Fashion Through The Ages: Get Your 40s Dress and Shoes and Swing The Night Away

I spotted the 40s trend many times on the Fall 2016 runways and noticed the look popping up again and still going strong for Spring 17.  So it is pretty safe to say this trend is here to stay for a while. It’s easy-to-wear for most body types and works for all ages.

With a hodgepodge of vintage trends inspiring designers every season it can get a bit confusing as to exactly which era they are trying to emulate. For example, the 40s style bodice-fitted over-over the knee flare dresses spotted on the runway were very similar to dresses I remember wearing in the mid-70s – while we danced to Bette Midler’s version of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.

Considering fashion runs in 17 year cycles, I did a little math … backwards. 1976 minus 17 year equals 1959, and 1959 minus 17 years equals 1942! In this case the formula actually works! So it makes sense the tiny-print fit and flair midi dresses we wore to the discos, looked a lot like (and were probably inspired by) the dresses of the 1940s. In the 40s, fabrics were rationed so hemlines came to just under the knee, and wartime technology led to innovations in fabrics such as Rayon. 40s styling was practical and simple and allowed for movement. Women entered the workforce and were on-the-go! Shoe styles included loafers and chunkier heel pumps with mid-heel heights (let’s hear it for comfort!) and looked perfect with the 40s dresses for the busy women of that era.


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The fall 2016 runways at Zac Posen, Tommy Hilfiger, Altuzurra, Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch and many other designers showed 40s silhouettes mostly in dresses and coats that included architectural details, gathers, belts, piping, button up collars and cap sleeves, in slinky fabrics with tiny print and florals. I found a multitude of dresses (below) you can buy now and wear for fall, and into next spring, too!


Here are the perfect 40s-inspired shoes to wear with the dresses (below). You can get double-duty with these chunky mid-heel shoes and show them off with crop pants or jeans as well.

Don’t miss out on the 40s trend, even if this is your second time around!

Photos: 1940s, Google Images | Runway,

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