The 1940’s was a period of war and it affected everything about this decade. Wartime fashion was considered a challenge since there were shortages of materials. Sports were just making a comeback until World War II started. Various musical styles and artists flourished in this decade. As a result of the 1940’s being controlled by World War II, there were many daring fashions, sports issues and memorable music.
On December 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the American naval fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On December 10, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S forcing the United States into World War II. When the United States entered the war, war production had to grow dramatically in a small amount of time. During the war, Americans sacrificed in many ways. Working extremely long hours and dealing with restrictive government policies took a drastic tool on Americans. The conservation of food such and meats and sugars, altered several people’s diets. With men off to fight a, women were called to take their place on the production line.
Even though America was going through the war, fashion did not stop. Women and teens began to dress in blue jeans for informal wear rather than for working. These women wanted to wear the jeans everywhere, however, restaurants refused to serve them and schools did not tolerate it. Meanwhile in men’s fashion, the “Zoot Suit” was the pinnacle of fashion among youthful men. This suit was usually worn at nightclubs and was made up of of an oversized jacket and baggy pants. The War Production Department (WPD) limited the amount of material being used in men’s attire. Since the WPD restricted materials to be used, bikinis were invented. The daring style was considered unthinkable because it exposed a woman’s naval. Even though it was unthinkable, it became popular in the United States in 1946.
“The 1940’s: Fashion: People in the News.” American Decades. Judith S. Baughman, et...