Whether you're a gent who loves to dress in 1940’s vintage clothing every day, or just for re-enactment events; getting a 1940s outfit just right is a huge obsession for any vintage fanatic, so we are here to help! We have a wide range of 1940s men's fashion on our online store for you to have a look through. If your husband, dad or friend loves the 1940's, perhaps you’ll find the ideal gift for them here! We have put together a few style recommendations for any 1940s and wartime enthusiasts who are looking for a bit of inspiration to get the complete look.
Smart – Suits
In the early 1940s men's suits were very plain in style due to the shortage of materials during the war, however this did not detract from their smart appearance. During the war, suit jackets were often single-breasted and trousers did not feature any pleats or fancy detailing in order to remain respectful to those who were away fighting in the war. Colours were usually in muted tones such as greys, blacks and browns plus pinstripe were a common choice. They were usually made from wool, worsted wool or tweed, but during the war synthetic rayon blended with wool was usually used instead. The thickness of suit fabrics was much heavier than today’s suits.
Once the war was over in 1945, double-breasted suit jackets and wide legged trousers became available and became a greater fashion statement than what was worn previously. We offer a range of vintage men's suits but if you’re looking for something tailored to your measurements, you won’t find anything better than our vintage replica Socialite suit. Based off an original 1939 Monty Burton wool suit, the jacket is double breasted with wide peak lapels while the trousers have a high notchback waist, double pleats at the front and authentic turnup hems. There’s also an eight button waistcoat with wide peak lapels to fully complete the look.
Smart – Shirts
Whether you wore it for business or pleasure, the collared shirt remained a men's fashion staple during the 1940s. The collars came in different shapes and definitely made a fashion statement. At the beginning of the decade, round Club collar shirts were very popular but Spearpoint collars became the true hallmark of forties style shirts. These sharp, pointed collars look incredibly smart and the shape frames a tie well so they’re perfect for a formal look. Men often wore them with collar bars to draw in the collar and elevate their tie knot. We have both Spearpoint and Club collars in our range of men's vintage shirts so the choice is yours!
Smart – Cufflinks
Nothing finishes off a suit like a pair of retro cufflinks. They’re used to secure the cuffs of dress shirts and are the ideal accessory for making a statement whether you’re in the office or at a special event. We have some really beautiful, conventionally elegant designs in stock as well as some quirkier, novelty designs. Cufflinks can be a great way to show off your personality or interests through fashion by making your vintage suit even more unique. If you’re after something 1940s inspired, you could choose these commemorative poppies or some RAF Spitfires to adorn your cuffs.
Casual - Knitted Tank Tops & Collarless Shirts
For a more casual look, men in the 1940s often wore knitted tank-tops. V-neck tank-tops in Fair Isle patterns were a very popular choice. As well as the Spearpoint collars normally favoured for business attire, they were also worn with collarless shirts when dressing down for a bit of relaxation or working at home. We have a range of tank-tops in stock that are 1940s in style and perfect to wear to a re-enactment event.
Trouser braces were worn with either smart or casual trousers and were usually patterned with striped detailing. They featured button loops made of leather to fasten them onto the trousers and often came in tan, brown or black colours. Leather loop braces are considered to be essential for an authentic forties look.
Expanding Sleeve Holders
Do you have a shirt, where the sleeves keep rolling down and you just want them to stay up? Now you can with these expanding sleeve holders, which come in their very own display box! Sometimes known as St George armbands, they are a must-have accessory for any forties look. Wear them just above the elbow to keep your shirtsleeves in exactly the right place.
Hats were a very popular accessory for both men and women in the 1940s. Fedoras, a type of wide brimmed Trilby was the most commonly worn style for men. Featuring a 2.5/3 inch brim and a pinched crown, Fedora hats are still worn today due to their timeless look. Sometimes, their style ranged from grosgrain ribbons around the brim to feathers in the hat band. Our vintage Fedora hats come in many different colours depending on whether you want it to match or contrast with the rest of your outfit.
Men’s hairstyles in the 1940s were very classic short and sleek, a style that has gained popularity again more recently. Military life often influenced the way in which the hair was cut and men usually sported a short back and sides style with a middle or side parting. Hollywood actors such as Cary Grant may also have been an influence with their slicked back, absolutely immaculate styles.
Hurrah! Now you are up to scratch to sport your 1940s look for everyday wear or to a 1940s wartime event. If you are interested in attending 1940s re-enactment events, why not check out our guide to vintage events around the UK and see if there is anything happening near you? They run all year round, so don't miss out!