As a result, the ladies had to forgo wearing silk stockings, and make do with bobby socks, stitching seams in the skirts or by just shaving off hair from their legs. Similarly, the gentlemen also sacrificed their elaborate double-breasted suits and adopted single breasted suits with single pleated pants. Wool, silk, leather, nylon, etc. were utilized for making uniforms, shoelaces, parachutes and other items needed in the war. As the times was tough, the men and women rose to the occasion and did not give up on war or fashion.
With stockings being sparse, 1940s' fashion saw women ingeniously drawing a line at the back of their legs, to give the impression that stockings were worn. Less material was used to make skirts and jackets, and hence they became shorter.
A decade before, what was considered as outrageously shocking like women wearing pants, became a commonplace event. However, the pants preferred by women were loose overalls or pants with boots.
Heels was still adorned by the ladies with the improvisation of slight platforms. Swing skirts were much in demand in those times, with the floral prints dominating the designs during the early 1940s and geometrical patterns becoming a popular style statement of late 1940s' fashion.
When Paris and Milano were cut off from the rest of the world during the battles, United States fashion designers had to rely on their wits, instead of getting 'inspired' by their French and Italian counterparts, to create something out of the blue. They conjured up the sportswear which was ready to wear and practical for the women to don.
War had a similar ripple effect on fashion for men. The vest disappeared, and bright-colored wide ties came into vogue. The zoot suit was another trend which was mainly worn by the Afro-American and Mexican American young men in United States.
The zoot suits were wide legged and high waist pants with long coats. Wearing such an attire gave the men in the times of war much-needed confidence. But because of rationing and government restriction, such kind of garment was considered as outright rebellious and even unpatriotic.
Girls used bright red lipsticks to draw attention to their face. Mascara became a must-have item in the ladies' purses. But interestingly, the eyeliner was just applied on the upper lid of the eye.
As the war ceased, the austerity of the fashion world also came to an end. Femininity in the clothing style came back in to the picture and people rejoiced the victory by extravagantly dressing up and indulging themselves. Thus, the late 1940s' fashion trends was a huge contrast to the clothing worn during early 1940s.