If you only ever buy one item of vintage clothing make it a coat, and if you only ever buy one vintage coat, make it a 1940s coat, you will not regret it! Spend a little more, don’t think ‘I am buying second hand, it must be cheap’, realise that to buy a coat of the quality you will find in a true vintage 40s coat you would have to spend hundreds of pounds today. The quality of fabric, the skill of the tailoring, the hand-finished hems and luxurious linings all add up to something truly special, and there aren’t many items that you could buy on the high street that will still be around and looking good in 70 years time.
The McCall coat pattern above is from 1940, and it is pretty much my dream coat. Wide shoulders and a princess line nipped waist falling into a slightly fuller skirt. The leopard trim finishes it off a treat and to be honest, I’d do most anything to get my paws on a 1940s coat like this.
Above is another princess line coat, this one is from 1944 and has a definite military feel. The wide shoulders and large lapels are so unmistakable 40s. This is a very utilitarian look, but it is no less elegant for the fact.
This plaid 1940s coat came into Gingermegs Vintage and was sold within minutes. I’d have kept it if there was any chance I’d ever be able to squash my boobs into it, trying and realising it was never going to happen pretty much reduced me to tears. Again, princess line with fabulous wide and slightly puffed shoulders, the perfect early wartime silhouette
From the French fashion and lifestyle magazine ‘Le Petit echo de la Mode’ we see illustrations of yet another princess line coat. This time with a wide belt and oversized patch pockets, and below is shown a glorious swing coat from a little later in the decade, the shoulders softer and the fabric more voluminous. The swing coat should swing whilst one walks, wearing one will make you feel like a movie star, I promise!
Another beauty to fly out the door was this fabulous 1940s princess line coat with grosgrain inserts and collar tips. It is a versatile, timeless piece, as relevant today as it was in the 40s.
Most people choose not to wear fur today, and for that I am truly grateful, but 70 years ago fur was a wardrobe staple. Here we can see Lucille Ball wearing a 1940s fur swagger coat. Swagger coats first became popular in the 1930s, the comfortable style hanging loosely from the shoulders
Above is another swagger coat, this one having a far more utilitarian feel. The 1940s swagger coat appears practical, a coat for every day. It is easy to move in and can be worn with day dresses or separates plus it will fit comfortably over a suit.
At the time of writing, this luxurious 1940s swagger coat is in the store and online. The easy to wear style is made special by the glorious mink cuffs and tippet.
I never know what 1940s coats I will have in store. I’ve had some beauties this season, but they always seem to fly, check here and see if you can find your dream 1940s coat before it disapears.