As it is well known, poor conditions of the Second World War negatively affected almost every field of social life in the western world. Women dressing and fashion was one of the fields where this effect was intensively felt. The women as labor force, during the war period, replaced men in many sectors including armies. That, women played active roles in social and work life, led to simplification of, and transition to civilian uniform style in, women dress. Women in the army were obliged to wear uniform while women working in the factories were forced to wear boiler suits and turban. The prevailing military atmosphere impelled the civilian fashion to carry some traces of military uniforms. French fashion industry abandoned the habit of excessive consumption of fabric and ornament, and clothes were rationed in England as well. Economic restrictions also led to widespread usage of nylon stocking instead of silk stocking; shortening the length of skirts; and giving the simplest mode to dresses ever since the First World War. “Save and Repair” Campaign inspired a sense of rationality, austerity and usefulness. Dressmaking at home and hand-knitting became popular. The governments and fashion magazines organized campaigns encouraging women to unravel their old woolen dresses and reweave, and remodel men jacket for women. In this paper, I aim to explore and analyze the effects of the social, economic and political conditions created by the Second World War on women clothing by using certain examples from the countries which were a part of the war.
Second World War, Women Dress, War and Fashion