Today marks the one year anniversary of Lisa and Ben! Congratulations you two! This stylish couple incorporated a great sense of vintage 1940s fashions in their wedding.
Interestingly, the designs worn in the 1940s were primarily influenced by conservation rationing of materials and resources by the government during WWII. Fashions designers in America, as well as the major European style capitals in Paris and Italy, were affected by the limited materials they were allotted during the war. Also, the fragile economy during the 1940s affected the purchasing power of pocketbooks. In many ways, brides today might feel similar challenges in light of our current economic climate.
Women of the 1940s had to embrace the mindset of "make do and mend." Where the 1920s and 1930s fashions featured silk stockings and a wide variety of more luxurious fabrics, the sacrifices of WWII ushered in a time of more simple designs with often clever solutions for fashion dilemmas. Stockings came to be in short supply so women drew lines on the back of their legs to give the illusion of wearing stockings. Less material was available to make dresses and skirts, so consequently hemlines became shorter.
Hollywood 1940s fashion icons and Veronica Lake and Lauren Bacall.
Designers in the 1940s might have edited their fashions a bit more than they would have liked. It wasn't until 1947 that Christian Dior "outraged" critics by using "excessive" fabric for his dresses when materials were still being rationed. Dior put Paris back on the map with his "shocking" styles, but even before this designers certainly did not let the difficult limitations of the 1940s keep them from creating many wonderful classic looks that still greatly influence current trends.
If the recent 2012 spring wedding fashions shows are any indication, the short wedding dress trend is only gaining in popularity right now. One of our favorite vintage-inspired collections this spring is by designer Matthew Christopher. His dresses are currently found in the Chicago area at Wolsfelt's Bridal in Aurora and Volle's Bridal in Lake Zurich.
Here are more fashions inspired by 1940s styles:
And let's not forget about the guys who also have the war rations of the 1940s to thank for making it okay to wear a suit without a vest. Generally, men's suits were more loose fitting in the 40s (with the extreme being the zoot suit), which makes this look a bit more hard to find among today's more tightly tailored suits. However, we thought these styles would work great for vintage-minded grooms who want to look like Humphrey Bogart walking down the aisle.
Finally, for the guests, a couple of ensembles with 1940s flair.
And, for the first dance, consider these wonderful classics from the 1940s:
1. "Only Forever" (1940) - Bing Crosby
2. "Skylark" (1941) - Helen Forrest and Harry James Orchestra
3. "Night and Day" (1942) - Frank Sinatra
4. "I Love You For Sentimental Reasons" (1946) - Nat King Cole
5. "La Vie en Rose" (1946) - Edith Piaf