When Mary Quant started her fashion revolution in the sixties, she claimed that her goal was to make clothes so that young women could dress differently than their mothers. The sixties might be an extreme example of generational difference in dress, but in fact the phenomenon was not new at all.
We can see the rift in this summer photo from the mid-1940s. Even if the faces of these two women had been obscured, I think we could accurately guess which one was older. The young woman wears separates. Her skirt is shorter. She has bare legs, short socks, and loafers. The whole effect is on comfortable informality. (And note wonderful chevron effect made by the stripes on her skirt.)
Her older companion (probably her mother) looks much more carefully put together. She wears a dress, not separates, and her skirt reaches a few inches lower. Her shoes look sensible, although not dowdy, and most likely she was wearing stockings with them. Both shoes and handbag match her outfit. Although it appears to be a cellphone in her upper pocket, I’m guessing that is an eyeglass case.
They look happy, don’t they? I wonder if it was the beginning or send of summer.