Do-rags (40's)

Do-rags (40's)

Fashion Synopsis

When women replaced men in factory work for the war effort, changes were made to the feminine wiles for safety. Overalls, or boiler suits, were worn as a hardy and durable covering, and do-rags were adopted to protect hair from being snagged and caught in machinery. The do-rag was a simple piece of fabric that covered the hair and was tied up onto the crown, protecting the elaborate hairstyle from wear (and tear) in the hot factories.

Veronica Lake, a sexy screen siren who wore a wave of hair sensuously over one eye, was asked to change her hair style; ladies wanting to emulate the attractive seductress were getting their hair caught in the machinery, or were half blind to the jobs they were doing. Ms. Lake complied (anything for the war effort) and pinned her hair up into an ‘up-do,’ free of dangerous flowing locks.

Simple cotton handkerchiefs were practical for work, but other decorative scarves were worn for more formal occasions. The scarf also didn’t utilize precious millinery wire or elastic needed for war supplies, like a traditional hat would have. Both the headscarf and the netted snood were decorative ways to enhance a drab wartime wardrobe.

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girl's apparel

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