Have Your Own 1940s Burlesque Style Photo Shoot for Men and Women
A Guide to Vintage Style
If you are looking to experiment with vintage clothing, celebrate the femininity of classic styles, or create photos that are unique and original, a 1940s photo shoot is a creative way to express yourself and makes for an outstanding party theme.
The 1940s in Fashion
While this era of history is considered to be one of the most glamorous, the style of clothing and hair were actually inspired by the Depression and necessity to be simple during WWII when women entered the workforce in record of numbers. Not only were Americans required to work long hours, textiles and other raw materials were scarce. Imports and exports were put on hold while countries in the world chose a side in the War.
1940s fashion seeks to draw attention to the shoulders of both men and women. Elbow length gloves were a hallmark for women while fedoras and suspenders were staples in men's wardrobes. Furs became popular early in the era.
Styles became less fashionable in 1942 when the onset of WWII caused a shortage of an already limited supply of nylon and polyester which were seized by the government to make uniforms and parachutes for US Soldiers. In these years, women began wearing pants due to shortages in fabric and because they were called to work in factories to produce war equipment. Popular magazines and pattern companies advised women on how to remake men's suits into smart outfits, since the men were in uniform and the cloth would otherwise sit unused.
One way women in the United States showed support for the victory of the war was to wear their hair in a "Victory Roll" as listed below. This hairstyle also enabled women to keep their hair out of their faces while they were working in the factories.
Make up styles in the 1940s varied greatly from the styles of today. In this era, woman were very natural and did not go to tanning beds. Make up was light, soft, and natural. There was no "smokey eye" or heavy eyeliner.
To achieve the 1940s look in makeup, start with a light foundation to the entire face. Dust your foundation with a light powder foundation with pink undertones to keep the natural tones. Instead of highlighting eye lids, ladies of the 1940s accentuated their eyebrows with a powder matching their natural color and accented arches. Sheer, light colored eye shadow was used instead of today's dark colors. Great emphasis should be placed on eyelashes- making them long, black, and lustrous. If you have sparse lashes, falsies will give you a great 1940s look. Rose colored blush should be used on the apples of cheeks and blended to avoid creases. Last, lips should look glamorous and soft. Lip liner in a red, burgundy, or crimson should be applied heavily to the top lip followed by a thick, luscious lipstick in the same color.
Jewelry was not a highlight of the fashion of the 1940s. Fresh out of the Great Depression and jumping straight into WWII, jewelry making in the US practically stopped. The most popular jewelry of the time were "Sweetheart" necklaces in which a woman wore one half and her lover off to war wore the other half.
Because the subject of the photo should be the focus, backgrounds should be minimal and not distracting or competitive with the model. Simple matte backgrounds are perfect. If you are taking photos indoors, consider having your subject lay on a couch in an "S" position. Plain furs and adornments should be used. If shooting photos outside, consider your surroundings. You will not want to include ultra modern buildings or implements in a 1940s photo shoot.
Popular 1940s settings would include a Hollywood Red Carpet, a movie set, a military ship depot, or cars from the time period.
How to Create the Victory Roll Hairstyle
A Look Into a Real 1940s Photo Shoot
Men's Style in the 1940s
In this era, there were no jeans, sweat pants, knitted sweaters, or sneakers. The clothes made the man and every man wore a suit with wide legged trousers. Jackets could either be double or single breasted, although double is more stereotypical of the 40′s. Men's jackets were padded in the shoulders to give men the appearance of stature. Facial hair of any kind was not popular. Men took pride in great shoes and it was typical to wear highly polished oxfords daily.
If dressing for a photoshoot, consider a stylish fedora. Not only does it give off vibes of the era, it gives any fellow the distinguished look of maturity.
Men's Style in the 1940's
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Gifts for Soldiers
If you are the wife or girlfriend or a man stationed away from home.. God Bless You!! Pin up style photos with an 1940s feel is patriotic and sexy. Photos would be a wonderful surprise for your military solider!