Bridal Style: Going Vintage – 40’s Inspired Styling That Suits Your Body Shape

I’m very pleased this afternoon to be welcoming back Emily Jane to the  Blog. Emily is our resident vintage stylist and image consultant and she has been talking us though each decade to show you how you can dress in a vintage manner for your dress shape.

So far she has coverd:

♥   70s Styling ideas

♥   60s Styling Ideas 

♥   50s Styling Ideas

Today Emily is talking is though the 1940s look and coming up with a style that suites your body shape.


Emily Jane Stylist


Hello Boho readers, remember me? I’m delighted that Kelly has asked me back again to talk about retro and vintage inspired looks that flatter your body shape. As a personal stylist I’m passionate about helping brides to know how to best dress their body shape to look gorgeous on the big day, and this time I’m tackling the 1940s.

Emily Jane Stylist

As a reminder, it’s hard to cover specific body shapes in a blog post, as generally instead of fitting into a neat category like ‘hourglass’, ‘celery’ or ‘pear’ etc., most women are some sort of combination of one or more. So, for the purposes of keeping things simple in this blog and to be able to offer advice to as many women as possible, I’m scaling things all the way back to two categories – straight and curvy. The vast majority of women will find that their body is mostly one or the other. The best way to work out which you are, is to stand in front of a mirror and look at your overall shape. If you have a small bust, flattish bottom and tummy and hips a similar size to your waist, you’re probably made up of straight lines. If you have a full bust, bottom and hips and a defined waist then you are most likely curvy. We’re talking shape, not size here, as that really is the most important thing – you can be a curvy size 10 and a straight size 18.

So, on with the 1940s inspired looks to suit your body shape, and of course, for the rebels out there, how to break the rules if you prefer the look that isn’t perfect for your shape!


Straight Body Type – Suit Up!

1940s clothing

Wartime brides, in the UK in particular, often found themselves without the ration tokens to be able to buy the fabric needed for a wedding dress. It is therefore common to see brides of the time simply wearing their best suit as their bridal attire. Translated to the modern day, this is a sharp yet romantic look that is perfect for the second time around bride, or the bride who simply isn’t in to dresses!

Things to look out for

Tailoring – the sharp tailoring of a well-cut suit is a perfect fit to the neat, straight lines of your body shape

Oxford Brogues – a popular shoe style of the era, this can be a more balanced look for a formal suit, where delicate bridal sandals may simply not look right (another plus is these shoes are generally super comfortable, and come in flatter styles for those not happy in heels!)

The hat – a fluffy veil or traditional floral head piece can look a little out of kilter with a sharp suit. Try a pill box hat, and if you want a veil make it birdcage. (I also think that the Lana Turner style beret would look simply lovely for a Winter wedding!)


How to do this look if you are curvy
Tailoring can be difficult over curves – look out for softer fabrics. For the jacket deconstructed styles such as shawl collars will look fantastic, but make sure that your waist is nipped in and emphasised. A pencil skirt shape will emphasise your curves, but you may find a soft A-line more comfortable.



Curvy Body Type – Bias Bride

1940s clothing

With this look, wartime rationing couldn’t be further from the mind. This glamorous style is the stuff of old Hollywood fantasy, elegant and grown up rather than pretty and girly.

Things to look out for

Bias Cut – this is when the fabric of a gown is cut on the diagonal rather than on the grain. This gives an amazing draping quality to the dress, which will skim over your curves.

The Sleeves – many curvy women can be unhappy with their upper arms as they too tend to be on the curvy side. 1940s styles are fabulous for combating this as long sleeves were common, or, if you prefer a little more ‘freedom’ look for cape style sleeves

The accessories – keep it simple and luxurious. A sparkling comb is all that is needed in the hair, a veil could overwhelm the clean lines of the dress if you are not careful.


How to do this look if you are straight lined
Bias cuts can ‘hang’ off straight lines if you are not careful. Look for textured fabrics, and try slightly more tailored, princess line dresses.


Thanks so much Emily, I hope you all enjoyed the 1940s Look, next time we will be looking at the 1930s look.


For more information on Emily’s work go to:
Emily Jayne Phillips – Image Consultant
[email protected]
01527 579650
01527 579650
Twitter – @emilyjayneimage
Facebook – emilyjayneimage

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