A vintage skirt suit from the 1940s or 1950s is one of the key pieces in the wardrobe of any vintage aficionado and is a perfect acquisition choice for those just starting their adventure in building that dream vintage wardrobe.
1940s fashion was all about the hourglass silhouette; broad shoulders, small waist and full hips, creating a very feminine and sexy, without being vulgar, look. The two-piece suit known as a Victory or Utility suit was born of this tumultuous decade, a now-forgotten casualty of war when raw materials were scarce and clothing factories were turned over to military purposes. It was incredibly popular; a simple design that utilised available fabrics and so was limited to cotton, wool, linen and some synthetics. You can read more about the clothing restrictions here.
The very flattering A-line skirt suit of this era, allowed women to mix and match skirts, jackets and blouses the way they wanted to; I often mix original vintage skirts with tops and blouses from modern designers, always favouring Wheels & Dollbaby along with Vivienne Westwood. This is precisely the reason why the skirt suit is my top-most contender when searching for vintage clothes.
An even more feminine look, was brought to the world in 1947 by Christian Dior, who started the trend of using luxurious fabrics, in the vast amounts needed to make a full skirt hang just below the calves, mixing it with fitted jackets, thus making the waist appear to be extremely thin and, albeit with the help of a girdle, in all creating what is known as ‘The New Look’. It’s not the full skirt that I want to focus on here but rather the pencil skirt, which I’m incredibly fond of because it’s very comfortable, can be worn to every occasion, is easily dressed up or down with the help of right accessories and again is incredibly sensual, yet elegant. My favourite brand of the 1940s and 1950s that created the most mind-blowing skirt suits is Lilli Ann which, to those already passionate about vintage needs no introduction, for newbies I recommend an article written on the subject matter by the fabulous Jessica Parker of No Accounting For Taste!
The real beauty of 1940s and 1950s skirt suits is that, regardless of the season or current trends, which are of no importance to me but are still relevant to those who are in the process of finding their ‘look’, help to create a very sophisticated, sexy or reserved look, depending on what your aim is and they look great on everyone no matter what height or body shape you are!
1940s-1950s skirt suit- The Look
In the pictures taken by Gregory Michael King I’m wearing:
late 1940s, early 1950s grey suit from Savvy Spinter Vintage.
1950s dark blue/navy bag
Knee- high socks from Sock Shop UK
Red YSL lipstick
Bobbi Brown natural brow shaper & hair touch up in auburn
You can find amazing 1940s-1950s skirt suits from shops on Etsy listed here but word of advise, if you see something you like and it’s in your size don’t spend to much time thinking “should I or should I not click the add to basket button” because I can tell you from experience, that beautiful vintage suits sell really fast!
Here are few examples of what is still available to purchase or at least that was the case when I was writing this article!