To kick off my German Fashion in Photos series, I am starting with one of my favorite photos. A pleasant trio of gals outside. Are they wandering the countryside? Enjoying the backyard? I doubt we will ever truly know but one thing is for sure, they appear to be having a great time enjoying each others company. I really enjoy this photo because they are dressed so simply which means their attire can be easy to replicate for an event or for everyday life even. Here we see 3 girls. One is wearing a dress and the other two are wearing separates. One blouse is a long sleeved number and the other a short sleeved blouse (there are other photos of these girls in the same attire).
Starting left to right, lets break down what we are seeing. the gal on the far left is wearing a white or light colored blouse over a dark skirt. The blouse is a long sleeved number with rather voluminous sleeves. Large billowing sleeves were a popular item in the 1930s so this blouse could very well be a hold over from the previous decade. It buttons all the way up to the neck and has a simple collar. Her legs are shadowed by the skirt so its hard to tell if she is bare legged or wearing stockings. I see no evidence of socks. Her shoes are simple looking. Her hair is definitely curled and looks to be center parted. Make up? It looks like she is sporting a clean face without make up. If it is there then it is very, very light and natural.
Girl number 2, the one in the middle, is wearing a very similar outfit of a blouse and a skirt. Her blouse is cut more like those of the 40s with a simple and tailored look. The blouse is a high neckline, has a yoke with gathers, and short sleeves (seen in other photos). Simple skirt completes this look for clothing. Very simple. Her shoes do have some flair to them based on the vamp. The vamp has a point and it would be great to see the rest of these charmers. The other photo of here below gives us a little more view of them though, Like the previous girl, she may not be wearing stockings and I see no socks either. Hair . . Her hair actually has something going on. The front of the hair do looks like a pomp that smooths out above the ears and then is curled and let down at the back of the head. It looks like she is wearing some jewelry too. A necklace of either beads or pearls. It also looks like she may be wearing earrings too. Now for her companion . . . I am not sure if this is her mother or not but we will go into her attire another day.
Girl number 3, on the far right, is the only one wearing a dress. What a dress it is too! The striped running different directions is common in the 40s. To make the most out of limited fabric, patterns went in more than one direction to get a whole dress squeezed out. The pockets are the only real flourish of trim. In fact, by the mid 40s in Germany there was a push to use pockets as a practical form of trim as they could be done in contrasting fabric, easily removed if need be, and were practical (I think that goes without saying). If you are a fan of this pocket, I did a tutorial about it here. So I want to talk about this shoulder line on her dress. If you look really close it looks kind of funny. So the ideal shoulder shape of the 40s was a strong angle which was achieved with a shoulder pad or else good tailoring. Here I think there is a shoulder pad in place but it is poorly sewn in and may be bunched up. I thought it may have been her natural shoulder line but that weird bump suggests to me its a bunched up shoulder pad. Possibly just wadding too. I think this is super important because not all 40s clothing had that shoulder pad and not all 40s clothing had that ideal shoulder shape. Looking at photos in my collection there are some gals that are not wearing a padded shoulder at all. I have been told all 40s dresses had to have that angular shoulder line to be period correct and that is simply untrue. See the photo below . . . Its more rounded and bumpy than angular. If you look closely, she is wearing some jewelry as well. A plain bracelet.