View Full Version : Female Captain America (Avengers movie) 1940s/50s dress query

08-17-2012, 02:32 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm almost finished putting together my female Captain America costume, and have come up against a little bit of a dilemma. I already have a dress that's the right shade of blue I need but it's a 1950s circle dress and I'm unsure as to exactly how inaccurate that would be.

Is anyone here familiar with 40s/50s styles of dresses? I'm not 100% deadset on accuracy but obviously it's something I've spent a lot of time putting together and I don't want to derail it at the last minute. Would I be able to get away with it or not really?


ETA: Reading this back, I don't think I articulated myself very well! My question is, exactly how anachronistic would a 1950s circle dress be for this character, presumably dated 1945?

08-17-2012, 08:47 PM
Check out history of fashion books or sites. I'd be somewhat reluctant to use a circle skirt for a 40's character; I think of that decade as boxier and sleeker.

E. Hyde
08-19-2012, 12:30 AM
There was a pretty sharp change in fashion after WWII so I'm not really sure how well it would work. There was fabric rationing during the war and being frugal was a way of showing patriotism so probably a really full skirt is not the best for Captain America. I think the shoulders are also different, the 40s have really boxy padded shoulders--so maybe if you still want to wear the dress you can add shoulderpads and that will help it look right?

08-20-2012, 12:30 PM
The 1940's were all about structured and sleek garments.
Wide shoulders (shoulder pads) were offset by sculpted hair with not a strand out of place (victory rolls).
Because fabric had to be rationed, finer fabrics were not available to the public so clothing had to be more practical in order to be worn more regularly and to the work place. Things like silk were used for parachutes, and nylon stockings were considered a luxury, so wearing a 1950's petticoat wouldn't even be imaginable during war time.
Because the 40's were so very structured, a simple a-line skirt was cut just below the knee. It was spruced up using pleats and seams to give it the illusion of being fuller. Here's an example of some war time fashion (http://blog.fashionchoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/1940s-Dresses-img-1.jpg), these dresses were daytime garments practical enough for the work place.
Evening wear was also sleek but dramatic. The shape of the skirt hugged the hips (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_HZAs2I_ReRI/S4KxoC3u3rI/AAAAAAAACL8/ZLovMPZRkZU/s1600/1940gown.jpg), resembling more of a pencil, and the hem was brought lower so that dresses brushed the floor, for extra drama sometimes a train was also added. They were not flouncy like a circle skirt but very structured and precise. http://www.dressingvintage.com/vintage-womens/dresses-and-suits/formal-occasion/2017-Gilbert-Adrian.html

So really it depends on what you want to do, a circle skirt will not give it the historical silhouette, but to anyone else, it would look like a vintage inspired dress. I hoped this helped some!

08-23-2012, 07:59 AM
Thanks for all your responses! I'm going to try a few different things, see if I can add some alterations to the dress that would make it work - if not you've given me a good starting point. Thanks everyone!