The 70-Year-Old Trends You're Still Wearing Today

Our favorite part about looking at what people wore 50, 60, or 70 years ago is not the ability to point out what’s so different about our styles. We’re much more interested in our similarities. And recently one particular decade of fashion history made us realize just how little has actually changed when it comes to the ebb and flow of fashion trends. In fact, we’d be willing to bet that a lot of the styles you emulate today were the same ones women in the 1940s wanted to wear, too.

The decade itself saw a wealth of iconic looks, including Katharine Hepburn’s penchant for high-waisted trousers and tailored pieces, as well as Dior’s New Look, which came in the later part of the decade but forever remained a fashion reference. And there’s much more beyond that.

Take a look ahead at just a sampling of the 1940s fashion moments that speak directly to modern women, and shop some pieces inspired by it.

Rita Hayworth, 1940

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Yes, there were naked dresses in the ’40s, and they were as glamorous as ever.

Available in sizes XS to L.

Katharine Hepburn, 1940

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Hepburn’s more androgynous 1940s fashion has served as inspiration for decades after the actress first stepped into the spotlight.

Josephine Baker, 1940

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Does anyone else suddenly feel entirely underdressed without a fancy hair accessory?

Ginger Rogers, 1940

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We’re taking notes on the 1940s way to wear a slip dress—i.e., with a gauzy, sheer cape atop.

Available in sizes 14 to 24.

Lena Horne, 1942

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While a shimmery evening gown is chic in any era, Horne’s touch of coordinating head wrap and plenty of sparkle made this ensemble shine even brighter.

Available in sizes XS to L.

Veronica Lake, 1943

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A not-so-mellow yellow we’d happily wear today.

Barbara Stanwyck, 1945

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We can appreciate a lady who thoughtfully coordinates her belt with her shoes.

Available in European sizes 35 to 41. 

Lauren Bacall, 1946

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A high neckline, billowy sleeves, wide-leg pants, and mules. Does it even get more 2017 than that?

Dior "New Look," 1947

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If the popularity of corset tops are any indication, an hourglass silhouette is still a popular one in fashion right now. One of the OG champions of this look was, of course, Christian Dior’s groundbreaking New Look.

Fredi Washington, 1940

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Seems like puffy, exaggerated sleeves are hardly a new obsession. Just take a note from Washington. 

Hedy Lamarr, 1949

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Does this cold-shoulder look resemble your uniform from this past summer? You’re not alone.

Doris Day, 1949

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Before there were irresistible matching sets from Zara and Reformation, the iconic Day looked adorable in coordinating separates right on the cusp of the ’40s and ’50s.

Up next, take a look at a love-it-or-hate-it style decade with an influence that can still be felt today: the ’80s.

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