Saturday, November 20, 2010

The A-Z of Vintage part 4: S-Z

A big thank you to Retro Jet Girl for helping me with some tricky letters! Muchly appreciated :)
Also I couldn't think of anything for X. That is all.

S is for Stocking one of the key foundations in an outfit during the 20th century. Initially made with silk or rayon and in 1940 the introduction of nylon saw stockings being made from the said material. During the war when resources were used for the war stockings were scarce. Women tried different means to give the appearance of stockings like painting a line at the back their leg to give the illusion of a stocking seam.

T is for Teddy Boys a sub culture and fashion style in the 1950s worn predominately by teenage boys. The look was inspired by the Edwardian period and they brought attention to the teenage fashion market. The sub culture first started in Britain following the war where boys would save up to buy tailored suits. Today Teddy Boys is associated with the other sub culture of Rockabilly.

U is for Undergarments. If you were to wake up in 1950 and have to get dressed for the day you'd the have to start with foundation, undergarments. You'd have to wear high waisted knickers, pointy shaped bra (possibly longline), a girdle, stockings, slip and crinoline. Through out the 20th century underwear went through some major changes. In the earlier part of the century women were still expected to wear the corset but by the 1920s differences in materials made it less restrictive. In the 40s women camisoles and drawers were sewn out of old parachutes and in the 50s advancements in fabrics introduced colours to undergarments.

V is for Victory Rolls a commonplace hairstyle during the war time/1940s, hence the name. They are a section of hair rolled towards the head and pinned down. They can achieve many different styles including giving the illusion of a fringe (reverse victory roll). In the 1940s when women's clothes were rationed more attention was paid to hair to make an outfit more interesting, intricate and complex were born out of this such as the victory roll.

W is for World War 2 one of the defining events of the 20th. Starting in 1939 the war had a mass affect. Men were off to fight and women were expected to pick up where they left off. As I have written before rationing affected those at home. Materials, resources and food were rationed leaving morale down. To combat this the government issued posters for people to keep spirits up and to focus on victory.

Y is for Yves Saint Laurent the designer who took over the house of Dior after the death of Christian Dior. He moved the from the new look to the swinging sixties (I hate saying that, I'm feeling uninspired with my vocabulary) with shift dresses and he even made the beatnik look mainstream. His most famous look though was his women's tuxedo.

Z is for Zoot Suit a type of suit that I personally familiarise with penguins. The zoot was popular in the 1930s and 40s with its distinctive wide shoulders, long jackets and pleated baggy pants. It first rose to prominence in jazz culture.


  1. Hi Ruby,
    It looks like your blog is going great guns, congratulations to you!
    I thought you might be interested in a fab TV series that covers style throughout the decades its called 'style on trial' each episode covers a decade of this century from the 40s to the 90s. In each episode a panel promote the decade and explain why they think it was the most stylish decade of the century. I have blogged on the 1940s episode here:

    and the 50's here:

    its a little hard to come by but if you can watch the series its very informative!

  2. Just a quick note to let you know that even though your blog is new i think its fab so i have given you an award. You can pick it up here:
    Emma @ Emma aime

  3. Thank you so much! I am so flattered!

    Thank you also for telling me about the show, hopefully I'll be able to catch it in Australia. It sounds great :)

  4. hello Ruby:
    i just loved your A-Z of Vintage.