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Time Periods => WWII => WWII Civilian Area => Topic started by: adam on October 26, 2007, 01:35:22 PM
So I've been trying to dig up as much information as possible on men's fashion in the 1940's. Most of what I've found so far pertains to the US and Great Britian. How was fashion in Continental Europe affected by rationing? Was it similar, or something completely different? Was knitting as popular as in Great Britian? I know it's a lot of questions, but, so far, what I've found on the internet has been of little help. I know there's got to be someone on here who's at least looked into the subject.
This is something to try to ask the older people over there.... perhaps if one of the Fallschirmjaeger veterans' wives is along when I go there in May, I can ask. I too have looked on the web and can't find much. I am left to assume that they rationed things quite heavily, and homemade & recycled or heavily-repaired items were the only option at times.
Hey adam try the Fredora Lounge, thier are several europeans on the site and others who love the 40's and 30's era clothes. kinda have to say that a 40's era suit has all ways looked sharp.
http://www.thefedoralounge.com/index.php (here is the link) hope that helps.
daniels, thanks, I'll have to look there.
Phil, yeah, most of what I've found on rationing has either been strictly US or British info, or only mentioned in passing when refering to continental Europe. One thing that I did find (that I really wish the writer had backed up a little more) was a reference to subversion through fashion, i.e. breaking ration laws or whatever as a way to hinder the Nazi war effort. I'm sure that it didn't have too much of an effect (if it did happen), but it's an interesting idea anyways.
They won't let me on the Fedora Lounge!! You have to have a regular IP email address, but I can only get web-mail. ???
Someone should tell them that there are safeguards against spammers nowadays.
Yes, I have heard of the "subversion through fashion" thing too. In Germany, people didn't have to worry too much about handing over all their clothes & wearing rags (like they did in the Soviet Union), but I think you might have been paid a visit if you flaunted the fact that you had a bunch of expensive clothes, and you weren't an important person! The zoot-suiters did their thing in protest of the war... probably the only example of that sort of thing in the US, as protesting the war (after Pearl Harbor) was not at all popular.
One person to ask also is Joeri (http://www.joeri.net/)... she's on this forum, somewhere! I was hoping she'd butt in the civilian discussions, especially on the clothing. She'd know all about what happened in Holland, and I'm sure it was very similar to what the Germans experienced (sans the fact that they were occupied). She has done extensive research into the civilian end of things there. The girl literally lives in the 1930's/40's.... everything in her apartment is period, except her hidden computer! I'm very jealous ;D
Here I am!
There is very little difference in fashion between the US and western Europe... at first sight.
99% of the people wont notice any difference.
And most differences are very tiny, in general American clothing is already leaning towards the 1950s by the end of the 1930s.
In Europe fashion sort of stood still since 1938 while in the US it went onwards.
So you can ignore 1940s fashion photos and pictures from the US.
In general clothing was easily available in most western european countries till 1944.
Of course some materials (such as nylon and rubber) were not available.
Because some materials were hard to get it became difficult to get new shoes with nice rubber soles, etc.
And because of rationing (and the general attitude of people back then about wasting money) most clothing would be used, reused and used again after being repaired, rebuild, and repaired again.
This is also why more and more women were wearing trousers in public, why skirts became shorter and why women started wearing socks in stead of stockings.
Knitting became very populair.
This site is a Must See; www.swingstyle.de
Thank you Joeri....
I suspected that there wasn't too much progress in fashion until after the war & reconstruction.
Love that Swingstyle site! Ahhh... people today don't wear enough hats or drink manhattans often enough 8)
On a side note: right after the end of the war here in the US, you can see almost 50's style casual shirts & jackets becoming popular, and a lot more colors. Those 2-tone "bowling" style shirts, for example. I've been collecting a few of those for everyday wear, but need to get something more 1930's too, especially for reenacting.