What She Wears: Forties Glamour

July 19, 2011

Daily Digest

What She Wears: Forties Glamour

With our favourite highstreet shops releasing tasters of their upcoming autumn/winter collections, a trend that has been ever present throughout is Forties Glamour. It’s a style that has long been the signature of Dita Von Teese and Paloma Faith, but now it looks set to hit the streets.

Channel the sophisticated charm of Katherine Hepburn, the pin-up pizzazz of Rita Hayworth and the seductive prowess of Marlene Dietrich.

The trend has trickled down from the autumn/winter runways of Gucci, Prada, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jonathan Saunders and Donna Karan.

How to get the 40’s glamour look

• Have a rummage in your granny’s wardrobe for furs, pearls, gloves, pillbox hats and shrugs and get ready to glam it up in the most ladylike of fashions.

• 2011 sees hemlines dip to a strict yet feminine on-the-knee length that is at once conservative and very alluring. At the heart of this look is the pencil skirt which takes the midi skirt trend right through the year.

• Look out for 40s style dresses, suits and fedora hats and pussy bow blouses in vintage shops.

• If vintage shopping is not your thing then check out Stop Staring dresses which encompass the pure 40’s woman – you can find them online and in store at Camille Boutique Malahide and Retro in Georges St Arcade, both located in Dublin.

The key to fully embracing this style is to remember it’s less about slavishly collecting every piece from the era, as you may wind up actually looking like your granny. It’s more about taking key pieces that you like and customising them with your own wardrobe staples to emulate a modern day Marlene Dietrich; as the woman herself once famously said, “I dress for myself. Not for the image, not for the public, not for the fashion, not for men.”

Take inspiration from Gaultier who put his own twist on the trend by making it very sexy with the addition of revealing thigh-high slit to pencil skirts or Jonathan Saunders who steered away from a predictable interpretation through the use of unexpected colour combinations.

Meanwhile, Giannini, at Gucci, distilled all the glamour of the decade into her show with fedoras and pussy bow blouses thrown into the mix.

While it seems like a trend that would be difficult to incorporate into casual daywear, Miu Miu and Marni showed us how with their pretty tea dresses.

“This collection was about the empowerment of women,” said Donna Karan in the August 2011 issue of Vogue. As if we needed a better reason to embrace such a beautiful and timeless look.

– Gillian Brett

Related posts:

  1. What She Wears: Old Hollywood Glamour
  2. What She Wears: Skirts
  3. Party People: Debenhams SS11 Show
  4. Preen & Jonathan Saunders Debenhams
  5. What She Wears: Work Wear


  1. Sarah Rickard | WhatSheWears.ie - September 1, 2011

    […] Miu Miu for its sophisticated and elegant take on the 40’s and for their kick ass shoes!! Louis Vuitton was also a visual delight. […]

Leave a Reply