1940s Women’s Fashion Ideas For Your Next Vintage Dance

One of my very first blog posts I ever did was for a yearly big band 1940s dance we have in Hamilton (outside of Toronto) called Swing Out To Victory.

Big Band 1940s Dance

My post was about what to wear to a 1940s vintage dance and I showed “vintage images” from magazines, catalogues and patterns for inspiration. None of the images I presented were actually for sale though, so I thought since the dance is right around the corner (Nov 8th-Tickets HERE) that I would supply my readers with ACTUAL pictures of outfits you could own tomorrow if you wanted (unless they get purchased before you can hit buy).

Now obviously if you don’t live in Toronto you won’t be attending this dance BUT you can certainly purchase these outfits for your own 1940s vintage dance where you live. Happy Shopping!


To start off here is what I have worn to last years Swing Out To Victory’s….

2013-I’m helping with the candy toss and wearing my Vintage 1940s Gown I found for $30 in Toronto

1940s Big Band Dance, hamilton warplane musuem

Image Courtesy of Jessica T.


Now here are ideas on what YOU can wear to your next Vintage Dance….right now!

Lets just start with a beautiful 1940s Crepe Beaded Gown. Wearing this at your next dance will 100% get you noticed that is for sure!

1940s Black Crepe Beaded Gown Vintage

For Sale on Etsy-TrueValueVintage

Since you might be dancing you want to make sure that you can move in what you are wearing (see my post on “real life vintage images of swing dancers“) and this dress looks like it would fit the bill while looking immensely stylish.

I love the Peplum Detail!

1940s rayon dress vintage

For Sale on Etsy-shopKLAD

I do adore a good green dress! Especially around the Holiday season and this 1940s Taffeta Cocktail Party Dress with the black accents would fit that bill nicely. How lovely would it look on the dance floor, spinning around?

1940s vintage cocktail dress

For Sale on Etsy: TrueValueVintage

I kind of want the below dress in my life..right now because it would be so fantastic for SOTV. Sadly it won’t fit, so someone else take it home and wear it dancing..Please!

1940s Vintage Crepe Cocktail Dress

For Sale on Etsy: TrueValueVintage

I’m a sucker for a good floor length gown, like this beauty below.

Can’t you just imagine yourself being Ginger Rogers and dancing with Fred Astaire in this dress? I sure can.

1940s vintage floor length gown

For Sale on Etsy: dethrosevintage

Keeping with the “Gowns” theme, this black sequin gown with the swooping skirt is Gorgeous with a capital G!

Vintage 1940s gown

For Sale on Etsy: SmallEarthVintage

If dancing is not your thing and you just want to stand around oozing glorious drama then this stunner needs to be in your closet. Oh la la is all I have to say 🙂

1940s vintage gown

For Sale on Etsy: MinxVTG

Now for a little novelty in our lives. The braided detail is delightful and so different right?

1940s Vintage Novely Dress

For Sale Etsy: alleycatsvintage


Lastly lets not forget about the Shoes Shoes Shoes! Oh so important and if you are looking for a vintage pair there are lots out there. Here are small sampling of some for sale right now.

1940s..ohhhhhh the blue is so pretty and the strap will ensure your shoes don’t go flying off your feet during that song you just love to dance too.

1940s vintage shoes for women

For Sale on Etsy-honeytalkvintage

Peep toe shoes are a vintage 1940s must! and the sensible heal could work for a night out on the town.

1940s vintage shoes for women

For Sale on Etsy: honeytalkvintage

Now here is a good sensible BUT stylish shoe for dancing.

FYI the oxford below has never been worn…score!

1940s vintage black oxford shoe

For Sale on Etsy: diggerodellvintage

1940s Red Wedge Shoes Alert! Now these are shoes for a night of dancing…oh yes they are.

1940s peep toe wedge vintage shoe

For Sale on Etsy: honeytalkvintage


Then you have it my friends. I hope you found something you liked or maybe inspired you to go on the hunt for.

If you do go to a vintage dance, please share some pictures with me! I love seeing how everyone styles their clothes (especially from the 40s, but it can be any era).


P.S. I have news! I will be hosting my very first ever Guest Blogger post AND Contest in a couple of weeks..Yuppers a Contest is coming your way so don’t go away.

Liz 🙂

A Peak Into 1940s Collegiate Life

August is now gone and that means all the kiddies and older kids are back to school. Sigh..bye bye summer.

Going to school was always something I enjoyed and I have some pretty great memories during those years. I do though vividly remember my first dance of University, I was so nervous and excited all at the same time. I just left my small “ish” home town and had moved to the big City of Toronto to live. I had no idea what the future held but I knew that it was never going to be a dull movement, and boy has it not!

Now going with this theme of “Back to school” and since I’m a fan of the 1940s I thought I would like to do a post on what College life looked like during those years. First up I know it looked nothing like my early 2000’s university life, hahaha 🙂

So are you ready to take a class in “1940s Collegiate Style and Collegiate Life” with me as seen thru pictures?


Time to move into your dorm.  These lovely ladies look fresh-faced and ready to tackle the world. I love the luggage and hat box! And the dress with the Peter Pan collar is a very practical and pretty.

1940s college days

Source: UMW Centennial

The caption for this picture is: Class Officers in front of Gate at University of Mary Washington.

Saddle Shoes! Great skirts and jackets! Look at their hair?! Oh my this photo is simply and truly wonderful. 1940s Collegiate Style right here ladies and gentlemen.

1940s women in college

Source: UMW Centennial

Studying in the Dorm

Not much in way of great clothing look here, BUT did you notice all the great details in the room? First up, can you see the handsome serviceman on the bookshelf? I saw him instantly! How about that great clock? Do you think it’s Bakelite? I also adore the bread-spreads. Burberry has nothing on these beds.

1940s dorm life

Source: UWM Centennial

Maybe the ladies above were studying up on how to make the perfect pie as seen below? Mandatory for a woman in the 1940s to be able to do, I’m sure.

1940s college classes

Source: UMW Centennial

Time to Join a Club!

Okay this picture has so many fantastic things happening. First up according to the caption on this picture this is “Campus Jane and Campus Joe, members of the University of Miami ‘M’ Club-1946″. Right there I’m in love, how cute is that?!

Next up, their style. When I think of 1940s collegiate style this is EXACTLY what I think of. Saddle shoes (I love my saddle shoes), his collegiate sweater with the M, her wool skirt with cardigan which is just wonderful. Never mind the woman behind them with that great figure and dress. I also think they are too adorable for words. No words!

1940s guy and girl in college

Source: University of Miami Libraries Digital

Like sports? how about joining the golf club? hahaha “Golf Club”!!! Okay I’m done making silly jokes 🙂

For a fan of vintage clothing this picture has so many amazing things happening in it, I don’t even know where to start? The skirts, tops, shoes, HAIR! So stylish and fantastic to look at and what great form they all have.

1940s women golfers

Source: UWM Centennial

Transportation to school

If you did not live in a dorm, how were some of the ways you got to school? Well in this fantastic photo the pretty girl with the great car seems to have her way all set. I’m not sure if the guys are interested in her or the car though?

Can you spot the fun beanie hat and those great shoes on the guys?

1940s vintage car

Source: University of Miami Libraries Digital

Or maybe you had to take the bus like these students at Duke University.

1940s vintage school image

Source: Duke Yearlook

Doing your part for the war effort

During the early part of the 1940s a big part of school activities was helping with the war effort. These pretty ladies are collecting scrap at Duke University to “Help rub out the axis with scrap rubber

1940s college students doing their part for the war effort

Source: Duke Yearlook

Learning First Ad, very important as you never knew when you might need it. Future nurses?

1940s vintage image of women doing first ad

Source: Duke Yearlook

Letting off some steam

After a long day of school and studying (and helping with the war effort) it’s always fun to kick up your heels and listen to a good band, like at this welcome Party.

I love the beanies that the Freshman girls were probably expected to wear. I also see some great patterns on dresses.

1940s college life band playing

Source: UMW Centennial

How about a dance with your significant other on a Saturday night? These two couples look like they are having fun. I also adore the peplum dress that is longer in the front, I wonder what colour it was?

1940s school dance

Source: UMW Centennial

Maybe dancing was not your way of relaxing, so how about a swim with your college chums?

Students at the University of Miami in 1944 enjoying a day off from their studies.

1940s students swimming

Source: University of Miami Libraries Digital


And there you have it friends, a peak into 1940s collegiate life. I think they were wonderful photos, during a time that was not the easiest for many of these men and women. Don’t you agree?

Do you have good school memories? Or would you rather just forget they ever happened?

Liz 🙂

1940s Floral Dresses-Understated Elegance

I’m currently in the middle of the amazing and well written book “1940s-Fashion-The-Definitive-Sourcebook” by Emmanuelle Dirix & Charlotte Fiell and I just read a wonderful section on “why floral (and figurative) patterns in the 1940s were favored“.

1940s fashion the definitive sourcebook

The simple reason stated in the book was that designs with floral or figurative patterns were easy to match up and hence generated less wastage in garment production. In a time when “Make do and Mend” was becoming the norm, this makes a lot of sense.

After the war was over floral could still be found on many of the women of the 40s because 1. There was still a shortage of fabric for a while after and 2. Floral dresses were an “Understated Elegance”. Not flamboyant, just wonderful as is.

On a personal level I LOVE a beautiful 1940s floral dress and I own a couple personally and I’m always hoping to add more. So lets take a peak at what beautiful floral dresses were available to the ladies of the 40s, shall we?


Lets start with the stunning woman from the 1940s that I found on Flickr. Her off the shoulder floral gown is simple but just pure perfection on her. I love the black ribbon belt and the ballet slippers with the ties to bring it all together.

1940s dress

Source: Flickr-Hans

How stylish is this beautiful woman? Look at that jacket…wow! And her accessories are amazing (I want that purse!). I love the floral pattern in this dress and I’m sure once the jacket came off the dress was just breathtaking on her.

1940s womans fashion

Source: Flickr-Jasperdo

From the same flickr account the below image is the wonderful woman above’s, neighbours. Well well what stylish neighbours she had! I cannot tell if her dress is really a floral pattern ( I initially thought it was tropical) but does not really matter the pattern is still fantastic.

1940s men and womans fashion

Source: Flickr-Jasperdo

One more photo from the same account shows the friend of our floral dress jacket wearing fashionista 2 photos above. What a collection of fantastically dressed ladies she hung out with. The floral dress in this photo is beautiful and I love her pose too. I wonder what she is thinking?

1940's womans dress

Source: Flickr-Jasperdo

First up…COLOUR! And now..what a dress! That green floral pattern is just wonderful on this mother with her son at the beach. I would totally wear that to work or even a night of dancing.

1940s woman's dress

Source: Flickr-Ross B. CARE

I have shared this image in a past post but it’s worth sharing again because her floral dress AND matching head scarf during what I imagine to be a USO dance is a favorite of mine. Another great example of how a simple floral style like this can look just pure perfection.

1940s dancers lindy swing


Now for a small sampling of “Buy Right Now” Floral Dresses:

What a wonderful 1940s sun dress. This dress would be perfect for the summer time picnic or to wear dancing on a beautiful night under the stars.

1940s womans dress

Source: Etsy-Ella and Frank Vintage

The fabric on this dress is actually flowers AND umbrellas. Fantastic! The label states that it is a “Brucewood Custom” dress.

Source: Etsy-Planet Claire Vintage

Source: Etsy-Planet Claire Vintage

Some one buy this dress because it’s too pretty to just stay online (click on image to go to source)! I would but it’s too small for me 😦

The floral detail is again beautiful but the ruffle detailing really takes this dress to the next level. Don’t you agree?

 1940s Ethel Lou Jrs cotton dress

Source: Etsy-Tuesday Rose Vintage

Lastly here are some vintage advertisements for 1940s dresses:

WANT! Love! So cute! Can I also have the adorable hat with the palm tree and fish on it??

1940s womens fashion

Wakes of Melbourne catalogue, Summer 1946-47

Pretty frocks for all your pinching pennies needs.

BTW if this is a bargain look then sign me up!

1940s cotton house dress


And with that ad, that concludes are journey into 1940s florals.

So lovely readers are you a fan of the florals in 1940s dresses? Or do you tend to sway more towards the sequins and simple elegant styles? Or maybe you love them all!

Liz 🙂


Frankie 100 Vintage Fashion Show (1920s to 1940s)

I’m BACK from Frankie 100 in NYC! It was one of the best Lindy Hop weekends I have ever experienced and I think I will be basking in the glow of the weekend for quite a long time 🙂

While at Frankie 100 I had the honour of being able to help Stage-Manage AND be in the Vintage Fashion Show.

Frankie 100

It was a really well done show with fashions from the 1920s-1940s and also included were some wonderful reproduction designer outfits. Please enjoy and I’m near the end in the “Savoy” section wearing my 1940s fuchsia vintage gown (see below-Photo Courtesy of Colibri).

Frankie 100 Fashion Show-Photo Courtesy of Colibri

I just LOVE that I look like Ginger Rogers here!


Please click link below to be taken directly to the Fashion Show



Havren-Modern clothes with a vintage feel

Hi Everyone! I wanted to dedicate this post to a lovely British Fashion company that reached out to me recently to introduce me to their line of clothing they thought I would like (and I do!). Now I would like to share them with you 🙂

Let us meet...HAVREN clothing with a contemporary take on feminine dressing


Here are my favorite picks:

This Leopard-print silk-blend dress is so fantastic. I just love the pattern with the bows on the front. The website features it with a cardigan which would be perfect right now for the cold weather Toronto is having (and for the office).

This is from their Autumn/Winter collection that was influenced by the season’s trends that feature feminine silhouettes inspired by the soft, feminine 1940s tea dresses and clean, bold 1960s shifts.

Havren-Leopard print silk dress

The below cropped cashmere cardigan (ahhh cashmere), is gorgeous! I love the colour so very much and I can see it already paired over top of some of my cute 50s dresses I own. Plus did I mention it’s Cashmere?? 🙂


As a fan of 1940’s styling the below peplum stretch-jersey dress would be a good add-on in my wardrobe. Plus the stretch would guarantee all day comfort.


I saw this Bow Belt Jumper and instantly fell in love. It reminds me very much of the 1940s sweaters I drool over on Etsy but can never own. It would look lovely with a pencil skirt, full skirt, pants etc. etc.

Bow Belt Jumper

I truly believe that a vintage staple in every ladies wardrobe should be a “beaded cardigan”. I own a couple already but this modern version by Havren is truly darling and once again it’s a Cashmere/cotton blend.


Their website also has their Spring 2014 lineup and here are some of my favorites from that collection

When I saw this afternoon flower tea dress I instantly thought of the 1940’s vintage dress I have in my closet with a very similar floral pattern. Beautiful dress that is perfect for Spring.


Love 1950s styling? Then this blossom-printed cotton dress would be a perfect add-on to your collection.


There are many more dresses on their website but just as I was about to move onto their skirt section, I saw this gorgeous piece. The bows on the shoulders are awesome!


Now a little something for my readers. Havren has supplied the Vintage Inn with a special 10% off discount just for my followers. How lovely!

Just use this code, VINTAG3 when you check out.

They are also having a Cashmere sale, so you can now take home (with your discount)…..

This beaded cashmere-blend sweater


or this great striped cotton-knit cardigan


Happy Shopping Everyone! I know I’m sending this blog post to my husband for hopefully some early birthday shopping 🙂


Ladies Winter Hats-1940s Style

When the thermometer dips to the -30’s here in Canada I often get to wondering what the lovely ladies of the 1940s would have worn on their pretty well styled heads to keep them warm? Did the opt for unstylish toques that wrecked your hair in 30 seconds flat? Or did they go with fashionable hats and worried about frost bite late? Lets see shall we?


First up here are some tips on what you might see in a 1940s winter hat 

  • The hat material needed to be something that would not spot in the rain or snow
  • Protective brim was often seen
  • Fur was popular
  • Velvet
  • Dark hats with heavier weights
  • Felt hats
  • Gray wool felt hats
  • Knitted/crocheted hats

Lets start with this cute Dutch Bonnet. Looks like it will keep your head warm and your hair looking super fabulous at the same time.

1940s ladies hat

This beret is adorable and popular but not for -30 weather. Warmer winter days…yup!

1940s ladies hat

Some winter ski outfits. The hats are more practical for winter I see but I’m unsure how the toque on the right is staying on her head lol!

1940s skiing outfits

A warm 100% wool head scarf will keep the chill off

1940s hats

Here is the head scarf in real life action

1940s fashion


Stetson did not just make mens hats, but also women’s as seen below. These are darling winter hats but your ears would be cold no?

Stetson 1940s Hats


The images below are clearly stating that it is cold outside but their stylish hats I’m sure are not keeping their pretty heads warm (and the shoes neither).

They are I must say extremely stylish winter ladies and I would have paired any of those hats with those coats as well, even if I froze my head off!

1940s fashion


Some amazing hats in this picture and some of them actually look like they are bit warmer then the ladies above. My favorite is the lady on the Left. Her outfit is divine!

1940s fashion


Now this is a darling number from the 1940s-Fur and Felt. Winter hat must haves crossed off the list.

1940s hat

You can buy this hat here

If you watch the now cancelled (sniff sniff) bomb girls you would have seen some pretty fantastic winter hats in the show. Here is Vera in her brimmed hat.

1940s fashion

Well as you can see the hats were both practical and not so practical in their designs but we can all agree that they were gorgeous even if you turned blue while wearing some of them.


When it’s cold outside do you go with style or comfort?

Liz 🙂

Sun Valley-The Vintage Edition

Sun Valley, Idaho

For as long as I can remember I have always wished I could go to “Sun Valley, Idaho”  during the early days of the 1940s and 50s. Skiing down the hill next to Bing Crosby and Gary Cooper (seriously, could you imagine???!!), drinking hot chocolate in my super stylish ski sweater with reindeer or skiers on it and ending my day sleeping in a chic ski cabin. Sigh…how fun! If I actually really think about it I think I fell in love with the whole idea after seeing the 1941 movie “Sun Valley Serenade” with Sonja Henie, which was such a magical and fun movie. Whatever the reasons, we can all agree as Vintage fans that Sun Valley of the past really did look like a vintage lovers dream.

So, as per tradition with my blog, lets look at some fun pictures from this skiers paradise of the past.

First lets start off with Glenn Miller “It Happened in Sun Valley”  to get us in the mood 🙂


Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert looking so amazing. Love the sweater Mister Cooper

Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert sun Valley

I love the skaters in the back of the below picture, so very cute

Sun Valley Vintage images

Early 1950s skiers passed out after a good day skiing. This is an outstanding photo! The two girls on the left are my favs for style

Sun Valley

Sun Valley Idaho

As a past skier I do have to say that it is fun to ski when you can wear a t-shirt. Or in this ad..no shirt.

Sun Valley Lodge

Here is another image from 1946 from a  photo series by George Silk of skiers enjoying the warmth of the sun. That swimsuit has two thumbs up from me!

Sun Valley vintage image

I just adore the 1940s looks in the ad below

Vintage Sun Valley

I’m a sucker for an accordion 🙂

Sun Valley

There you have it, Vintage Sun Valley. Dreamy isn’t it?

Lastly I will leave you with a superb number from Sun Valley Serenade with the Nicholas Brothers and Dorothy Dandridge

Liz 🙂