Civilian 1940s Fancy Dress Costume Ideas

Civilian 1940s Costume Ideas

Invitation To A 1940s Event

If you have been invited to a 1940s themed event, don't panic Revival are here to help.  It could be a local WW2 nostalgia weekend, a themed wedding, murder mystery.  There are all sorts of reasons why someone might be asked to wear a 1940's style outfit.  Just because you aren't a regular on the 40s events circuit doesn't mean you can't embrace your invite and look the part with a bit of help.

1940s Fancy Dress Costumes

You can, of course, buy 1940's costumes from a fancy dress store or website.  There is usually a choice of military-style fancy dress outfits plus one or two civilian styles.  They are easy because they are often a set complete with accessories.  If you think out of the box you can come up with some good ideas for 1940's fancy dress. For instance, Woody Woodpecker was a cartoon character created in the 1940s, as was Popeye the Sailor, who was another cartoon character popular in the 1940s especially as the cartoons poked fun at the wartime enemies of Germany and Japan. Also available is the Olive Oyl costume. Olive is the sweetheart of Popeye the Sailor. They are fun and have their place but if your event is a little more informal they are not going to be as authentic as real clothing whether that is original 1940s pieces or vintage style,

1940s Vintage Clothing The Real Deal

Informal Forties Themed Occasions

When someone comes to us for a one-off 1940s event we work with the customer to find an outfit that looks effective based on the type of occasion and their budget.  For murder mysteries, fetes, dances etc we recommend a laid back civilian outfit for the guys such as a collarless shirt, a Fairisle tank top and a neck scarf. This can be worn with a pair of the customers own trousers to keep the cost down with a pair of braces added. Our clip style vintage style braces attach to any type of trousers. As a finishing touch, a cap could be added. With this men can wear a regular pair of suit trousers (ideally with turnup hems) and maybe a newsboy cap although we also have 30s/40s style high waisted fishtail back trousers too!

40s Clothing

For the ladies, we have some dresses that are not from the 1940s but have been selected by us because the style of them has been inspired by that decade. Usually from the 1980s, they have some of the features that with the right accessories can create an authentic wartime civilian look. Floral prints,  gathered sleeves, small collars, belts and a swing style skirt are all things to look to be on the right lines. Again 1980s pillbox hats are often used to mimic 40s hardware but far cheaper than their original counterparts.

The "Land Army" was at its height in the 1940s even though it was first started during the world war 1. The Land Army were all women and were employed on the farms around the country as men left to fight the war. They did have a uniform but a land army girl costume is fairing easily to put together. You just need a pair of light brown or dark green dungarees, a dark jumper or top and on the headwear a scarf.  Another good budget costume is one of our floral aprons, scarf and stockings.  Don't forget a scrubbing brush or mop as a prop.

Vintage Aprons

Formal Forties Themed Celebrations

A men's vintage suit in the style of the forties is a cheaper option than an original 1940s or replica suit. They are double-breasted with peak lapels and most have matching turn-up trousers. Worn with a fancy wide tie it's an ideal outfit for a wedding, party or swing dance. Sometimes a customer will start with these items, end up getting 'the bug' and move on to build their collection.

Vintage Suits

The 40s "spivs" were guys who somehow managed to dodge conscription to the forces and instead stayed home dealing in "black market" goods. The stereotypical look of a spiv is a black pinstripe suit, so if you fancy going to your party or event looking like a spiv for extra fun hang stockings, watches and chocolate bars on the inside of the jacket, then go around fellow partygoers trying to sell to them!

Ladies if you are attending a formal 1940s celebration, murder mystery etc you can really go to town. Dress up to your heart's content. An original or reproduction 40s look evening dress is the order of the day. Don't go for restrictive wiggle styles if you are hoping for a dance.  Swing styles, loose sleeves etc are all popular among our vintage style dresses. If you decide to invest in a formal dress go for a style you might wear again, perhaps one you could dress down for other occasions. Instead of a hat have a look out for decorative hair clips. There are plenty in high-street cut-price stores.

On the website, Revival has a vintage sale section plus a range of men's 40s style shirts which are seconds, usually from returns that have been poorly packaged or have small flaws. If you are handy with a needle & thread you could take a look for any clothing with a make do and mend badge.  There are some lovely genuine vintage finds, marked down because they need a repair or have a couple of flaws that might not matter for a one time wear. At our Huddersfield showroom, we have a £5 tie case, £5 vintage gloves plus scarves etc for a couple of pounds. Remember to call ahead if you would like a visit.

40s Couple

So embrace those invitations we can soon get you looking the part.  If you do decide to plump for original forties items aside from looking amazing an added bonus is if you look after them they should increase in value.

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