Women's clothes of the 1940s were typically modeled after the utility clothes produced during war rationing. Squared shoulders, narrow hips, and skirts that ended just below the knee were the height of fashion. Tailored suits were also quite popular.
Utility clothes typically featured squared shoulders, narrow hips, and skirts that ended just below the knee. Tailored suits were the dominant form of utility fashion.
Most of the women's fashions during the 1940s were designed with the same squared shoulders, small waist, and skirt above the knee. Do-it-yourself home fashions were encouraged, and women were educated on how to conserve material or update older dresses to the latest fashions. Again, these fashions reflected the style of the utility clothes.
Blouses were worn frequently with skirts. Blouses typically had padded shoulders.
Pants (or slacks) first gained popularity for women during the 1940s.
By 1947, after WWII was over, the "New Look" began to replace the wartime utility fashions. This new style embraced femininity, with rounded shoulders, shapely bust lines, closely-defined waistlines, slightly padded skirts, and full, billowing skirts that hung just below the calves.
The dresses in the images also reflect the changing fashions of the end of the decade. Especially notable are the rounded shoulders.
Teenage girls began to sport sweaters, knee-length skirts, and bobby socks during the 1940s. The style held over into the 1950s, but the 1940s skirts were not as full.