Women at War... and at home

Women portraying civilians and those representing Axis and Allied forces of Western Europe in 1944 are invited to attend the event. ETO, Home Front, British, French, German and Partisan impressions and displays are welcome and encouraged. All persons attending the event should be acquainted with the general authenticity regulations as they apply equally to all event participants. The following are supplemental guidelines for female reenactors attending the event. Note: the material contained on these pages is not inclusive. All female impressions are accepted and encouraged.

General Guidelines for Women Reenactors

1. Dress and grooming should be consistent with 1944 Europe and North American Standards.

a. Hair must be cut and styled consistent with the practices of the 1940s. For women in uniform, hair should be styled to the military standards of the impression portrayed.

i. Female soldiers should wear their hair off the collar as was required by military regulations

ii. Modern hair color is not permitted (e.g. blue or pink) and modern hairstyles should be covered or altered to appear "vintage"

b. Women's makeup, including fingernail polish if worn) should be consistent with 1940's practices. As the use of makeup differed by nationality, women portraying civilians and military roles should ensure makeup is used appropriately and is consistent with products available during war-time

 i. Women in the US military were permitted to wear makeup, including bright lip color

ii. Women in the German military were expected to uphold the purest female form and were discouraged from using heavy makeup. As a result, women portraying a German military role should limit make up to mascara, powder, and a neutral lip color

iii. Civilian make up should be limited based upon impression

iv. No makeup or nail polish should be worn by the following:

French Female Maquis members

French farm/village females

French civilian reenactors who will be present in or around the Maquis camp or the French farm building

2. Clothing styles and ensembles should be period correct and appropriate to the wearer's impression. This includes jewelry (watches, rings and necklaces), and accessories such as hats, eyeglasses, shoes, hosiery and handbags

3. Tattoos must be completely covered at all times while in uniform or 1940s dress. The use of makeup on exposed tattoos is highly encouraged. Alternatively, opaque hose and/or long sleeves can be used to cover tattoos

4. Military courtesy will be in effect in the camp. Non-military participants should use 1940's "manners" during public hours

5. All tools, drinking vessels, utensils and other common items should date to 1944 or before

WLA - Women's Land Army

Women's Land Army D-Day ConneautFor work wear: Many land girls wore jumpers or tops under their dungarees that were their own. Some were issued Aertex shirts with their dungarees, but often many weren't. Please be advised to refer to the Civilian and women's guidelines for applicable clothing to wear under dungarees. Also, please keep in mind if your impression is a land girl in her work wear, your appearance should be according to your job. Heavy makeup and freshly set hair would not apply here.

•   Heavy duty cotton tan dungarees with or without a brown leather belt cinched at the waist
•   Heavy duty tan dungaree "cutoffs" are also acceptable
•   Aertex (or cotton/linen) short sleeved shirt. No modern day polos, please
•   Brown or peanut colored work boots, no lug soles.
•   Black Wellingtons, or gum boots with no visible print or labels
•   WLA issued fawn colored wool stockings
•   WLA issued "milking coat"
•   Tractor jacket
•   A scarf over your hair is acceptable, keeping with the prints and fabrics of the time
•   The WLA winter or 'Walking Out' Uniform. Please note that if your impression is a land girl using her winter uniform for Parades or Walking Out, light makeup and freshly set hair is acceptable here
•   WLA issued tan lace up knee breeches
•   WLA issued fawn colored long sleeved uniform shirt with official hunter green tie with WLA print on it in gold and burgundy pinstriping
•   Brown leather belt, standard issue is 1 3/4" with gold colored buckle
•   Hunter green v-neck long sleeve jumper with the WLA badge pinned in the "V" on the front
•   WLA armband, indicating months/years of service
•   WLA uniform hat with badge
•   Fawn wool stockings are to be worn over knee breeches and turned over
•   Dark brown leather oxfords with a 1 1/2 inch heel, or ankle laced work boots (similar to men's British army boots) are also acceptable

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Allied Civilian Participants

1. Civilian clothing should be appropriate to the wearers' age, occupation, nationality, and social strata.

a. Clothing should be made of fabric available during war-time rationing. Cotton and rayon were encouraged due to Order L-85 (America) and Utility Apparel Order (United Kingdom). Nylon, rubber, silk, leather, and wool were reserved exclusively for combat and combat support purposes and were thus difficult to access for civilian garment production.

b. Clothing should The war-time clothing regulations produced a slim female silhouette with nipped in waists and narrow skirts with Vogue describing the look as "sharp, cold, and even bold"

   
  Timeline of Women’s fashions from 1935-1949 to illustrate fashion silhouettes worn through 1944 as well as incorrect styles to avoid. Click to enlarge  

c. According to the War Production Board, there was need for 15% less fabric used in war-time clothing styles than pre-war standards. Prohibited during war-time standards: pleats, ruffles, patch pockets, attached hoods and shawls, full sleeves or skirts. Hems could be no wider than 2 inches and garments can have no more than one pocket

     
  Women's utility dresses May 14, 1942. Dresses are designed to avoid dullness   Examples of women's "utility suits."  

d. Regulations, according to the War Production Board for women's clothing, were as follows:

•   Straight Coats: 44" in length, 64" sweep of hem
•   Fitted Coats: 45" in length, 64" sweep of hem
•   Jackets: Maximum length 28"
•   Slacks or pants: Maximum length 45", bottom width 14 ½"
•   Suits: i. Skirt: Length 28 ¾" - 30", Sweep according to fabric 65" - 88" ii. Jacket: Length 23 ½" - 28"
•   Blouses: Sleeve width limited to 14", Length from neck to hem 22", Only one patch pocket (Prohibited Styles: Dolman, balloon, and leg o'mutton)
•   Culottes or Skirt: Length 28 ¾" - 30", Sweep of hem 66" - 97" (Prohibited Styles: All around pleated skirts)
•   Daytime Dresses: Maximum length 45", Sweep of hem 74" (Prohibited Styles: Tunics)
•   Evening Dresses: Maximum basic length 59", Sweep of hem for all non-transparent fabric 144"
•   Evening Jackets: Shall not exceed 25" from neck to hem, Hem limited to 1 ½"
•   Evening Skirts: Length 45", Sweep of hem 144"

   
  Examples of women's hats Left to right: 1942 Canadian pink straw doll hat, American "V" for victory rhinestone trimmed wool turban c. 1945  

e. Accessories should reflect the time period

•   Belts are narrow and should not exceed 2" in width
•   Nude stockings (denier nylon, mercerized cotton, cotton lisle, or silk), if worn, have a matching in color, seam up the back of the leg. Socks with bare legs are acceptable- to be worn with flat shoes
•   Shoes are rounded toe and, if high heeled, would have a sturdy heel (stilettos are incorrect). Popular shoes of the time were Penny Loafers, Wedgies, Oxfords, and Spectator Pumps
•   Gloves were most commonly worn by women who left the house to go into public. The rule with glove selection was: the shorter the sleeve, the longer the glove
•   Hats were also generally worn in public unless the attire is a sporting outfit. Common styles of the time were: Felt fedoras, Picture hats, Peter Pan, Turbans, Fascinators, Pancake hats, and Doll hats

   
  Examples of women's shoe advertisements. Note: the thick heels and rounded toes.  

f. Prior to World War 2, when a man purchased a suit, it came with a jacket, a vest, and two pairs of pants. The wartime "Victory Suit" eliminated the vest and second pair of pants. Men's suits were single-breasted, had narrow lapels, no cuffs, and no pocket flaps. Wartime necessity allowed men to wear mismatched jackets and trousers

g. Additional references for civilian impressions

•   Flashbak: The CC41 "˜Pac-Man" Utility Label in Wartime Britain (http://flashbak.com/the-cc41-pac-man-utility-label-in-wartime-britain-20207/)
•   Blueprints of Fashion: Home Sewing Patterns of the 1940s by Wade Laboissonniere 2009, Schiffer Publishing)
•   Vintage Fashion Guild: Dating Vintage Clothing (http://vintagefashionguild.org/tips-tricks/)
•   Blitzkrieg Baby- For fashion and reenacting help: (http://www.blizkriegbaby.de/homepage.htm)
•   Early 1940's Fashionable Clothing from the Sears Catalogs with Price Guide. Atglen: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 2002 Print
•   D-Day Conneaut Allied Civilians Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1557785461130647/)

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French Women

•   Make do and mend - repaired and even stained garments would fit in well If you're taking part in the battles/scenarios make sure you wear something you don't mind getting torn or dirty

Dresses & Skirts

Polka dots, checkered square as well as flowers with big, small and tangled designs were common patterns for dresses Length is just below or right at the knee.

•   Wartime dresses and skirts have less fabric due to rationing, so no poofy skirts as they are postwar. A classic A-line skirt is the best way to go
•   Cotton is material of choice since it's cooler, but wool and rayon and were also common
•   No polyester or polyester blends. Stay away from elastic as most won't have the proper look
•   Leather or cloth-covered belts were common on period dresses and pants, but not essential
•   Closures (zippers, snaps or hooks and eyes) for dresses and skirts should always be metal and on the left side of the garment. Short neck zippers are correct. Most full back zippers are post war


Clothing Appropriate for City Dwellers
 
Clothing Appropriate for Female Maquis & Farm/Village Women

Blouses

Collared blouses were typical and often buttoned all the way up and paired with a three-quarter length or long-sleeved knit sweater. Shoulders were usually made to look more prominent with shoulder pads. No modern style blouses.

Pants

No pants for city dwellers and farm/village women as they were not common. Pants are acceptable, although not preferable, for female Maquisards. High, flat-wasted, full-legged pants with side closures (zippers, snaps or hooks and eyes) are a good option especially if you're fielding.

##VERY IMPORANT LADIES##

If you're taking part in the battles/scenarios as an armed combatant, then you are seen as a Maquis member and not part of the farm village. Therefore, it's very important that your color choices be limited to those that will blend in with the surroundings, i.e. browns, grays, blacks, and not loud, showy colors. As Maquis you would be hiding in the woods and doing your best to not attract attention.

 

shoesshoesFootwear

100% Cotton or 100% wool socks and flat leather shoes (or shoes with a minimal heel) or leather boots to allow ease of movement. Please see pictures here and in “Allied Civilian Participants” for the correct style of footwear. No modern-looking soles. Maquisards and farm/village women should wear either 100% cotton or 100% wool ankle socks or be bare-legged.
Female civilians portraying city dwellers can choose the above or wear appropriate seamed hosiery (see Allied Civilian guidelines).

Hats

100% wool Basque beret is the common hat of choice in the maquis camp, usually in black, brown or dark blue

Hair

Braids, snoods and buns are all easy options. No straight hair or ponytails. Research original photographs for correct styles.

Jewelry

Period correct jewelry only. Wedding bands should be thin. Female Maquisards and farm/village women should wear little jewelry (e.g. wedding band, watch) or no jewelry. Other civilian women should wear what would be appropriate for wartime France.

Makeup

City dwellers-make up/nail polish should be used appropriately and be consistent with products available during war-time France.
NO makeup or nail polish should be worn by the following:
    French Female Maquis members
    French farm/village females
    French civilian reenactors who will be present in or around the Maquis camp or the French farm building

Military Impressions in the Encampment

Women portraying military impressions may wear any authentic combination of Uniforms and Equipment as would have been seen in the European Theater of Operations prior to or during 1944. Uniforms and equipment must be original or quality reproductions. Please refrain from including in your display or wearing original or reproduction items that do not date to c.1944.

Military Impressions in the Battle Reenactments

For women planning to participate in the battle reenactments, additional requirements apply. These are listed in the Authenticity Regulations for the respective nationalities. Women wishing to participate in tactical (excepting French Resistance fighters) must adopt a male impression for and adhere to the guidelines for that impression.

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Uniforms

Uniforms, regardless of impression - unit, nationality, or gender - should be worn in a regulation or documented fashion. As these are military uniforms of the respective countries, although no longer in use, they should be worn in a manner befitting a soldier of the time period. Overall military appearance and proper wear of the uniform and equipment will be required in camp. (see Military Impressions for the Beach Landings for additional information and requirements for those wishing to participate in the tactical.) Though some women's attire is difficult to obtain, women portraying military impressions should ensure that they wear the entire uniform as it was intended in WWII. Alternate impressions and wearings may be substantiated through photos and we encourage participants to share their information with us and the public attending the event. Female uniforms should be complete and not mix grades of uniforms or insignia. Appropriate headwear should be worn for the circumstances.

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Allied Impressions

U.S. ANC

We are aware that the Army Nurse Corps had a variety of uniforms. The only uniforms authorized are June 1944. The following uniforms are NOT authorized to wear by participants as they were not the norm in the ETO, however they may be displayed as part of a uniform grouping display, and/or may be worn after hours when there is no public presence.

•   Service Uniform, Women's, Blue
•   Cape, Nurses, blue
•   Uniform, Cotton Seersucker, Nurses
•   Nurses Jacket, Cotton Seersucker
•   Nurses Pants, Cotton Seersucker 
•   Uniform, Cotton White, Nurses
•   Service Uniform, Eisenhower
•   Uniform, Cotton Blue, Nurses
•   Uniform, Pinks and Greens

Field Uniforms

Prescribed D-Day ANC Uniforms:

•   Shirt: Herringbone Twill, Women's, special
•   Pants: Herringbone Twill, Women's
•   Shirt: Herringbone Twill, Men's
•   Pants: Herringbone Twill, Mens's
•   Coveralls: Herringbone Twill
•   Women's Garrison cap: Wool
•   Men's Garrison cap: Wool
•   Men's Boots: Jump,  (worn with men's canvas leggings)
•   Shoes: Field, Women's, Low quarter (worn with or without leggings)
•   Shoes: Service, Women's, Low (russet brown oxford)/p>

Optional Equipment for Field Uniforms

•   Helmet, Steel, M-1, Complete
•   Bag, Canvas, M-1936
•   Belt, Pistol, M-1936
•   Canteen, M-1910
•   Cup, Canteen
•   Fork, M-1926
•   Knife, M-1926
•   Spoon, M-1926
•   Necklace, Identification Tag, w/Extension

Service Uniforms

To be worn on parade, formal functions, or if in an Admin position

•   Jacket: Wool, od, Women's, Nurses
•   Skirt: Wool, od, Women's, Officers
•   Cap: Service, Wool, od, Nurses
•   Cap: Garrison, OD, Women's, Officer's (Male patterned is authorized)
•   Waist: Wool or Cotton, Women's
•   Necktie: Women's or Men's
•   Shoes: Service, Women's, Oxford, russet (private purchase pumps authorized in Service Uniform, russet brown with bow) Pinks & Greens authorized for wear. NOTE: If reproduction footwear is not available, shoes should be a russet oxford with minimal decoration and a heel of 1 and 1/2 inches
•   Dress: Off-duty, Women's, OD (Optional *see note below)
•   Dress: Off-duty, Women's, Beige (Optional *see note below)
•   Service Uniform, Women's, Beige, to be worn with Officers Nurses cap or oversea's beige, Shirtwaist white, Tie Maroon (Optional *see note below)

*Note: The off duty dress is a private purchase item and not listed as an issue item. The off duty dress is worn when not on duty. In camp we try to strive to represent the training forces in England and invasion forces of France, therefore the off duty dress is not a work uniform. This uniform is more frequently seen in England and only seen in France after the liberation of Paris. While this uniform is authorized please understand that it is not representative of a uniform that would be worn in garrison or in field work, so that when dealing with the public for educational purposes please make sure to distinguish the difference in the uniform. This is also true for the 1942 Beige Dress Uniform.

SOURCES: QM 3-2 QUARTERMASTER SUPPLY CATALOG, LIST OF ITEMS FOR TROOP ISSUE WAC' AND NURSE' CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT, REVISED 7 OCTOBER 1943. NURSE, PHYSICAL THERAPY AIDE, HOSPITAL DIETITIAN MANDATORY CLOTHING AND INDIVIDUAL EQUIPMENT ALLOWANCES FOR THEATER OF OPERATIONS-SUMMER/WINTER CLOTHING FOR TEMPERATE ZONE, 11 NOVEMBER 1943 uniform.

All US female military participants must wear the appropriate shirtwaists/ties/accessories for their uniforms.

U.S. WAC

Prescribed Uniform for Enlisted Women

•   Winter Service Uniform: Cap, WAC, (Also known as Hobby Hat) or Wool Garrison Cap
•   Garrison Jacket: wool, women's (also referred to as a "blouse" not to be confused with the "Ike" style jacket)
•   Skirt: wool
•   Women's Shirt: Cotton or Wool
•   Service Shoes or Field Shoes
•   Necktie
•   Appropriate insignia. NOTE: If reproduction footwear is not available, shoes should be a russet oxford with minimal decoration and a heel of 1 and 1/2 inches
•   Hat: herringbone, twill (also referred to as a Daisy Mae)
•   Jacket and Trousers: herringbone twill or Coverall Herringbone twill (Women's HBTs preferred, but Men's allowed)

All US female military participants must wear the appropriate shirtwaists/ties/accessories for their uniforms

##Click her to view the 1942-1945 official Army regulations##

U.S. WAVES

•   Jacket, Skirt (service dress "blue“ or white), Trousers, Cap WAVES, cotton shirtwaist blue or white Cotton, Seersucker, Navy Dress or Jacket and Skirt
•   Coverall, Aviation, Blue
•   Trousers, Navy, Denim Blue (Men's dungaree optional)
•   Shirt, Chambray, Blue Cotton (Men's optional)

All U.S. female military participants must wear the appropriate shirtwaists/ties/accessories for their uniforms

Resources for U.S. Impressions

Resources we would recommend to those just becoming acquainted with their military impression of choice include Dressed for Duty and Quartermaster Study Guide, A Wardrobe for the Women of the Army written in 1945. We would also recommend Women for Victory: American Servicewomen in World War II.

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Axis Impressions

Deutsches Rotes Kreuz Uniforms

•   Medium grey pleated front blouse with contrasting white collar. White blouses worn with this skirt in walking out dress
•   Skirt in the matching grey with two front pleats and concealed pockets
•   DRK triangular cloth patch worn on right sleeve & plain white Red Cross armband on the left
•   Uniform jacket - double breasted grey of the same color with two rows of buttons, & a dark grey contrasting collar and outwards-buttoning sleeve tabs. Red Cross collar patches are worn on the collar
•   Field dress will consist of the blue-grey and white striped ward dress with matching white apron (normally of bib-type)
•   The starched white nurse's cap will be worn with the ward dress. The Red Cross armband will be worn on the left upper arm and the standard DRK triangular sleeve patch will also be worn
•   Shoes will be black lace tie up leather uppers consistent with 1940's Germany worn with white socks

NOTE: This uniform has been limited due to the differences between the National Socialist DRK and the Regular DRK. We do not allow ANY political uniforms of any type

Bund Deutscher Mädel and Jungmädel

White poplin, worsted wool, or cotton blouse with long sleeves or short sleeves (depending on season) and either two open-topped breast pockets or one open-topped pocket (on the left) and one flap-topped pocket on the right. In the case of the two open-topped breast pockets, there should be a two-button closure on each pocket. In the case of the dual pocketed shirt, there should be a two-button closure on the open-topped pocket and a single button closure on the flap-topped pocket. The buttons should be flat, white, and four holed. 4 Larger buttons down the center front of the shirt, similar but smaller buttons on the pockets and cuffs. The long sleeved version of the blouse is to be worn underneath the jacket. The short sleeved version of this blouse isn't worn with the jacket, but is acceptable to wear for summer events. Jungmädel uniforms may also have 2 buttons at the waistline of the shirt which button into the waistline of the skirt.

•   The skirt is made of dark blue wool with waist belt loops and a single central pleat in center front from hem to mid thigh. Left side closure. A plain black belt with a silver buckle is worn through loops. The skirt has two internal front pockets with slanted buttoning external flaps. Length of skirt can be anywhere from knee length to mid-calf
•   The uniform jacket consisted of a faux velour/ faux suede. Original jacket colors varied from light tan to caramel brown. The jacket is waist length - it is shorter in the back and comes to two points at the hips in the front. It is single breasted with six buttons closures. Four patch pockets with a single button closure on each, are on the front. The back of jacket has two half belts at the hip for fit. The black triangular district patch of the BDM member's home district is worn on the upper left sleeve. Below this is the red/white diamond shape Hitler Youth insignia.
•   A black scarf is worn around the neck with a leather slipknot
•   No jewelry should be worn, including earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets. Watches are permitted
•   No makeup should be worn
•   Shoes are flat soled oxfords in black or brown. Shoes may have heel and toe plates
•   White cotton socks are the only acceptable color for summer uniform

Heer/Wehrmacht Helferinnen

•   Double breasted grey wool jacket with matching pleated skirt
•   Grey wool side cap
•   Grey button-up blouse with collar and buttoned cuffs (no pockets)
•   Black tie
•   National emblem in white on black background for jacket, blouse, and cap

Nachrichtenhelferin

•   "NH des Heeres" cufftitle
•   Signals blitz pin on tie
•   Signals patches on jacket and cap

Stabshelferin

•   "Stabshelferin des Heeres" cufftitle

Luftwaffe

•   Single breasted blue-grey wool jacket with matching pleated skirt
•   Hip length blue-grey wool jacket (similar to male fliegerbluse) with matching ski trousers
•   Blue-grey wool side cap if wearing the single breasted jacket
•   Blue-grey M43 style field cap with single button if wearing the hip length jacket
•   Light blue button up blouse with collar and buttoned cuffs (no pockets)
•   Black tie
•   Luftwaffe style eagle in silver-grey thread on blue-grey background for jacket and cap (optional on blouse)
•   The appropriate insignia (cufftitles, patches, etc) and pins worn according to the impression

SS-Helferinnenkorps
Heimwartinnen (homekeepers) and Hilfsausbilderinnen (unskilled trainers) of the Reichsschule-SS

•   Single breasted blue-grey wool jacket with matching pleated skirt
•   Hip length blue-grey wool jacket (similar to male fliegerbluse) with matching ski trousers
•   Blue-grey wool side cap if wearing the single breasted jacket
•   Blue-grey M43 style field cap with single button if wearing the hip length jacket
•   Light blue button up blouse with collar and buttoned cuffs (no pockets)
•   Black tie
•   Luftwaffe style eagle in silver-grey thread on blue-grey background for jacket and cap (optional on blouse)
•   The appropriate insignia (cufftitles, patches, etc) and pins worn according to the impression

Single breasted feldgrau jacket with three button fastening with two rectangular skirt pockets and a single open left breast pocket. The upper collar must be unlined (unless portraying and officer impression, please check with Axis Command for this event). The jacket bears the oval black cloth patch with silver edging bearing the SS runes. The SS version of the National Emblem is worn on the upper left sleeve 16 cm from where the sleeve comes off the shoulder. Cuff title bearing the Reichsschule-SS (only in a training role) all others must bear the SS-Helferin to be worn 14 cm above the edge of the cuff.

*NOTE: In September 1943 Heinrich Himmler, the Reichsführer-SS, gave the order that the SS-Helferinnen are not allowed to wear the national emblem (Reichsadler) on the blouse (but were allowed on the jacket, the coat and the cap) and not allowed to wear the sign of lightning anywhere on the uniform (Signallers Badge) [Tagesbefehl 144/43, 6.9.1943, Bundesarchiv Berlin, NS 32 II/56, Bl. 149]. SOURCE: Das SS-Helferinnenkorps Ausbildung, Einsatz und Entnazifizierung der weiblichen Angehorigen der Waffen-SS 1942-1949: by Jutta Muhlenberg

NO SIGNALS BADGE IS TO BE WORN ON THIS UNIFORM AS THIS IS A 1944 EVENT AND IT IS HISTORICALLY INACCURATE TO WEAR THIS ON THE UNIFORM.

*NOTE: In September 1943 Heinrich Himmler, the Reichsführer, gave the order that the SS-Helferinnen are not allowed to wear the national emblem (Reichsadler) on the blouse (but were allowed on the jacket, the coat and the cap) and not allowed to wear the sign of lightning anywhere on the uniform (Signallers Badge) [Tagesbefehl 144/43, 6.9.1943, Bundesarchiv Berlin, NS 32 II/56, Bl. 149].

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