With the 75th anniversary of VE Day fast approaching, Fairfield’s own Amanda Hunt and Laura Probert are hard at work organising an amazing, full-day celebration for the whole family to enjoy this momentous occasion! There will be live music, games and prizes. Festival-goers are urged to come in 1940s-style clothing to help bring the event to life. Here are some suggestions…
For the gals
Classic daywear for those not wearing uniform, women’s suits usually came in plain, muted colours, but with a femine silhouette: think jackets with cinched-in waists and long straight or A-line skirts (high waist to below the knee).
Only just beginning to be worn by women, but they were very popular in some circles so they’re definitely an option. To be true to forties style, think high waisted and wide legged, with a blouse tucked in.
Often featuring puffed shoulders (fabric ration allowing), long or elbow-length sleeves, and with a variety of necklines, blouses worn under a jacket would usually be white – or if worn alone you could opt for a classic 1940s pattern (see right) to take your oufit into party mode.
These came in a similar sihouette to the suits, in lightweight fabrics, usually in classic colours (see our bunting), and could be plain or patterned. 1940s classic prints that were (and still are) easy to come by include small polka dots – white on a colour or a colour on white – and gingham, but any small, repeating pattern will look the part.
A peep-toe would be perfect – or anything with a low, chunky heel or wedge.
Seamed stockings were widely coveted but hard to come by in wartime. Drawing a fake seam onto a bare leg in eyeliner wasn’t unheard of.
Almost any style of hat will take your outfit to the 1940s; alternatively an oversize hair accessory –
or, possibly best of all, a headscarf.
For the guys
The obvious wartime look for men (and very much an option for women too in this era), but not particularly easy to turn up in a charity shop. Unless you’ve got one stashed away somewhere already, we’d suggest there are probably easier ways to wing it.
Like the ladies’ suits of this era, men’s suits tended to big shoulders (but padded, rather than puffed, obviously) and nipped-in waists. Trouser legs were on the wide side. Suits were usually worn with white shirts and narrow ties, sometimes with a tank or waistcoat.
If you don’t have a jacket in the right style, don’t wear one. (It will be too hot for a jacket by May, surely?!) Dress up your shirt with a pair of braces to easily evoke the era of swing.
Nobody will be looking at your shoes. Unless of course they’re two-tone Oxfords setting the dance floor alight!
In the 1940s, no man was fully dressed without a hat, but as for what type – anything goes. Pair with braces for the easiest forties fancy dress ever!
So, now you know, and with another two months to think about it there are really no excuses. Prepare to don your 1940s-inspired duds and be sure to cut a rug to the Jitterbug in celebration of the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday, 8 May behind the Fairfield Community Hall!