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I moved this question to the "Fashion, Military Influences on" because no discussion of 1940s fashion can exist without the impact of World War II on it. The war was critical in driving the decade's understanding of fashion, especially for men. Men's fashion was virtually nonexistent during the war because of the need for service. In this sense, fashion was dictated in large part by the military. In this, the typical "man in the flannel suit" element helped to carve men's fashion. In this, colors like gray, brown, and black helped to define the color of the time period. As with men's fashions, women's fashion had to be mindful of the war. Colors in fabric was the rule in the 40s until after the war when the military colors of gray, brown, black, and white for dresses became vogue. Images of 1940s dress exhibits at the NY Metropolitan Museum show these trends. Women's accessories introduced greater color elements. Yet, the fabrics of the time period and the scarcity of resources limited then influenced fashion trends. Colors reminiscent of pre-1945 emphasized reds, floral, and gold lame, and always black. Post-1945 colors emphasized military colors: browns,, tans, khaki greens, white, and always black.
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