Bridesmaid Dresses Inspired by the 1940s

Written by breann kanobi
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Bridesmaid Dresses Inspired by the 1940s
Contact a local seamstress to make dresses if no online options suit your fancy. (vintage dress image by Aaron Kohr from

The 1940s, an often romanticised time, featured simple weddings that focused on marriage rather than opulence. Weddings were often planned and carried out during a groom's shore leave, a brief period of time lasting several days. The bridesmaid dresses of the 1940s fit this low-key style.

Dress Style

Because of wartime rations, most women in the 1940s wore simple dresses. Common formal dress options included two piece suits in solid colours and casual dresses. Women wore more modest dresses and most skirts reached below the knees. Strapless dresses were rare and many dresses included short or long sleeves. Find modest, understated dresses for your bridesmaids in solid, neutral colours such as navy and grey.

Accessories and Makeup

Complement your bridesmaid dresses with long or short gloves. Wear short gloves with long sleeved dresses or complement a cap-sleeved gown with long, elegant gloves. Find peep-toed heels with a thick heel, about 2 to 4 inches in height. Curl or comb hair into a simple style. Wear subtle eye make-up, loose powder or foundation, a dash of blush and bold, red lipstick to complete the look.

Purchasing Dresses

Vintage dresses are available online at vintage inspired stores. Find homemade vintage dresses online at resellers like eBay and Etsy or contact a local seamstress to design and create dresses for you. If you live in an area with access to antique, vintage or thrift shops, scour local shops every few days to find 1940s dresses. Ask the manager of the store to contact you if any new styles arrive.

1940s Style Wedding

Due to military service, many 1940s weddings were planned in under a week. Keep your entire wedding 1940s inspired by keeping things as simple and casual as possible. Host the wedding at the home of a friend or relative. Keep the reception small and low-key. Instead of catering, serve simple homemade meals and low cost bottles of wine. Choose modest flowers such as daises or carnations for the wedding bouquet.

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