Thursday, January 27, 2011

Transitioning to the New Look (1948)

Loved this feature on how to refashion and restyle pieces from your wardrobe into the New Look. It also provides a neat summary of the differences between the New Look and the war-time styles.

Reading from my collection of Everywoman magazines around this time, it's interesting to note that a lot of the articles relating to the New Look suggest that there was some resistance to the style among women; the Look was apparently not welcomed with such open arms we've generally assumed but with a certain amount of reluctance. There are articles promising women they'll "grow to love" the Look. They probably quite liked the sharp tailoring of the earlier 40s (as many of us do now). Some couldn't bear the idea of giving up padded shoulders for sloping, and perhaps found the longer skirt "frumpy". It's an interesting angle on the transition to the New Look - I'll try and post some more related features over the coming week or so.


  1. This was really interesting reading, thanks!

  2. I've been reading a handful of books on fashion from this period (transitioning from the wartime tailoring to the more romantic New Look), and it is interesting to note that there was a lot of resistance among women! One book recounted how when Dior was touring the US in the late 40s, there were women petitioning and protesting against the New Look. While I think a lot of women were excited about the change in fashion and more excessive use of fabric and frills after the wartime restrictions, I think for many the longer hemlines and such were less appealing at that particular juncture in fashion history. ;) It's especially interesting to notice how European women reacted to the New Look--since restrictions (especially in Britain) would continue well after the war, making the New Look somewhat unobtainable to most.

    ♥ Casey

  3. Thanks for sharing this image. As someone who has only recently become interested in vintage fashion, I still am often unsure as to which decade any given piece or detail or silhouette belongs.

    It is very interesting that so many women resisted the new styles after the war. I suppose it makes sense on multiple levels, though-- women had been making do & mending with their war-time styles, and suddenly here comes this fancy-pants designer telling them to lengthen their skirts and such. And, aren't a lot of new fashions resisted at first? I'm thinking miniskirts, giant 80's shoulder pads, ultra-low-rise pants w/ midriff-baring tops, that kind of thing. But it is hard to imagine actual petitions against a new cut of clothing!


I'd love to hear your thoughts!


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