1940’s Teen Girls Fashion and Clothing

The 1940’s Teenage Girl

Plaid Skirt, Blouse and Oxford Shoes

The term ‘teenager’ was first coined in 1944 and Seventeen magazine printed its first issue, showing off young styles for teenage girls. Teenagers didn’t want to dress like their mothers, and adopted styles to set them apart from the older crowd. They were obsessed with crooner Frank Sinatra, hung out at soda fountains and danced all night to jazz and swing music.

1943 Teens Dancing

Teen Dress and Sloppy Joe Sweater

The most popular teenage look of the 40’s was the ‘sloppy Joe’ sweater. It was a plain crew-neck or cardigan sweater, worn a little bit too big by teenage girls. They wore a white blouse underneath with a pointed or small, rounded peter pan collar peeking out of the top. The blouse would be tucked into a plaid or plain pleated skirt with the untucked sweater over it. The skirt was made of rayon, wool blend or wool and zipped or buttoned on the side. It could be grey, tan or blue, red or green plaid. The skirt was a little bit longer and fuller than a ‘grown-up’ would wear. The outfit was completed with a pair of white ‘bobby socks’ (cotton ankle-length socks).

Another popular outfit for younger girls was a plain cotton shirtwaist dress with a short-sleeved cotton linen or rayon jacket over it. The jacket could be worn buttoned up or open and had shoulder pads. It fell between the waist and hipline. Usually the dress and jacket were not the same color. The dress was plain or often in plaids or checks. Reds and blues were popular colors. The jacket would be in a coordinating color.

1946 Teens

Teenagers would also wear a plain short-sleeved cotton blouse tucked into a gathered rayon, wool-blend or wool skirt. The skirt would come to just below the knees and was gathered a little bit to give it some swing. The skirt was often plaid, but could also be plain navy, red, blue or grey among other colors.

You have just read a section from the 1940’s Style Guide: The Complete Illustrated Guide to 1940’s Fashion for Women. To read more pick up a copy of the book today!

1940's dress

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