1943 was a turning point for Nazi Germany in a variety of ways but most importantly in Fashion. With shortages and rationing putting a choke hold on the fashion scene, women had to find new and creative ways to stay stylish. Shortages along with rationing removed various goods and garments from the shelves and backs of many German civilians, men, women, and children alike. This lack of clothing was evident in their magazines such as the Frauen – Warte where many make – do – and – mend instructions and diagrams were offered to help women turn old men’s suits or coats into new outfits. Although many ideas were offered to give new ideas, these magazines also grew shorter in length as a result of the lack of materials caused by the war. “Make new out of old” or, aus alt mach neu, became a more common phrase as the war dragged on and in 1943, this slogan really began to pick up because the war had drained so many resources. Besides making old garments into new ones, ideas for cheap and easy accessories became more common too to update old looks that began to visual tire. Some accessory ideas included collars and cuffs.
The pages of the Frauen Warte, like the pages of the Make do and Mend books offered in the U.S., offered a great deal of ideas and instruction for how to make new outfits out of old ones. From the above example from 1942 children's clothes and women's clothes are updates and created from a few simple clothes.
Trimming an old outfit was also an economical way to make a new look that required less money and time than making a whole new outfit. Trimming ideas included scraps from old garments, pockets, buttons, etc. Creativity was truly put to the test here and in other parts of the globe.
Besides trimming, I believe color blocking, or the mixing of solids and/or prints became more common place in making new looks and setting fashion trends. From 1943/44, The Frauen Warte offers a full page devoted to such seamstress work that could put to work two very old or shattered garments to make one new look completely intact and in fashion.
An interesting detail to this page is that fact that the women are all sporting very practical head wear or hair styles. Turbans kept hair out of the way and clean. Hair done up did the same thing. Pairing practical hair dressing with equally practical dressmaking truly emphasizes the fact that women wanted to look good in a time where fashion was quite stressed.