Sunday, 21 February 2016

1940's Week Wrap Up And Link Up

The 1940's week is over!
I find it hard to believe how quickly these last couple of days have flown by!

And let me just say that I was completely overwhelmed by the interest and all the lovely comments you guys gave:)
So thanks to everyone of you who were a part of this week, whether you wrote posts yourself or left comments. You have made this week truly memorable and so much better than I ever expected it to be!:)

As promised here is a list of all the 40's related posts that was written.
(If your post doesn't show up on the list you can still send me the link and I'll be sure to add it)

My Ten Favourite Combat! Episodes by Hamlette at Hamlette's Soliloquy
1940's Week: The Philadelphia Story by Carissa Horton at Musings Of An Introvert
My Favourite 40's Songs by Naomi Bennet at Wonderland Creek
1940's Week: The Human Condition In Casablanca by Carissa Horton at Musings Of An Introvert
Here's Looking At You Kid by Ashley at A To Z
How To LIVE The 1940's by Eva at Coffee, Classics & Craziness
1940's Week - My Dream 40's Wardrobe by Lydia Dyslin at Through The Wardrobe
Movie Review: The Magic Of Ordinary Days Part 1 by Heidi at Along The Brandywine
Favourite Couples From 1940's Movies by Natalie at Raindrops On Roses And Whiskers On Kittens
My Ten Favourite Movies Set In The 1940's by Hamlette at Hamlette's Soliloquy
Part 2: The Magic Of Ordinary Days Dress Study by Heidi at Along The Brandywine

Again thank you very much to everyone who did the 1940's challenge or wrote 40's related posts, I've loved reading them!

                                  Carole Landis <3 1940’s:

I've really loved being able to share my love of the 40's with all you guys, and was very glad to find out that I am not alone:)
Now, encouraged by that thought, I can promise you that this isn't the last 40's oriented post you will see on this blog - At the very least there will be lots of movie reviews when I get around to watch all the movies you recommended.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Why I Love The 40's Style

If someone had asked me a year ago to describe the 40's, I would probable have launched into a lecture on WW2 and its repercussions. For I never really thought of the 40's as anything more than "the decade with the war" back then.

But how quickly that all changed!!

                            Kitty cat hat and a beautiful 40s dress.:

It started out innocently enough with me starting to like 40's music. Then I watched Anchors Aweigh and fell in love with 40's hairstyles. That was followed by watching a lot of Youtube tutorials on how to do that style yourself, and watching Agent Carter twice (once for the plot, once for the costumes).
And before I really knew what had happened, I had cut my hair to a more fitting length for 50's styles, and decided to switch my entire wardrobe out with one in the 40' and 50's style.

What can I say? When I like something I REALLY like it (and tend to make it take over my life).

But what is it about the 40's style in particular that makes me want to imitate it in my own life? Here are a couple of reasons:

  • You dressed up every day. 
As opposed to today where dressing casual is deemed fitting for almost any occasion, I find it really refreshing that people actually cared for their appearance back then. If you left the house you would wear a pretty dress, styled curls and lipstick at the least. And doing so today, really works wonders for my self worth and makes me feel more confident. And isn't it nice to catch a glimpse of yourself in a reflective surface and inwardly think: I'm looking good?

                                  An elegant 1940s ruffle front blouse and slim pencil skirt look. #vintage #1940s #fashion:

  • The style was very feminine and flattering, yet simple and modest.
Again I think it's the contrast between how fashion for women is today compared to back then. In the 40's women were expected to be feminine and elegant and to be honest - I like dressing and acting like a lady. Today society is so focused on gender equality that I think they sometimes forget that men and women fundamentally are different. And I don't think it lessens my worth in any way to underline those differences.
Furthermore, I just love that the dress fashion of the time looked good on anyone, no matter what size you were.

                                    Short puffed sleeves and simple a-line skirts. 1940s fashion:

  • When you spent time styling your hair, it made a visible change
I have seen my fair share of hairstyle tutorials on Youtube (it's a weakness, I know), and a lot of them involves filling your hair with products and styling it for half an hour in order to look like you just rolled out of bed. No one would even notice the difference between that and a regular bedhead.
On the other hand, if I use 15 minutes in the evening to set my hair in pin curls and 15 minutes in the morning to brush it out and style it, everybody can see that I made an effort. And I like that!

                                      1940s Pin up curls + Victory wave hairstyles:

Those are 3 of the main reasons that I make the effort to dress in 40's/50's style almost every day. 
When I decided to do so last year I never imagined that I would actually persist. My grand projects normally only lasts about a month, but this one I'm still following and I have no intention of stopping.

What are some of the things you like about the 40's style?

                    LIFE Magazine, 1940's, photo by Nina Leen. these ladies have such style! - Vintage Street style:

As this week is drawing to an end, I just wanted to remind you that if you have written any 40's related posts this week to be sure to leave me a comment with the link. 
I'll do a grand link up tomorrow and I wouldn't want to miss any posts!  

Friday, 19 February 2016

1940's Hollywood - The Great Actors

Now, The Golden Age Of Hollywood wasn't all about glitter and dresses. It was also filled with dashing actors in tailored suits, who made women swoon.
These are some of the actors from the 40's that I think stick out.

James Stewart

James Stewart is today considered one of the greatest screen legends of classic Hollywood, and back in his time he was described as a true professional and a perfectionist.
In the early 40's he made a string of movies such as The Shop Around The Corner and The Philadelphia Story (which won him an Oscar). After the war he went to star in It's A Wonderful Life which has since become a great classic.

Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart's rise to stardom came in 1941 with the movies High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon. But it was his role in Casablanca that eventually made him the highest paid actor in the world. He also starred in many iconic films in the film noir genre, such as To Have And Have Not, The Big Sleep and Key Largo. He was later named the Greatest male star of Classic American Cinema.

Cary Grant

With his image of the dashing and debonair gentleman Cary Grant was definitely one of the leading men of Classic Hollywood. He made a quite impressive list of movies during the 40's, among them were: The Philadelphia Story, His Girl Friday, Penny Serenade, Arsenic And Old Lace, Notorious, The Bishop's Wife and I Was A Male War Bride. During that same time he was also nominated for 2 Oscars.

Dana Andrews

Dana Andrews was one of the most popular actors of the 40's and he starred in a number of successful films. Some of his popular roles include The Ox-Bow Incident, Laura, The Best Years Of Our Life and State Fair.

Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck was one of Hollywood's most popular film stars from the 40's to the 60's. His first movie was the 1944 Days Of Glory, and during his first 5 years of acting his was nominated for 4 Oscars. Some of his most noteworthy films of the time were: The Keys Of The Kingdom, The Yearling, Spellbound and Twelve O'Clock High.

Gene Kelly

Gene Kelly was many things: actor, singer, dancer, choreographer and film director. He was mostly known for his many musical films and his innovative and athletic dancing style. His Hollywood career started in 1942 with the movie For Me And My Gal, and from that he went on to star in Cover Girl, Anchors Aweigh, Ziegfield Follies, Take Me Out To The Ball Game and On The Town. It was widely acknowledged that he transformed the Hollywood musical with his innovative choreography.

Spencer Tracy

Spencer Tracy started his film career in the 30's, and by the 40's he was one of MGM's top stars. His trademarks were his natural style and his versatility. Some of his successes were: Woman Of The Year, Boom Town, Keeper Of The Flame and Adam's Rib.

I know I could continue this list forever, but I had to be strict and only pick a few.
Who would you add to the list?

Thursday, 18 February 2016

1940's Dress Styles

When talking about dress fashion you often divide it into 2 categories: the early 40's and the late 40's.

The early 40's fashion was defined by the strict rationing of fabric the war caused. The dress patterns were therefore very simple: the top often had a military inspired look and the skirt was an a-line that went to the knee.
Later on when fabric shortage ended, bigger flared skirts and colourful fabrics became the norm - the so called "New Look".

But rather than reflecting on pre-war versus post-war fashion, I'll show you some of the dress styles that were popular throughout the 40's.

                                 1940s dress 1940s style dresses for sale

The Shirtwaist Dress
This was by far the most common and most practical cut in the 40's. A shirtwaist dress was easy to put on because you buttoned it up in the front, and the design was so versatile you could wear it for almost any occasion.


Different varieties placed the buttons off centre or sometimes buttons all the way down, but practicality and comfort was the most important.


The Dirndl Dress
The peasant look was very popular during the summer. The Dirndl was originally a traditional Austrian design, but it was embraced very much in USA with big puffy peasant tops and colourful skirts with ruffles. It could be worn as a two part outfit but was also often sewn together to form a dress.



The Pinafore Dress
This was also called The Apron Dress, and that is basically what is was. It had the look of an apron in the front, often complete with ruffles, but it had a full skirt and straps crossing at the back. With a blouse worn underneath a fresh and youthful look was easily achieved.

                            1940's Dress.:

                                   1940s Hollywood Dress Pattern. The pinafore frock with shirt underneath was popular during WWII. It allowed women to still look pretty while remaining practical with their clothing.:

The Swing Dress
This was a dress made to go out dancing (the name kind of gives it away). Therefore the arms were looser, often with puff sleeves, and the skirts were fuller. When the fabric rationing ended you could really go amok with the big twirling skirts with lots of pleats and gathers. It was a favourite especially with the young.



The "Kitty Foyle" Dress
Inspired by the movie of the same name this dress style was fitted in the bodice, and with a white pointed collar, buttons and a belt it had a defined uniform look. Navy inspired designs were popular in particular.

The original Kitty Foyle dress

A navy-inspired version of the dress

The Peplum Dress
Especially popular in the late 40's, the peplum dress was a great semi formal style. The design was popular in ladies suits and in dresses with pencil skirts.



Those were a few of the 40's dress designs that I like and think describe the time period very well. For more information on 40's fashion (or just vintage fashion in general) be sure to visit where I got most of the information for this post.

Which dress type is your favourite?
Could you see yourself wearing any of these?

My Favourite 1940's Artists

As I didn't get to talk nearly enough of my love for 40's music in my post yesterday, I've compiled a list of some of my favourite artists of the time.

Here they are:

Bing Crosby

The 40's was definitely the era of crooners, and Bing Crosby was one of the biggest crooners of them all! I just love his singing style and the way his songs makes me feel happy and relaxed. I mean, just try to listen to San Fernando Valley, and I dare you to not start smiling inside.
Also, he made a lot of duets with The Andrews Sisters that I just adore!

The Andrew Sisters

Another one of my very favourite artists! And to think I might never have heard of them if Naomi hadn't talked quite enthusiastically about them on her blog around a year ago.
I simply love the swing sound of their songs and the way their vocals blend perfectly together. Some of the songs I love are Oh Johnny! Oh Johnny! Oh (the song that convinced me to keep listening), Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (whose chorus is quite a tongue twister to sing along to) and Pistol Packin' Mama (another duet with Bing Crosby).

Tommy Dorsey                                     

I really have a weakness for the big orchestras of the 40's! A song is just so much more impressing when backed by a full orchestra.
Apparently many famous singers started out singing in orchestras such as this, for instance Frank Sinatra.
Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra was definitely one of the most known throughout the 40's. Some of my favourites include: I'll Never Smile Again (I once listened to it on repeat for an hour because it set the mood for a story I was writing) and Opus One.

Glenn Miller

Can you really talk about 1940's orchestras without mentioning Glenn Miller? I think not! He definitely put his mark on the musical landscape back then, and today when movies need 40's vibes it is almost always Glenn Miller they play.
I don't think I have to explain why I love this artist. Two words should suffice: big band!!
Some of my favourite music by him (and also some of his most famous) are In The Mood and Moonlight Serenade. They were actually played in an episode of Doctor Who set in the 40's, and that's how I discovered him in the first place.

The Mills Brothers

Now here's a group who have been persistent. They played together for 54 years!! They're a band that my parents have always been very fond of, so I've been listening to and loving their songs as long as I can remember.
They were amazingly talented musicians and could imitate almost any instrument just using their voices, something that has never stopped impressing me.
Some of their songs from the 40's that I love are Paper Doll and Till Then, but they have made so many other great songs during the years.

I think no one can doubt that I have a weakness for big bands and harmonising groups after this post! And I got to mention more of my favourite songs just like I knew I would:) (for I cannot limit myself when it comes to favourites)

To Be Or Not To Be (1942)

As I mentioned earlier this week, this is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen!
It's filled with hilarious dialogue and quotable lines, and is guranteed to give you laughter cramps more than once.                              


Let's start with a summary:
Josef and Maria Tura, both famous screen actors, live in Warsaw, Poland, just at the beginning of WWII. When a young pilot discovers a German spy within their ranks, he contacts Maria, who he is absolutely smitten with, in order to stop the spy from delivering information to Gestapo. 
Their plan of retrieval involves fake Gestapo uniforms and the help of their theatre company, but everything gets more complicated when the real Gestapo suddenly shows up. The only thing that can get them out of that situation is a lot of cold-bloodedness, improvised acting and even more disguises.

As you can see this movie is a wonderful mix of humor and drama. There are quite a few  scenes where the characters find themselves in dangerous situations, but the way they manage to get out of them again is really something!

My favourite characters of the movie are without doubt Josef and Maria Tura! They have a really great relationship filled with wonderful banter.

Josef: I went to Dobosh and told him when he advertises the new play to put your name first.
Maria: Did you darling? That's sweet of you, but I really don't care.
Josef: That's what Dobosh said, so we left it as it was.

Josef also has a high opinion about himself. Whenever he's in disguise he mentions "Maria Tura, married to that great Polish actor Josef Tura. You have probably heard of him", to which the recipient often answers "no".

And then there's this wonderful exchange when Maria tries to console Josef after someone in the audience walked out in the middle of his "to be or not to be" monologue.

Josef: He walked out on me.
Maria: Maybe he didn't feel well. Maybe he had to leave. Maybe he had a sudden heart attack.
Josef: I hope so.
Maria: If he stayed he might have died.
Josef: Maybe he's dead already! Oh Darling you're so comforting.


The poor man has to go through a hard time when he's convinced Maria is having an affair with the pilot (which she doesn't), but his parting words to her when entering a dangerous situation is my favourite line of the move:
If I shouldn't come back, I forgive you what happened between you and the pilot. But if I come back it's a different matter.
Then there's Maria of course. She is cold blooded, brave, quick witted and very devoted to her husband, despite his flaws. Just a great character.


There are so many funny moments to choose from in this movie that I hardly know which to pick..
There's the hilarious Gestapo officer who keeps on yelling "Schultz" more and more exasperated as nothing goes as planned.
And then there's the actor in the company, who's always trying to give his opinion and dreams of playing Shylock.

But I won't quote anymore scenes in case it should take away your motivation for seeing it.
In conclusion I can only say: it's a truly enjoyable movie, really funny but still with a lot of suspenseful moments.      

If this review has made you want to watch the movie, you can do so here.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

1940's Hollywood - The Leading Ladies

Nothing says glamour like classic Hollywood. The glitter, the poise, the extravaganza, and most importantly the glamorous actors and actresses who seemed to be living the dream.

Let's take a closer look on some of the actresses who defined 40's Hollywood.

Katherine Hepburn

Katherine Hepburn was one of Hollywood's leading ladies for more than 60 years, and the 1940's was no exception! Some of the films she appeared in, in that decade include: The Philadelphia Story, Woman Of The Year and Adam's Rib.
She was characterised as being a very independent and private person. She refused to conform to the glamorous celebrity lifestyle of her time, and valued comfort over glamour which really made her stand out from everyone else.

Judy Garland

At only 17 Judy Garland was thrown into instant stardom after her success in The Wizard Of Oz. In the 40's she was at the top of her career and went to star in a number of musicals, some of the most known being Meet Me In St Louis, For Me And My Gal and Easter Parade.

Rita Hayworth

Today Rita Hayworth is considered one of the most iconic actresses of the 40's. Back then she was considered the ultimate glamorous screen idol and was described as a "love goddess".
In the early 40's she appeared opposite both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly in You Were Never Lovelier and Cover Girl - the very first woman to do so. But the movies she is most famous for today are the dramas, for instance Gilda and The Lady From Shanghai.

Ginger Rogers

I think most people today remember Ginger Rogers from the "Fred & Ginger" movies in the 30's. But she actually rose to another level of stardom in the 40's, when she went to win an Oscar for her role in Kitty Foyle. In the mid-40's she was the highest paid actress in Hollywood after making successful films like Lady In The Dark and Weekend At The Waldorf.

Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall started her acting career in 1942, and during the 40's she was an icon of film noir. Some of her successes include To Have And Have Not, The Big Sleep and Key Largo. Her sultry looks and voice were considered her trademarks and made her hugely popular in the role of femme fatale.

Ingrid Bergman

Ingrid Bergman was a Swedish actress who achieved Hollywood fame in the 40's. Her best known movie is no doubt Casablanca, but she also appeared in the movies For Whom The Bells Tolls and Gaslight which both got her an Oscar nomination (and a win for the latter). Later on she also appeared in several Hitchcock movies. At the top of her career she was considered an absolutely outstanding and conscientious actress besides being described as the ideal of American womanhood.

Veronica Lake

Veronica Lake was another film noir icon of the time. She was, among others, in the movies The Glass Key and The Blue Dahlia. However, her breakthrough role was in the 1941 movie I Wanted Wings. Her physical trademark was her distinct peek-a-boo hairstyle, where her hair fell over one eye - a hairstyle that was widely copied by women of the time.

Gene Tierney

Gene Tierney was acclaimed as a great beauty of the time. She was in the movies Heaven Can Wait and Leave Her To Heaven, but her best known role was in the movie Laura.

I'm sure there were many other great actresses of that time that I have forgotten, but these are my collection of the defining actresses of the 40's.

Do you see any of your favourites on this list?

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

10 Of My Favourite 40's Songs

Ever since I discovered how awesome 40's music is, my list of favourites has been ever growing. Here I have tried to pick out 10 songs that really embodies the best of the musical style of that decade.
(In the name of variation I decided to only have one song from each artist)

1. It's Been A Long, Long Time - Harry James And His Orchestra

Ah, the song that started it all! I remember I was listening to the soundtrack of some movie and then suddenly this number popped up. I was hooked from the beginning and listened to it on repeat for a long time, before the thought hit me that if this was the music style of the 40's, there must be many more enjoyable songs out there to be discovered.

2. It's A Good Day - Peggy Lee

This is such a happy song! Whenever I need some motivation for starting chores or just getting dressed, I always put this song on, for it makes me want to dance around the room while cleaning (a strange urge I know, but very practical)

3. Don't Fence Me In - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters

What would the 40's have been without Bing Crosby? He was the definition of a crooner and I just love listening to him. This song is a favourite of mine because of the laid-back Western style of it. And it makes me happy!

4. Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree - Glenn Miller

Did I mention I love Glenn Miller? It was hard to choose only one of his songs to put on this list. The reasons I particularly like this one are many. I love the big band sound, the composition and the way it's made into a duet and of course the story the lyrics tell. So many of the songs of that time dealt with the theme of being away from your loved ones, and this story about a couple who promise to stay true to each other while they're separated is just so heartwarming.

5. Bei Mir Bist Du Schön - The Andrews Sisters

Technically this particular song is from 1938 but it remained popular during the 40's so I'm including it anyway. The Andrews Sisters were quite iconic back then and they have a lot of good songs, but this one is funny and quirky and beautifully arranged, and it just have that extra something that you can't exactly describe in words. Listen to it and you will understand!

6. That's For Me - Vivian Blaine

This song is from the movie State Fair, which I also love. Movies are a great way to discover new music in my experience. What I love about this song is the singer's deep voice and that it's easy for me to sing along to it. And it makes me happy!

7. It's Only A Paper Moon - Ella Fitzgerald

Why do I love this song? It's a mix of Ella Fitzgerald's lovely voice and the slow but lilting melody. I don't think there's much more to it.

8. Amapola - Jimmy Dorsey

I just love that so much 40's music was played by big orchestras. It just gives it all a little extra...
What I particularly like about this song, is the way it starts out slow and calm and then suddenly becomes quicker halfway through. I love it when there's a little development in the music (kind of like classic music).

9. On The Sunny Side Of The Street - Tommy Dorsey

Another big orchestra number - what a surprise! I gotta say the Dorsey Brothers really knew how to make music. I've heard several versions of this particular song, but I think this version is the happiest one and therefore the one that conveys the message of the song the best.

10. Steppin' Out With My Baby - Fred Astaire

Another song from a movie! I wasn't impressed by Easter Parade when I watched it, but his particular song just hit me from the very opening notes. It's a real catchy swing number that encompasses everything I like about 40's music, so of course it deserved to be mentioned on this list.

And we have reached the end! There are so many other lovely songs that I wanted to mention, but maybe I will sneak it into another post;)

What 40's songs do you like?
I'm eager to discover more music from that time!

The Hairstyles of the 40's

The first thing I fell in love with about the 40's and 50's were the hairstyles.
When I later learnt about how much work went into getting those meticulously styled and arranged hairdos I was a little apprehensive, but the end result is definitely worth the work!

Now, the hair of the 40's and 50's is very similar but these are some of the hairstyles that were widely used in the 40's.


Curls, curls and more curls was the way to do it back then. Whether you had big wavy curls cascading down your shoulders or little fluffy curls framing your face it gave instant elegance, and the variations were endless. All the hairstyles in this post involves curling the hair in some way.


In order to get those glamorous curls that lasted for days it was quite normal to go to a hairdresser several times a week for a set. For many it was a perfect occasion to catch up with friends, for what's a better place for a chat than under a hair drying helmet?
Those who tried to achieve the look in a more economic manner could do the sets themselves at home. By putting your hair in pin curls or rag rollers for the night you woke up with beautifully curled hair, all ready to style however you liked.


Victory Rolls

Victory rolls is no doubt the most iconic hairstyle of the 40's! I think it was so popular because it was a practical way to keep hair away from the face but at the same time look really glamorous.
The technique in making them can be quite tricky, but on the other hand, when secured it is a truly lasting style.


As you can see, there are many different ways to wear victory rolls: 2 big symmetrical rolls at the front or one large and one small, letting the rest of the hair hang loosely or roll it up into another roll. The possibilities are endless, once you've mastered the technique. (Which I still haven't)


Practicality was something that really characterised updos of this time period.
This rather popular style was usually made by tying a ribbon around the head and then folding all the hair inside it. By using a bigger ribbon it could easily become more festive.


And here's a modern twist on rolls. As you see, many different expressions and looks can be achieved.

The Rosie

Rosie the Riveter was quite a cultural icon during the war, representing the working women of America, and used to boost the morale. The hairstyle depicted on the poster was used a lot, partly for security reasons and partly because covering most of your hair with a scarf was a great way to hide greasy hair, in a time where water conservation was prioritised higher than frequent hair washes.


There are many modern takes on the hairstyle around today. I like this variety where the scarf is more a decorative bandana and the curls are shown off. (Tutorial for this particular style here)


A completely different way to use ribbons was simply using it to tie the hair back. It quickly created a sweet and youthful look.


I can't talk of 40's hair without mentioning snoods. Apparently snoods were used way back in the Renaissance, but in the 40's they made a big comeback. Just like scarves they were a quick way to cover the hair and keeping it out of the way, but gave many opportunities to arrange intricate curls or rolls at the front.


The snood in itself was by no means boring. It was normal to decorate it further with ribbons or hair flowers. And the best part was that you could get snoods in all the colours of the rainbow!


Hair Flowers
                                 1940s flowers combos clips

Another popular hair accessory was flowers. At the time it became more normal for women to go without hats, and so a big flower or a whole cluster of them was a great substitute. And, as with all hair accessories of that time, the variations were endless.


Have you tried any of these hairstyles yourself?
Which one do you think you would wear if you lived back then?

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