The 1940s day dress

women wearing 1940s day dress
A page from a 1946 Sears catalogue showing    three different styles of 1940s day dress

A day dress of any era  is a versatile edition to any woman’s wardrobe. Accessorised appropriately, a day dress, whether it be 1930s or contemporary, can be worn to work, out shopping with friends or to a garden party or day time wedding.

Long sleeves 1940s shirtwaist day dress
Long sleeved 1940s shirtwaist day dress

I am a massive fan of the 1940s day dress, whether it by a utilitarian, practical shirtwaist design as seen above or a close fitting wiggle dress with swag hip and bow detail like that below.


Jacques Fath day dress 1947
Jacques Fath day dress 1947

My wardrobe is full of day dresses, mostly 1940s, as that is the style I like to wear most. I love colours and patterns, my most favourite dress is a 1940s pinafore dress in a wonderfully rich paisley pattern with a zipper front and tie back. I love it, and when it finally gives up on me I shall find myself some similar fabric and have one made using my dress as a pattern.

1940s pinafore dress -1940s day dress
A pattern for a 1940s pinafore dress

Another popular design was the peplum dress. The peplum being a flattering feature which comes with many variations. In its make up, the peplum is an overskirt of sorts it could be worn long or short, of even length or uneven. The peplum adds more than a little glamour to a day dress and is seen on the simplest and the most sophisticated of designs.

1940s peplum day dress
Dress pattern for a 1940s day dress with peplum
1940s woman peplum dress
A 1940s woman wearing a perfectly accessorised peplum dress

Below is a photograph of two smartly dressed women wearing day dresses that would be perfect for work wear. Both dresses are in the shirtwaist style, buttoning to the waist which is accentuated by a narrow belt. The wide shoulders are so typical or 1940s styling, as is the skirt length, falling just below the knee.

1940s woman wearing day dresses
1940s woman wearing day dresses

The woman below is again wearing a 1940s day dress with a feminine floral print and a wide waistband which creates an almost shelf bust. She wearing wedge sandals with ankle straps making this the perfect look for daytime dates or a casual wedding.

1940s woman wearing floral print day dress
1940s woman wearing floral print day dress

Find your perfect vintage day dress here.