The hardships which were caused by a world at war dictated the fashions of the 1940s. Once again Hollwood had a major influence of the style of everyday women who were encoraged to look good despite rationing and shortages to keep up morale.
The 1940s was a time when no one gave much thought to sunscreen and you could happily chain-smoke cigarettes and drink cocktails while you tanned, without so much as a thought to the health consequences. In 1948 the Senator Hotel in Atlantic City installed sunlamps in the ceilings so its patrons could tan, even when(…)
Before the structure and corsetry of the 1950s was the softer silhouette of the 1940s. These photos are from a fashion feature on summer underwear from 1949, aren’t they beautiful?
Photos taken at the McConnell Air Hostess School which trained air hostesses for TWA in the 1940s. The training included learning the correct way to serve drinks, dealing with inebriated passengers and even learning how to change nappies (did Air Hostesses used to do that?). Even more surprisingly they are also pictured having chewing gum(…)
Curious photos from a Beautiful Legs Contest from 1949. The pictures raise lots of questions in my mind – aside from why you’d want to enter a ‘beautiful legs contest’ in the first place.
Marilyn Monroe photographed in February 1947 when she was still a young starlet. At this time she was still called Norma Jeane, and hadn’t yet undergone her Hollywood makeover. In 1950 she had rhinoplasty (a nose-job) and a chin implant on the advice of her agent who paid for the surgery. She only changed her(…)
This photos were taken at a professional photo shoot for a young starlet some time during the 1940s. It’s really interesting to see the different stages, especially the amount of contouring they used on her face. Presumably the make up was done specifically for taking photographs as it seems a little heavy for real life.(…)
Nose art on airplanes first became popular during WW1 when German airmen (or rather their ground-crews) started painting a mouth and teeth onto nose cones, rather like Moby Dick below. In fact a shark-face design is still painted on nose-cones of military aircraft today. During World War II the military didn’t allow nose-art, but was(…)
When Gene Tierney married costume designer Oleg Cassini in 1941 she was planning to wear this amazing lace dress, designed especially for her by her husband-to-be. Ultimately though they didn’t have time to get the dress made, as eloped to Las Vegas to get married to escape the disapproval of her family, who opposed her(…)
More and more smokers are becoming social pariahs. They have to stand on the street in the rain outside restaurants, bars, pubs and even their own cars (if their kids are inside). And while I don’t mind this, being a non-smoker, it does strike me as strange that in years gone by smoking was seen(…)
What better way to start off the new year by seeing how they celebrated in years gone by! These are some of my favourite vintage new year pin ups from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. I love the Myrna Loy one – I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles to stay up till(…)
I’ve often wondered how enormous monuments such as Mount Rushmore are created. Having said that, even having seen these photos I’m not sure how teams of people suspended in wooden crates chiselled perfect faces out of a mountainside, especially back in the 1920s. Building work took place from 1927 until 1941 with some 400 workers(…)
If you think you need a steady hand to apply eyeliner, then try drawing straight seams up the backs of your legs! During WW2 when stockings were in short supply women were encouraged to use liquid stockings instead, and to draw the seams using eyeliner (or to get a friend to do it for you!).(…)
You thought zumba and ashtanga yoga were torture enough in the pursuit of youth and fitness? Be grateful you didn’t live in the 1940s when young women were encouraged to visit slenderizing salons in the pursuit of perfection. These photos show poor Pat Ogden being pummeled by a Wooden Barrel Massager and a Roaler Massager(…)
These publicity photos of young 1940s Hollywood starlets seem slightly odd to me. Sure, they all look beautiful and happy and like screen stars of the future, but there’s something reminiscent of the Playboy mansion about the photos! The pictures were taken at the home of publisher and media magnate William Randolph Hearst Sr (who(…)
Katharine Hepburn had a good start in Hollywood, moving from the stage to the big screen and getting rave reviews. However during the mid to late 1930s she had a series of flops which lost the studios a lot of money and led to her being dubbed as ‘box office poison’, which was effectively a(…)
As promised when I published my favourite women’s outfits from this year’s Goodwood Revival, here are my pick of the most dapper gents. Their outfits are all 1940s, 50s or 60s themed and I think you’ll agree that they all look splendid! As always there were so many military uniforms, that I decided not to(…)
Sadly I couldn’t make it to Goodwood Revival this year. It’s the first year we’ve missed it, but happily Matt Hind from Men’s File was there taking his amazing photos so I didn’t have to miss out entirely! Here are some of my favourite looks from the Goodwood Revival 2015. The fashions range from 1940s(…)