The 1940s -1950s Skirt Suit
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
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 thatdream vintage wardrobe.
- The early 1940s fashion was all about the military influenced look; broad shoulders worthy of Joan Crawford, and a straight skirt, with a narrow waist, created a very feminine and sexy, without being vulgar, silhouette.
- The two-piece suit known as a Victory or Utility suit was born of a tumultuous decade, a now-forgotten casualty of war when raw materials were scarce and clothing factories were turned over to military purposes.
- Simple design that utilised available fabrics and so was limited to cotton, wool blends, linen and some synthetics. Read more about clothing restrictions in Britain!
My Favourite All Black Vintage Look
For my Joan Crawford meets Morticia Addams look, I chose a 1940s jacket paired with a Handmacher skirt from 1952, a 1950s patent purse, and contemporary Wolford tights.
Mix and Match
- The very flattering slightly A-line (the late 1940s) skirt suit of this era, looked great on any body shape and was the perfect piece to mix and match be it with a jacket or a blouse. 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.
The 1947 New Look
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 the right accessories and again is incredibly sensual, yet elegant. One of my favourite brands 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 the 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!
The 1940s-1950s skirt suit- The Look
In the pictures taken by Gregory Michael King I’m wearing:
- the late 1940s, and early 1950s grey suit from Savvy Spinter Vintage.
- 1930s brooch
- 1950s dark blue/navy bag
- Wittchen brogues
- Red YSL lipstick
- YSL eyeshadow
- Bobbi Brown natural brow shaper & hair touch up in auburn
The 1940s-1950s Skirt Suit
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Shopping For Vintage
You can find amazing 1940s-1950s skirt suits on Etsy but a word of advise, if you see something you like and it’s in your size don’t spend too 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 a few examples of what is still available to purchase or at least that was the case when I was writing this article!
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