Thursday, 10 March 2011


There's a nip in the air here, now we've moved into March and the first days of Autumn. I thought it might be nice to have a look at some clothing for warmer weather, so I am presenting to you Fall Fashions from Life magazine 1947.

The afternoon dress with satin-dotted bodice (on the model sitting down) is my favourite, although I'm pretty sure that lovely bronze colour would look awful on me. It was by Jo Copeland, and cost $165 ($1580 in today's money)

This wool cape by Pauline Trigère uses 6.5 yards of fabric. Doesn't it look marvelously warm and elegant?

1947 was the year that Dior brought out his now-famous New Look, with the nipped-in waist, rounded shoulders and full skirts. However, this was not the only look that was fashionable that year, and Life titled their article "The Newest Styles Give Every Woman's Figure a Chance". The two main looks were The Pinched-Waist Look and The Wrap-Around Look, the latter "especially becoming to a stout figure".

Love the shoes on the far right!
Among some women the New Look was quite unpopular, and protests were even staged, such as the one illustrated above, in Dallas, Texas. It's difficult now to imagine how universal fashions were in those days. If skirts became fuller and longer, you just had to go along with the trend, even if it didn't suit you. To do otherwise would have looked terribly outmoded.
Even hem lengths had fashions. Here are some photos from Fifth Avenue, showing the new longer-length skirts which had just come into fashion. The new fashions were particularly popular among young women.

However, such a drastic change in silhouettes meant that in order to remain fashionable, many women would have to buy a whole new wardrobe, or at least alter their older clothes. Life predicted that "it may take two years of wearing out present wardrobes before the new look becomes familiar on America's many Main Streets".


  1. Great post! Really looking forward to winter now! M x

  2. Ah, great post. i remember researching New Look for my novel (my wicked Matron Pluckrose covets it). As i recall it was a look designed for a post war world, a way of ditching the old utility clothing and 'make-do' outfits of wartime. A fresh new hopeful approach. Gorgeous! Thanks Piroska!jxx