To start, pre-war clothing was made from natural organic materials. Cotton, linen, wool and silk were the most common fabrics used. All of that was going to change as the 2nd World War began to take form. The Great War just like the previous took an immense toll on day to day life for the common household, it wasn't just textiles that were affected but little things like beauty products and even more severe, food was rationed. Raw materials were being pumped into the war time factories which led scientists to look for new alternatives and not just in fabrics, but medicine and technology.
Women working on interior of B17 bomber
"Women working on the interior of a B17 bomber, 1940's"
2 women working on car
"Women working on a vehicle, 1940"
     So what was this new synthetic fabric they created? Well to put it simply, it was polyester. Created in 1941, and at the time called Terylene it was the future of clothing. After studies and testing it was finally released to the American public in 1951. Keep in mind at this stage the war was over but another was already in its infancy, the Korean war started in 1950 and the Cold War was already alive terrifying everyone right after Germany was split into East and West. People were destitute and countries were working as hard as they could to rebuild their shattered worlds. With the threat and rise of Communism and no end in sight of being terrified of what the future held for everyone, Fashion became the new way for people to express themselves. People started to change the manner in which they dressed, or it became less couture, as people began wearing more comfortable clothing like sportswear (not anything like today's sportswear). 
3 women on bikes
"Women on their bicycles, 1940"
     Pants! or trousers, was one thing that women brought with them. They wore men's style uniforms when they worked in the factories while the men were off fighting in war, and they brought them into women's everyday fashion. Prior to the war, trousers were looked at as a masculine article of clothing. Though women from the 1920's did begin to wear them, they really boomed in the late forties and onward. This gave birth to items like Capri's or shorter leg pants in the 60's. That's not all that shortened in length, skirts were no longer short or "at the knee" and Bikini's were everywhere, gone were the days of suit like dresses and modest bathing suits.
Audrey Hepburn
"Audrey Hepburn in Capri pants"
Ava Gardener in 1944
"Ava Gardener, 1944"
     How did Fashion change so drastically? Just like today Hollywood nearly dictates what everyone wears. No different was this than in the war torn years from the 1940's to the 70's. Famous actresses were the inspiration to the ever changing style's that were taking over women's fashion. It really is no different from today other than it may have been slightly slower in pace. Today with social media, there is not a second that goes by where the Stars aren't watched and shared around. The Television was very new and not everyone could afford one, so magazines and films were the go to way people received their Hollywood style information.
Doris Day with camera
"Doris Day using a camera, 1950"
Marilyn Monroe
"Marilyn Monroe"
     To wrap up everything, the 2nd Great War caused massive shortages world wide. Leading to new scientific discoveries in many areas of interest. It can be seen today, Women's and Men's Fashion has been on a roller coaster ride ever since and it doesn't appear to being slowing down anytime soon. Below you'll find some tips women used back then for beauty products. Also let everyone know in the comments below if you know any tricks our older generation knew.
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Beauty Tips!
- Beet juice for lipstick
- Lipstick could be used as blush
- Brown gravy as self-tanner (This one I wouldn't recommend lol)
Author: R. J. Lippincott Jr.

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