In the 1940's women were asked to do a lot, and working for the war effort took a toll. But Hollywood glamour was in, and women who were earning their first paychecks were shopping, dressing elegantly, and using cosmetics inspired by movie stars. Part of the rationale was that the nation's women couldn't afford to look frumpy in a time of war; the other reason for spending so much time and effort on one's appearance was to stay somewhat positive and optimistic. "Putting a brave face on" was more than an interior process: wearing makeup and nice clothes was a statement of self-worth and confidence. Silk stockings disappeared when silk was used for parachutes and other wartime items, and women drew lines up the backs of their legs with eyebrow pencils to simulate stocking seams.
So whether you decide to channel the forties this Fall why not take a note from Coco Chanel with her wise words: “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous!”
Some photos to inspire: