On Life

The Swing Era & Today’s Fashion

1940s style and its influence today. Photo credit: frangantica.com
1940s original style and its influence today. Photo credit: fragantica.com
1940s style inspires today's fashion.
1940s style inspires today’s fashion.

Many people are fascinated with the mid 1930s up until the late 1940s called “the swing era.” That tumultuous period of time—with World War I behind us and World War II looming and then beginning—marks a time of worry, uncertainty, and confusion. However, the fashion of the era continues to be emulated, even as we look to today’s trends. The 1940s is my favorite period of time where fashion is concerned (and I happen to also love the swing era of music and that Big Band Sound). I adore the look of hats, gloves, and fitted clothing that boast confidence and class.

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The lines of the 1940s represented in today’s fashion on the catwalk.

Streamlined cuts of clothing, longer length skirts, and perfect silhouettes were the mark of women’s fashion in the 1940s. Men’s suits were tailored and fitted. Clothing was muted, and women often punched up drab colors with bright red lipstick, pausing to curl their hair. When the war ended, Christian Dior altered the existing trend a bit by nipping in the waist of skirts and adding yards of fabric to make skirts fuller. Dior allowed the clothes to show off a woman’s body—curves and all.

1940s fashion.
1940s fashion.

In today’s business fashion, you can still look to the 1940s to garner ideas about how to wear clothing, particularly clothes that are suitable for an office setting. Even though some companies are becoming more lenient about women’s fashion in the workplace, there is nothing more polished than a woman in a smart outfit that suits her body or a man in a well-designed and fitted suit.

What era of fashion is your favorite? What cues do you take away from that era of fashion?

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