time practical to move in. The design is simple and minimalist, i.a. inspired by the military uniforms of the war. The first shirt dresses only had a button closure at the top, like a shirt that was put together with a skirt, but later also came dresses with a continuous button closure, where the most common design was a completely ordinary vertical closure - however, closures were also designed that poured to one side or the other, which created more form!
Slay about the dress in the 40s
Another classic dress model in the 40s was turn over the dress. It was versatile like the shirt dress, and could therefore be used for many of the day's chores. In addition, the wrap dress in the 40s was often designed so that it could be folded and tied on both the right and left side. The reason for this was that the dress could be 'used again' when it had become dirty on the front, because the woman who wore it could simply tie it up and put the innermost piece in front so that it appeared fine and clean. This meant that the woman could wear the same dress all day, which was both practical and economical.
Cthe cocktail dress in the 40s
Up through the 30s, the concept of 'cocktail parties' became more and more popular, and in the 40s, virtually all women, regardless of social status, owned a nice dress that could be used for these events. The cocktail dress in the 40s was a simple, semi-formal dress that was ‘dressed up’ with jewelry and a hat to create a fitting, elegant look. As with the other popular dress models, the A-line cut was the favorite in the early 40s, whereas in the later 40s the pencil cut was most popular.
Are you looking for the complete 40s look?
If you not only want a dress in the 40s style, but you want to complete the 40s look, then we have pretty much everything you need. We have nylon stockings with seams, which gives all 40s outfits an authentic vintage touch. We have 40s shoes and boots, which exudes classic pinup and Film Noir, and we have 40s coats and jackets, which creates both the 'wartime pinup look' of the early 40s and the 'new look' of the late 40s. If you are not into dresses, but still want to create a feminine 40s look, then we also have 40s shirts, tops, skirts og pants in several colors and models. This allows you to easily style yourself in authentic 40s style and create your own personal look!
See all our 40s dresses in our store in Copenhagen
You can look here on our webshop and see what we offer of 40s dresses and other 40s clothes, but if you have the opportunity to look past our store in Copenhagen, then we would recommend you to do so, so you can see our full range of fantastic 40s clothes. The store employs Stine, Kirstine, Line and Cecilie, who are all passionate dress lovers and they will do everything they can to help you find the perfect 40s outfit for you.
Of course, we also offer a good selection of 50s dresses and clothes in both the store and here on the webshop. Look at this.
Of course, we also offer a good selection of 60s dresses and clothes in both the store and here on the webshop. Look at this.
Do you have any questions regarding our 40s dresses?
At Mondo Kaos, our first priority is always happy customers. If you have any questions, whether about our range of 40s dresses or other clothing, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can meet us every weekday on 60 95 11 36 in the period 10: 00-18: 00 - however, on busy days it can be difficult for us to answer the phone, as we are usually busy taking care of the customers who visit us in the store. Therefore, it will be an advantage to write your question to firstname.lastname@example.org where we strive to answer within a weekday.