1940’s Wedding Dresses
The 1940 bridal fashion in the US was more conservative as compared to the modern standards. Common design elements of the bridal fashion in the 40s were modest bust lines and full, long sleeves and long skirts. Families were forcefully influenced by World War II, which implied that wedding dresses were to be less elaborate and more useful. After June 1941, any bride had to use the clothing coupons to buy a wedding gown.
wedding gowns had full-length sleeves that were crafted out of a similar fabric just like the other gowns. The commonly used sleeve was Gibson sleeves; the refined version. Excess fabric was used to create some fullness within the shoulder. Other wedding gown sleeves incorporated a wrist-point at the sleeve’s end.
1940s gowns had modest necklines, with a high-collared, non-plunging V-shaped cut. Its cut stopped before exposing the cleavage. Many necklines often ended just at the collarbone. Wedding gowns with V-cut or sweetheart had some shear panel of fabric placed over the chest to ensure minimized visibility of the bare skin. Collared wedding gowns ended at the mid-neck with some clasp or button closure in a brooch or back closure front.
Rayon was a popular choice of fabric for the affordable wedding gowns. Silks and satins were also used in the gowns. Several skirts had straight or A-line shapes to have the required amount of fabric reduced. For more full gowns or ball gowns, tulle was the cost effective means of making any skirt have a full appearance without the need of using excess amounts of the more costly fabrics. Lace was used in some wedding dresses as an accent.
Designers started the creation of more expansive and elaborate wedding gowns after the Second World War ended in 1945. Extra war parachutes, made using cream-colored silk fabric, could as well be used for gown creation.