The WW2 era boasted some of the most glamorous women the world has ever known — think Ava Gardner, Lauren Bacall, and probably your own mother!
Here are 10 big reasons they were so beguiling and irresistible…
#1 – THEY USED RED LIPSTICK
Oh, those red lips! Red, the go-to lipstick hue for 1940s women, also happens to be the color of excitement and arousal, so men are naturally drawn to it. One study found that a full 70% of men find red lipstick sexy and, apparently, 1940s women knew this. To up the ante, they often added blood red nails.
#2 – THEY WORE HIGH HEELS – A LOT!
High heels lengthen the leg, make the ankles slimmer, and increase the hip sway: in short, they make a woman look sexier and walk in a much sexier manner. While 1940s women always wore high heels with dresses and skirts, they didn’t relegate their heels to dress-up occasions only. They also slipped them on with super casual clothes like shorts and bathing suits, making their legs more beautiful at times when they were really visible.
#3 – THEY HAD STOCKINGS WITH SEAMS
A super-sexy staple of the 1940s ladies’ wardrobe was stockings with highly visible seams, which gave men plenty to build a dream on! Because silk was hard to find during the war (most of it was used for making parachutes), these new stockings were made out of nylon. And nylon stockings were superior to silk stockings because they were sheer and better able to fit the contours of the leg, which meant no bagging. Increasing the “hot” factor exponentially, the only way to hold up these alluring stockings was the super-sexy garter belt!
#4 – THE WERE IN LOVE WITH HATS
Hats were a a common yet fabulous wardrobe accessory for 1940s women. A hat functions like a crown; one that also provides an attractive frame for the face. A great hat can completely transform the wearer’s character and posture… even her sense of self! Modern women don’t wear hats much anymore, and it’s too bad because the perfect hat can be the accent that truly sets off an outfit.
#5 – THEY KNEW THE POWER OF GLOVES
1940s women were crazy about gloves and almost always wore them in public, except under the most casual of circumstances. Sophisticated and classy, gloves lend a refined finish to any outfit. Made from soft fabrics, leather, or suede, and paired with hats and belts, they can really pull an outfit together. For the epitome of elegance, elbow-length gloves paired with an evening gown simply can’t be beat!
#6 – THEY LOVED THEIR FUR COATS
The fur coat was a very sexy, classy wardrobe addition for ladies of the Greatest Generation. Back then, just about everyone could afford at least one fur item, if not several. Soft, warm, and sensuous, fur was a big part of the sophisticated 1940s look.Today, most of us don’t like the idea of killing animals to adorn ourselves with their skins, but fake fur is fairly inexpensive and easy to find, and is a more humane yet equally beautiful choice.
#7 – THEY WERE CRAZY ABOUT EVENING GOWNS
While we modern women have pretty much given up the ghost when it comes to formal dress, sophisticated 1940s ladies wouldn’t dream of living without their elegant, beautiful, and oh-so-sexy evening gowns. And for good reasons–the evening gown is an irresistible combination of sexiness and pure class. Think of Ginger Rogers gliding across the floor with Fred Astaire in a glamorous, feathery long dress, or Rita Hayworth slinking around as Gilda in a black, strapless, form fitting gown. Unfortunately, there are very few occasions today that warrant dresses like these. Maybe we should start a new fad…
#8 – THEY SLIPPED ON PEIGNOIRS
Peignoir (pronounced “pen-wah”) is a French term for a fancy dressing gown made out of silky or sheer fabric, usually worn over a matching nightgown. Knowing the power of boudoir apparel that simultaneously reveals and leaves something to the imagination, 1940s women were crazy about them. And they didn’t just throw on their peignoirs fifteen minutes before bedtime; they lounged in them for hours, morning and night. While peignoirs may seem a little dated today, there are plenty of sexy nightgown/robe combinations today that owe their very existence to them.
#9 – THEY EXUDED AN AIR OF MYSTERY
While the clothing styles of 1940s women were undeniably sexy, it wasn’t only what these ladies wore that made them so appealing. A very important part of their magnetism was their attitudes. 1940s women were enigmatic; not easy to know and definitely not easy to “get to.” They understood that when it comes to seduction, the allure of the unknown is an extremely potent force, and they played it to the hilt. It worked like a charm.
#10 – THEY WERE PRESENT IN THE MOMENT
When 1940s women walked down the street, they were typically living in the moment and distraction-free. This meant that a guy actually had a chance of catching a gal’s eye, trading smiles with her, and possibly even saying hello. Unlike modern day women, the 1940s woman wasn’t staring at her phone, chatting away, or texting like mad–or off in some other universe, her ears stuffed with ear buds. She was present! And that was a big part of her charm.
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The 1940s women may have known a few things about beauty, elegance, and allure that we seem to have forgotten today. But they don’t have a patent on these tips and tricks. If you ever feel like taking a page from their book, it’s surprisingly easy: All you have to do is put on some red lipstick, don a hat or a pair of gloves, or slip into a peignoir. Presto: Instant glamor!