WWLP Wear: Fashion for College Co-eds during WWII

Leotards were all the rage throughout college campuses in 1943. That’s not so different than today’s longstanding craze for leggings and lounge wear, although we certainly style it a little differently now!

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Acrobats’ tights make news in this year’s college fashions” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

‘Mademoiselle’ suggests short leotards, ‘smooth as a second skin…wear with, long or short skirts” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

‘Vogue’ cover features this “polydxtrous gray flannel suit” modeled bu Anne Norring, ‘typical campus-citizen-of-the-world.’ Pretty Anne has never been to college.” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Chinese influence is sponsored by Mademoiselle. This outfit, called Nightshift (but obviously not for sleeping), has a coolie coat of striped cotton and velveteen slacks.” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

‘We’re mad for the plaid’ writes Mademoiselle in college jargon of this outfit. ‘It’s so snazzy for this fringed-in-front skirt, cut slim (…ixnay on fullness) and short.'” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Turtle-neck sweaters of wool are a Harper’s Bazaar suggestion for girls who want to wear cotton pinafores to college. Sweaters may be worn under pinafore or jumper.” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Waves havelock is, according to Harper’s Bazaar, “something.” College issue rated many “somethings,” ended with “Anything is never as good as SOMETHING.” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

“Felt hat, like little boy’s cap, was ‘dreamed up for you by Betsy Tyree of Virginia Intermont College,’ according to Mademoiselle. Here cap is worn by Barbara Luff.” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

“Skullcap of green felt has red wool border and tassel. Fashion magazines show caps, bumpers, berets and beanies with college clothes, ignore the popular head kerchief.” Image via Life Magazine Sept 13, 1943

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WWLP Wear: Synthetic Materials for the Budget-Conscious Shopper in 1955

Man-made fibers key new fashions

The miracles achieved with synthetics have placed attractive fashions within the reach of the most budget-conscious shopper

As most families strove to achieve the American ideal in the mid-50s, new developments in fabrics allowed women the luxury of beautiful garments at a cheaper price tag.

1955 fashion 1

Pretty to wear to your P.T.A. meeting or to a luncheon is this coat-style dress of Vicara and wool jersey. The V neckline has a draped collar, held with tabs and rhinestone buttons. Colors are purple, periwinkle, navy. In sized 14-44; 14 1/2-24 1/2. About $25. By L’Aiglon. Hat by Beatrice-Martin.

1955 fashion 2

This tailored dress of spun rayon shows an attractive use of richly colored stripes. The cardigan neckline is softened with a rayon scarf in solid color. Dolman sleeves are in three-quarter length. Colors are oxford gray with wine-and-gold or green-and-gold stripes. In 12-42. Under $30. Town Tailored. Betmar hat.

Materials like rayon, jersey, and acrilan were promoted as not only a cheaper alternative to traditional materials like wool or silk, but a more convenient alternative too. These new fabrics were wrinkle resistant, kept their shapes more easily, and did not need to be laundered as frequently as traditional materials.

1955 fashion 3

(Above) Acrilan makes the versatile blouse-type cardigan with its shaped rib-knit collar and thuree-quarter sleeves. In blue, red, green, ginger. Sizes 34-40. Under $7. By Old Colony, (Right) This slipover and matching cardigan of Orlon are pretty enough for most dress-up occasions. Pleated ribbon forms a yoke that glitters with rhinestones and beads. Sizes 34-40 in assorted colors. Slipover, under $9; cardigan, under $13. By Blairmoor. The velveteen skirt, sizes 8-16. Under $15. A La Bonne design.

1955 fashion 5

You can build an entire wardrobe around synthetics. Chemistry endows these fabrics with plus advantages, such as pleat retention. (Left) Alice Stuart fashions this blouse of Burlington’s Dacron-and-nylon Dacrylon. The neatly tucked front and high neckline provide excellent foils for your jewelry. Choose from many lovely colors. In sizes 32-38. Under $6. (Right) This practical suit can double as a dress. Exceptionally light in weight, it can be worn indoors or out. The jacket is fitted and unlined; the skirt has lasting pleats. Colors are wine, navy, brown, green in a rayon-and-Dynel fabric. Sizes are 12-20; 14 1/2-24 1/2. Under $11. A Gloria Swanson design by Forever Young. The Hat is by Beatrice-Martin; bag by Companion; print scarf by Vera

1955 fashion 4

Many fabrics of man-made fibers or blends resist wrinkling, retain a fresh appearance, and, most important, reduce laundry labor. (Left) Lightweight suit to wear now, and later under a top-coat. A bias hip band trims the jacket. The novelty fabric is of Chromspun acetate in brown, gray, or navy. Sizes 10-18. Under $18. By Surrey Classics. Scarf by Vera. Hat by Beatrice-Martin. Bag by Companion. (Far left) This easy-to-care-for blouse of Dacron and nylon needs no ironing. An ideal blouse for all round wear, for the styling is tailored, yet the fabric looks dressy. A wide selection of fashion colors is available in sizes 32-38. Under $7. Alice Stuart

So, not only could they save a buck while increasing the quantity of items they had, they could also cut down on the amount of chores that were sure to accompany a larger wardrobe. Hello consumerism!


Family Circle Magazine October 1955

WWLP Wear: Summer Styles 1962

Summer forecasts for fashion in the spring of ’62 called for bold prints and elegant silhouettes. Each design showcased emphasized a nipped waist with a full or an A-line skirt, usually tied with a sash, bow, or belt. Colors were bright and attention grabbing, and accessories included short white gloves with a strand of pearls on the neckline or thick bangle bracelets.

The Soft look is the rule for the new season. Prints are gay–their patterns bold, their colors delectable. Shapes vary from slim to flared, but all of them are on relaxed lines that are flatteringly feminine and help make every woman look her best.

From: “New in the Summer Fashion Spotlight” by Katherine Day (Everywoman’s Family Circle Fashion Editor) May 1962

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