Fashion History 1914 -1955

1914 -1955
C20th Fashion History

By Pauline Weston Thomas for Fashion-Era.com

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Large section on the History of C20th Fashion and Costume in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. 

From Flapper Fashion to 20s and 30s Movie and Royal Fashion Icons, to wartime Utility Clothing and Dior's New Look to 1950's Glamour and Denim Jeans.  Photos and image links.  Social History 1914-1955.

New 1920's Section New 1930s Section & New 1940's Section and Large 1950s Section

 Click on the headings above to go to sections or  go directly to full pages when you scroll down below.

1914-1920 Towards Dress Reform

Dramatic changes in dress styles for women including underwear changes and the first bra.  New styles hastened by women's role in the First World War.

Flapper Fashion 1920s

Flapper fashions and the short skirt misconception of the 1920s. The near nude look 'garconne' masculine silhouette.

Hair styles, accessories, hats, make up, shoes and Chanel.

1920s and 1930s Hollywood and Royal Fashion Icons  

Pictures of fashion icons Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable, Louise Brooks, Greta Garbo, Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of York and George VI. 

 1920s Wedding Photos

A selection of old photographs of women and men of the era at weddings in 1923, 1924, and 1930.

1920s Flapper Photos

A selection of photographs of women in typical 20's fashions. It includes 2 flappers c1929 and girls in mid twenties wrap coats and 1926 hats.

 1925 McCall's Patterns

Images from McCall's Pattern Books - Part 1, August 1925.

Click on the headings to go to full pages.

Life Between the Wars 1920-1940

The mood of Britain after the end of World War II in 1918. Interwar problems and the transition of two economies.

 The rise of consumerism and innovative more unisex fashions for women.

1920's Fashion Pictures

A selection of afternoon dresses for the races and strolling and worn in the early twenties.

A picture of women parading in underwear in the twenties.

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1925 McCall's Patterns

Images from McCall's Pattern Books - Part 2, August 1925

Stylish Thirties

A return to a more feminine form and glamorous evening wear influenced by Madeline Vionnet's cross cut dresses. Schiaparelli's witty styles.

Wallis Simpson's classic simple chic. Beach fashions and health and beauty. Invention of nylon.

 

  1930 Good Housekeeping Fashion Trousseau 1

A look at some fashion article images which discuss new colours and details in a trousseau for Spring 1930.  Costume and Fashion History through magazine images.

 1930 Good Housekeeping Fashion Images 2

 Costume and Fashion History through magazine images.

  1930 Good Housekeeping Fashion Images 3

October 1930 Good Housekeeping Fashion Images 4

  1930's Old Photographs

Fashions in old wedding photographs and in daywear photographs of the 1930s.

Weddings of 1931, 1935 and 1937. Photos of 30's day dress.

 

Utility Clothing and Rationing1940s

Fashion History of rationing of goods and foods with coupons under the Civilian Clothing Order CC41. The Incorporated Society Of London Fashion Designers.  Costume History 'Make do and mend' in the 1940s followed by the New Look of 1947.

 

1940's Wartime Wedding Pictures

A selection of UK wedding photographs from 1939 - 1948. Photographs from 1939, 1942, 1947 and 1948 of British wartime brides and grooms with their families. 4 white weddings and 2 less formal weddings of the 1940s.

 

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 1946 Pictures of Tailleur Luxe Fashion Design Plates 1

1946 French Trade Fashion Plates from the 1940s. Pictures showing suits, costumes, dresses jackets and coats all accessorized with bags and hats of the mid 1940's era.

Plates 1   C1948 -1951

Pattern Cutting Design Pictures. Fashion Design Sketches with their drafts c1948.  Styles follow late 1940s fashions.  All thumbnails enlarge to become full A4 pictures.

 

 1948 Sewing Pattern Cutting Fashion Plates 2   C1948 -1951

Pattern Cutting Design Pictures. Fashion Design Sketches with their drafts c1948.  Styles follow late 1940s fashions.  All thumbnails enlarge to become full A4 pictures.

Tailleur Fashion Plates 1949 - Pictures   

1949 German Trade fashion plates from the late 1940s. A selection of images showing suits, jackets and coats all accessorized with bags and hats of the late 1940's era.  Shows the new silhouette line called the New Look.  New 19 June 05 

 Tailleur Fashion Plates 1949 - Part 2  

Added 20 June 05

1949 German Trade fashion plates from the late 1940s. A selection of images from the inside cover editorial pages. Shows the new silhouette line called the New Look.

 

Fifties Glamour

The British fashion scene in the mid C20th. Dior's New Look. Norman Hartnell designer of the Queen's clothes.   New fabrics, new hairstyles, new shoes and accessories, new teenagers and new pop idols. Typical 50's Whitsunday picture of child and teenager in Sunday best clothes.

1950s Accessories

The theme of glamour continued through a brief look at 1950's fashion accessories such as the importance of hats and berets, the brooch corsage, gloves and bags, flat and stiletto shoes, a spiked umbrella and make up.

 1950s Fashion Patterns

A look at some typical 1950s dressmaking sewing pattern covers of old patterns and from the vintage seller Patterns of the Past.

1955 Coats & Costume Suits Pictures

20 Coloured high fashion plates of coats and costumes for women from 1955.

 Teenagers & Teddy Boys in the 1950s

Teenagers & Teddy Boys in the 1950s. How teddy boys and teenagers originated in 1950's Britain.

 1950s Corselettes and Girdle Adverts

Images of streamlined corselette adverts from 1953. Other bra adverts with a suspender belt. 

1950s Stockings Adverts

Explanatory informative adverts on nylon gauge and denier, seamed and seamless stockings. A look at some 1953 petticoat advertisements.

 1950s Swimsuit Adverts

A brief look at one piece swimsuits and playsuits of the 1950s. Bathing caps. 

Fifties Photographs

Photographs of real people in ordinary clothes of the era.

1951 Festival of Britain Carnival and Street Party Picture and others.

 Social History Changes Now and Then

You've never had it so good.  A look at the way we lived in UK in 1950s Britain.  Consumer changes and comparisons today that moved the nation forward.

1950-1960 Timeline

1950-1960 Timeline of events minor to major in the years 1950 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960.

  Denim Jeans

A look at the development and history of terms linked with jeans. Serge de Nimes, Genoese, Levi Strauss, Denims to Levis.   Marlon Brando's influence on 1950's sales. 1970's flower power. Levi 501s. Lycra in jeans.

1923 - 1955 Photo Mix

A selection of mixed photographs showing the everyday fashions of ordinary adults and children.

Please scroll down

Beach photos

Ordinary people in everyday dress at the beach in UK from 1933 -1970.

 

Royal Clothes
are in their own section.

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Swimwear in the 20th Century 1920-2000

A general look at the C20th development of swimming costumes.  From the 1920s, to the corset like bathing costumes of the 1940s and 50s to Bikinis of the 1970s.

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Fashion-Era.com looks at women's costume and fashion history and analyses the mood of an era.  Changes in technology, leisure, work, cultural and moral values. Homelife and politics also contribute to lifestyle trends, which in turn influence the clothes we wear.  These are the changes that make any era of society special in relation to the study of the costume of a period.Fashion History

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