(It is important to note that it took much longer for rationing to be lifted in most parts of Europe.) One event in particular changed everything for post-war women’s fashion: Christian Dior’s “New Look”.
This was based on a collection released in 1947, featuring a long, full circle skirt and nipped in waist – the very opposite of fabric conservation!
Rationing was the idea that cutting back on the consumption of certain goods and supplies would help provide as many materials (raw or otherwise) to the war effort as possible.
Each household was allotted a certain number of ration coupons per year and purchasing decisions had to be made very wisely to conserve these coupons.
Due to this, homemade clothing was as popular as it was in during the 1930s.
Women had grown tired of the fashion restrictions through the war and Dior was their answer.
His influence completely changed the silhouette from the broad shoulder, short skirted, military-influenced look to a soft, romantic hourglass shape – with much more fabric used.
The peplum became extremely fashionable during the forties in jackets, dresses and blouses. (Side note: women’s pants were usually referred to as “slacks” and men’s as “trousers”.) These pants were quite wide through the leg, all the way from the hip.