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World War II: Circa 1940's

'Rita Hayworth' Dress - $35.95

This adorable ensemble includes a Dress and a Bolero. It features:

  • A princess-cut sundress made of colorful floral fabric. The dress has a ‘sweetheart’ neckline and is trimmed with a matching fabric bow
  • A bright magenta bolero jacket with short sleeves. The bolero is detailed with front darts, sleeve pleats, and fabric buttons
Who was Rita Hayworth?

Margarita Carmen Cansino was an American-born actress and dancer. Although her roots were Hispanic, she agreed to change her name to Rita Hayworth and to dye her dark brown hair to red in order to attract more movie roles. Over her career in Hollywood she starred in 61 films, several of which were made with Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. Rita was most popular during the 1940’s and 1950’s.

This outfit was inspired by a 1940 Mccall pattern. During the 1940’s, home sewing was more popular than today. As the United States was emerging from a depression, sewing was cheaper than buying ready-made clothing, and was also considered to be patriotic as World War II began. Pattern companies such as Simplicity, McCall, Vogue, Advance, and others were successful and also accurately reflect the changing fashions of the period.

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