10th January 2023

American Style

Although influenced by the same forces that had shaped the austerity fashions in Britain, restrictions were not so severe in America. Freed from the fashion dictates of occupied France, American design thrived, especially in New York. The casual, sporty and practical styles, such as slacks and T-shirts for women, remained popular. The concept of ‘American-style’ had clearly evolved during the war.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 9th January 1943 page 19. American styled floral featuring full sleeves cuffed below the elbow. Perhaps the fullness of the sleeves was what differentiated this frock from British styling.

Sunday Mail (Brisbane), 15th October 1944 page 1.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 25th December 1943 page 47. According to the blurb: “American women are crazy about dramatic colour contrast, and the use of two material on one garment … The Americans wear a sun or beach frock in house or garden on very hot days … grey was an important colour in America …”

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 17th November 1945 page 29.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 31st March 1945 page 21. “New, American Style swimsuit – smart as new paint.”

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 8th June 1946 page 22. “Smart American-Style coat for cold winter days.”

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 8th January 1944 page 15. “American styled and very appealing.”

News (Adelaide), 3rd January 1946 page 7.

Several points to note from the article above: clothing coupons are still in use, imports are once again available, and American styles are influencing Australian fashion.

The Sun (Sydney), 10th November 1945 page 3. Miss Australia entrant, Pat Craig (right) wears a Dido suit of seersucker with white daisies on a pink background, self frilling and rickrack braid on neck and sleeves.

The West Australian (Perth), 10th January 1946 page 1.

The popularity of American styling lead to its use as branding for Australian made buttons: http://www.austbuttonhistory.com/australian-button-history/federation-to-ww2/general-plastics-beauclaire/

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