Bed Jackets and Other 1940s Fashions

I have a soft spot for vintage sleepwear, especially bed jackets, so was delighted to find this 1940s Patons knitting book while on holiday at the beach last week. The eight patterns have popular women's names of the time — including Anna, Alice and Wilma — and most would, in fact, make excellent cardigans for day-wear.

I simply adore fashion photography from this era, as epitomised by Horst P Horst — the models are unattainable and even haughty, like elegant statues with perfect "dinner roll" hair styles and arched, crescent moon eyebrows!

Affected by the hardship of World War II, 1940s fashion is generally described as austere, but I see something wonderfully glamorous in its sleek, clean lines and over-done make-up, the kind that makes a woman look like she's asking a question.

The model in this picture reminds me so much of Gene Tierney in The Ghost and Mrs Muir (1947).

You can see more shots from my pattern book at Someday, Sweetheart, my sister Kerriann's blog, which is dedicated to World War II popular culture.


Kerriann said...

Fantastic post, Kathleen. I agree with your observations. WWII fashion has a certain easy-going charm, I think - perhaps because of the "make do and mend" philosophy that governed everything. Women used to make shorts out of pillowcases, or skirts out of their husband's old tweed suit! Looks like you've blown my cover, though...was hoping to keep my blog anonymous ;)

Kathleen Fisher said...

Oops ... sorry! Well, apart from family, I'm sure no-one will know both of us. Besides, I think your blog is too cool not to have at least your first name mentioned somewhere :)