Those visitors 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
civilian reenactors attending the event. Note:
the material contained on these pages is not inclusive. Additional
female information can be found in the
General Guidelines for Reenactors:
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.
Women’s fashions from 1935-1949 to illustrate
fashion silhouettes worn
through 1944 as well as incorrect styles to avoid.
Click to enlarge.
b. 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”.
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.
utility dresses May 14, 1942.
Dresses are designed to avoid dullness.
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”
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”
women’s hats Left to right:
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.
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.