Feedsack fabric was still widely used, and re-fashioning old garments to suit the new silhouettes and styles was very common.The phrase “Made Do and Mend” came about due to this.Due to these restrictions, rayon was the number one choice in fabric for women’s fashion during the forties, as it was readily available and inexpensive to produce.

You will find that the skirts from this point in time tend to be quite narrow, A-line in shape, and the hemlines hit at or just below the knee.

This was intended to conserve fabric that could be used elsewhere for the war effort.

For the second instalment of our dating vintage clothing series, we will discuss the 1940s.

The fashion trends of this era were distinctly divided into two categories: Wartime and Post-Wartime.

(It is important to note that it took much longer for rationing to be lifted in most parts of Europe.) One event in particular changed everything for post-war women’s fashion: Christian Dior’s “New Look”.

This was based on a collection released in 1947, featuring a long, full circle skirt and nipped in waist – the very opposite of fabric conservation!

Designers favoured more muted colour palates and simplicity over bright and bold prints.

Due to rationing, the use of silk became highly uncommon (silk was conserved to make parachutes for the airforce.) Cotton was also rationed, though not quite as heavily.

Everyone was encouraged to restyle, refashion, and repair the items they already possessed.