1940’s Bridal Fashion – Modesty in the War Years

Sep 20 , 2020

1940’s Bridal Fashion – Modesty in the War Years

The 1940s are famous, or perhaps infamous, for a number of different reasons. It saw the end of the Second World War and the economic devastation that followed. But it also saw the resilience of love and the strength that it gave to those couples who wed during this decade.

One of the most famous couples to tie the knot, and effectively set a trend while lifting spirits, was the then Princess Elizabeth of Britain and Philip Mountbatten. The heir to the throne and her former Greek and Denmark Prince wed on the 20th of November 1947, with the bride using her wartime ration coupons to buy the material needed for her dress.

The dress was exquisite for the time, detailed with orange blossoms and star lilies on a duchesse satin. Her white gown was otherwise quite simple, and in style for the age. Brides around the Commonwealth sought to copy her style towards the end of the 1940’s but even before that, brides were not shy about showing their best side.

1940’s Wedding Gowns

The best way to describe the style of fashion gowns designed during the 1940s, is modest. They were not over the top in any way and because times were rather difficult, the embellishments were virtually non-existent.

But these gowns stood out nonetheless because they were exceptionally sophisticated.

Domineering A-line or striking ball gown skirts, complete with a high or a V neck, and long sleeves were all commonly seen at the altar, and dresses were almost always either a pure white or a delicate ivory colour.

The dresses were mostly fashioned from the durable rayon that made its debut in the 1930s, and sometimes silk was also used. 

These beautifully classic dresses are still often worn these days, because they are absolutely timeless. The designs suit just about every body shape, and they are rather flattering.

To complement the look, 1940s brides would opt for minimal, matching jewellery, often wearing pearls, and a chunky heel. A veil, sometimes kept in place by a tiara, would complete the overall look.

As the age came to an end, and fabrics become more readily available as they were more affordable, fashion houses like Christian Dior began releasing their own wedding gown lines. These designer gowns were form fitting, had beautiful full skirts and tight waists. They were, in every way, made to accentuate the figure.

Brides of today can find vintage gowns inspired by the 1940s, in just about every bridal boutique, so long as they know what they are looking for.