Tag Archives: World War Two

The Nine Lives of Lee Miller

American-British photographer Lee Miller (1907-1977) had quite a resume.  Here is a short list of her occupations: fashion model, artist’s model, fashion photographer, art photographer, photo journalist, chef, and food writer. She was muse to and collaborator with the artist … Continue reading

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Finding Clothes that Fit, World War Two Era

When I look at old photos, I often find evidence of poor fit in the clothes that older women wear. That’s because women’s bodies naturally change shape in the aging process, broadening backs and rounding bellies, etc. These changes are … Continue reading

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Mother and Daughters, 1942

When I was looking through California design magazines from the World War Two era in Irene Saltern’s archive, I was amazed by all the advertisements for pants for women.  My assumption was that pants were mainly worn for work and … Continue reading

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Mothers of Invention, World War Two

In Jonathan Walford’s outstanding book Forties Fashion: From Siren Suits to the New Look, he documents how the Second World War affected clothing. In all combatant countries, supplies that might have gone to the clothing industry went to the military. … Continue reading

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Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom from Want,” 1943

This image by American painter Norman Rockwell appeared in the Saturday Evening Post on March 6, 1943.  It was part of series inspired by President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1941 inaugural address, where he advocated a world based on what he called … Continue reading

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Smart Accessories for Wartime

During the Second World War, most combatant countries had rationing programs that included clothes and textiles. A bibliophilic friend from England sent me this wonderful little pamphlet, Smart Accessories to Make from Bits and Pieces, for Christmas. Filled with reprinted … Continue reading

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Tahoe Vista Garage, World War Two

Sometimes I think that I am the only female in America, from infant to ancient, who doesn’t wear jeans.  (I dislike their thick seams.) But when did jeans become such a fashion staple that even older women counted them as … Continue reading

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Sewing for World War Two

When I think of women going into industry during the Second World War, Rosie the Riveter comes to mind.  However, there were also many war related jobs that involved sewing skills.  Entire factories, like the Cincinnati plant that made Fashion … Continue reading

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An Attempt at a Fashion Classic: Coveralls

I’ve been reading a popular advice book from the late 1950s, the fashion designer Anne Fogarty’s Wife Dressing, which has recently been republished.  It is a strange book on many levels.  On the one hand, Fogarty purports to share her … Continue reading

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They Also Serve Who Sew, 1943

This patriotic wartime advertisement for the textile manufacturer Kendall Mills underscores the importance of women’s work on the home front during World War Two.  The opening paragraph reads: “Women’s nimble fingers are converting mountains of Kendall fabrics into vital finished … Continue reading

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