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The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....

Clothing in the 1940s and 1950s

April 5, 2016

 I have been asked several times by visitors to my website how people dressed in the 1940s and 1950s.  So I am doing a post on how they dressed in the house or when they would leave the house.

In the past women wore dresses most all the time.  Pants were worn on occasion for some types of outings such as picnics which back then people often had picnics at least in my family.

During these times people visited each other often and is was very common to just pop unannounced because many people did not have telephones during this time. It was acceptable to just show up.  Women mostly wore house dresses which would have been a simple dress.  In the 1960 and forward a house dress was more of a cotton robe dress but in the past a house dress would have been a simple dress.

Such as in this photo the family would put on Sunday best to go on a trip. Here the family is boarding an airplane which was hardly ever done in our family during this time. Women wore hats most everywhere they went.

This would have been considered every day dresses. This would have been worn to clean house, run an errand or visit a neighbor. I called them a simple shirt waist dress.  One thing to remember is the apron was very common to keep stains off the clothing. I still wear an apron most every day.

During world war II women did wear pants but mostly what I would have called pants suits.

Here is another example of a pants suit. This would have been worn when doing things outside but not necessarily for going shopping.  If we were going shopping in a department store the dress would most likely be a dress, hat and white gloves.

This would have been considered casual every day but not presentable for going out.

Summer wear every day outing but not necessarily for shopping.

This dress would be appropriate to go shopping adding a hat and gloves.

Children wore dress clothes when traveling or shopping.

Shorts were appropriate for children for certain occasions such as a trip to the Memphis zoo.

At times men would be casual during the hot summer months but if they were to go into a store they most likely would have dressed nicer than this. This was an outing to a downtown park with visiting brothers. The two in the button up shirts were visiting from New York and this park was in Memphis.

It was common for a man to dress nice. It also depended on his type of work.

Babies were generally always dressed nice but comfortable. In hot summers normally simple cotton clothing and winter layers.  During these times we did not have air conditioners or central heat and air so people had to dress according to the time of year it was.

This is Eva and this was something worn around the house to cook, clean and do most anything household.

This was worn for going downtown in the winter or to Church.

Most women of a certain age would have never worn pants. Only the younger women during this time.

I realize I am going back and forth with the 40s and the 50s but back to the 1940s there were times the women wore pants as such as during ww2 if they were doing mens work which many women did while the men were off fighting in the war. Women took many positions during the war.

I hope this gives you some idea of how people dressed during this time. 

If you have any questions or something you would like to know just send me an email.

Please do not use my photos as these are my family photos that I am sharing so I can give you a look into the past.

Grandma Donna

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