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The styles of: The 1940's

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There is a massive revival of the 1940's at the moment, and we are loving it! There's so much class in the styles from the era, despite rationing – if anything this only made people more inventive with designs!

The Hair


The first thing you notice about the revival of the 1940's era at the moment is the hair! In the 40's, practicality was the foremost thing in mind for hairstyles, and so almost every style pins the hair off your face. 

Victory rolls, betty bangs, pageboy, pompadours, poodles and braids. Hats, snoods, headscarves and accessories: flowers and feathers – there is such a great range of styles to choose from!

The fabulous Amy of Dolly's Beauty Parlour has kindly shared this photo of one of her (many) magnificent 40's inspired do's!



As with the women, men's hair was influenced strongly by the war. The buzz cut, the crew cut and the flat top were all favourite styles for military personnel. The pompadour also began to reappear, with a side parting sleek and smooth look being favoured.

Moustaches were popularised by movie stars such as Clark Gable, but facial hair was rarely extravagant.

There was also, of course, a need for both male and female hair to be suitable for a gas mask to go over!

The Clothes

Women started wearing “utility suits” which could be mixed and matched to create a range of different outfits.

Clothes rationing was announced on 1 June 1941, and lasted until March 1949. With rationing in place, the make-do and mend attitude paved the way for a fantastic eclectic mix of styles that seemed to come together perfectly. Polka dot is now seen as an iconic 40's style, as are floral tea dresses. 

Here's a photo of Becki (me!) our very own sales manager - who wears 1940's inspired styles every day -  and is also a 1940's singer! This photo was taken by the very talented Hana Laurie. We also love the clothes from the fabulous Rock n Romance, which are all inspired by the 40's and 50's eras.


Men's fashion was also restricted in the 1940's, meaning that a lot of them wore suits from the 1930's – and it was considered a show of support for the war if you were seen in an “old” suit. Muted colours were generally favoured, and military type clothes were often bought and modified by civilians, as it was the main style of clothing being manufactured during the war.

Belts became more popular as the years went on, and collared dress shirts also became a regular item in a man's wardrobe. Pocket squares were also a must-have for suits! Ties were loved for all occasions too.


The radio gained popularity very quickly across the 1940's - there were nearly 10 million radio licences in Britain by 1945! (Check out our fabulous friends over at Angel Radio for nostalgia radio!) The cinema was also a go-to for entertainment, with sweethearts going out on dates to see the latest flick.

The most popular type of entertainment from the 40's which is being seen in the revival we are currently seeing is dances. Tea dances or evening dances with live music, lifted spirits and gave people a reason to go out and socialise with each other.

Check out the video on the left that we took last year - a 1940's original song (Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, originally by The Andrew Sisters, released in 1941), performed by Becki, "into" our vintage style microphone cufflinks!

Our Products

We are proud to have a massive range of products to suit any lover of the 1940's! There's some links scattered throughout this post, and a few more below. 


Our Fourties Friends and Events

As someone in the 1940's scene, I couldn't finish this blog post without sharing some links to some of my fabulous friends! There's a few mentioned in the main blog post above, and here's a few others below. Please do take a moment to check them out - give their Facebook pages a like, and share the love!

The Mad Hatters Charity Tea Party - a regular event in aid of various charities. They also hire out vintage crockery and props for events and weddings - with a percentage of the hire going to the charity! Find their Facebook here.

Jive 'n' Boogie - dance classes and social dances in Hampshire and West Sussex. Find them on Facebook here.

367 Provost Company - a re-enactment/living history group based in Hampshire. Check out their Facebook here.

War on the Line is an annual event run by The Watercress Line. See them on Facebook here.

Jay's Vintage Fair - a new venture from a friend of ours based in Liphook!

That's all for now - if you've enjoyed this blog post, let us know - and if you know of a small business who specialise in something 1940's, let us know so we can link to them here!


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