The Influence of World War 2 on British Fashion

British Fashion Trends

According to the historical implications of fashion, there were different views towards the type of it. Today, it is acknowledged that one should seek for fashion, which fully fits and befits a particular person. One could always stay in fashion in case he/she is true to himself/herself. It is possible to wear the styles, which are illustrated in the fashion magazines of the day. This is up to everyone, as there are no boundaries to the personal style, whether it is expressed through the clothes people wear or if a person is listening to the music. The style of a particular person always shows everything about the personality (Steele, 2000).

Compared to the past, today the trends of the high fashion are beating the street-wear clothing, and this is for the reason that the vast majority of people care about their personal style. Some people are more stylish, others are not that fashion-oriented. Both categories of people do care about what fits them better, especially if there are no restrictions.

Besides, the overall idea of the high fashion is to determine the nature of people and to help them to show their individuality. The most important reason for such trends is the place of birth, as well as the process of upbringing along with an appropriate education. These aspects play a major role in the development of the personal style that is different for every person. This is important, since people are true to themselves, as well as to their status in life and career (Mendes, 1990).                                     

World War 2

After the Second World War has started, the life of people in Great Britain has changed drastically as compared to the past trends. In the scope of the world war, it was highly inaccurate to leave the curtains open, so that random people from the streets could see what is inside the houses of other people. The same happened to the lights on the streets; the light of a car could only enlighten the space to see where to go, not more. Also, there were many other changes in the war times, including clothing and fashion. Many luxury things were hidden from the city in order to protect it from the invaders, comprising cigarettes and cars. All the actions of people were strictly monitored, and no one could have any way to escape from the current situation (Topor, 2008).

During the World War Two, Great Britain was in a boundless power. In part, such a scenario was connected with the British connections with the German people. The purpose of such actions was to coordinate the forces of France, and at the same time to do everything possible to enhance the territories for the new colonies. The same happened with the Spain’s population.

Therefore, Great Britain could envision the position of Germany in the World War Two, and was aiming to boost the territories of the whole England. During the First World War, Great Britain felt rather strong from the position of owned territories that were aimed at gathering the lands for the supplementary colonies. Great Britain also felt incomparable at the expense of other countries involved in the Second World War.

At the same time, the true position of Great Britain was not that promising, and other countries could have predicted such a state of affairs. Shortly after the beginning of the World War Two, the Great Britain suffered a collapse in terms of numerous constraints in the regulation of the government.

The authorities understood that Great Britain could be in a big trouble and could even go bust if not to improve the situation of the country in relation to finance and industrialization. The opposite scenario could lead to the fact of losing the leading position in the course of the war. Eventually, such a position of the country put Great Britain into the state of tackling the predicted governmental issues.

As a result of such manipulations, the World War Two had a huge impact on the fashion of the whole country. It turned out that Great Britain could now be considered as one of those countries that could afford to credit others in the course of the war. Besides, the British nation still had all the chances to control the vast majority of foreign properties in terms of mining, agricultural estate, and different assets, that could consider a credit for the entire nation.

Thus, most of the territories and colonies of Great Britain’s possessions were lost in a short while. Consequently, the vast majority of the British assets were put for sale for the foreign nations. Such a decision was made in the course of the financial implications of the World War Two. Most importantly, all the money gained from these selling was put into the financial operations of the war (Topor, 2008).

After a while, Great Britain turned out to be in a lot worse situation than it used to be for ages before it entered the Second World War. The obvious consequences led to the fact of inevitable growth in terms of poverty. The overall population of Great Britain was mostly conservative people. The same approach adhered to the state of the industry, including the territories and colonies of Great Britain. The governmental authorities were approaching the control of the country from a completely different perspective.

The major emphasis was made towards the proper organization of the workforce of the entire country. There was a social, economic, and political turnover from the position of the industry, economic conditions, high taxes, etc. A strong impact for such changes was brought from the power of collectivist forces. After all, Great Britain now has been in a fully opposite situation than it was before the World War (Topor, 2008).

In simple words, this condition of the country could be characterized as the total deterioration in terms of stability and economic forces. As for the living standards, they were poor in comparison to the standards of, for example, Germany and other countries in Europe that participated in the war. In general, the overall situation in the country has changed during the 80th, but still the Great Britain was not the same, as when it entered the war.

During the time before the Second World War started, Great Britain was not wise enough, and invested a huge financial effort into the colonies and the territories of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Finally, an extra investment was essential for the sustainability of the country in the European conditions and overall financial situation during the time of the world war.

There are many different resources that prove that Great Britain was striving to bring together its numerous obligations. It seemed that during the war period, Great Britain and the whole national empire did not deserve a better future. In view of the weakening of the British nation, the standards of living for most people grew drastically compared to those that were before.

It could be argued but there are also different contemplations regarding the deterioration of the British Empire. According to the rumors, the fact of the Great Britain’s weakening was planned by other countries, which participated in the World War Two. The financial support was aimed at creating bounds on the successful development of the British nation as a whole (Topor, 2008).

At the same time, Great Britain was governed according to the conservatives’ nations that did nothing to improve the poor conditions of the economy and their territories. Some sources claim that there was an opposite view in regards to such government regulations. Though, time passes by so fast and all the implications of the British nation and its rules are hard to determine. However, it is important to address the changes in the fashion industry that would not be possible, if such circumstances did not take place during the Second World War. The fact of a huge impact is unarguable; especially, the conditions of the entire nation during the 1960s and 1970s.

Based on the reports of the British historical records, there were numerous dangerous conditions that let Great Britain to the new coming economic, as well as the political collapse that has contributed to the poverty in the nation’s soul and spirit. There is also a huge impact of Margaret Thatcher on the whole stability in the United Kingdom. What she did for the nation was not just stability, but a whole revolution for the sake of the previous proceedings with the country. In fact, the reforms she proposed for the good of the country had actually helped Great Britain to recover in the long run.

A bare example could illustrate the fact of the 20th century, when the tax rate was not less than 98%, which is huge for the country as a whole. With the help of the revolutionary reforms and drastic changes in the governmental policies, the tax rate was managed down to the scale of 70% and in a short while, it was about 60% in total.

Indeed, the tax rate is still high, but it is a great improvement for the sake of the nation, as compared to the period after the end of the World War Two. Such advancements in the core of the government regulations owe its positive changes to the fact of the importance to terminate the unfavorable economic activity, including various investment implications, corporate responsibility, creative and hardworking potential. (Topor, 2008).

For the purpose of this research the three images and three cases will be addressed. In terms of fashion and the World War Two, the scenarios that had a strong impact on the paper are different, but at the same time, the forces of war had a strong effect on the positioning of the British Fashion. Besides, the images depict the timeline from the very beginning till the very end of the Second World War.

The very first image to be addressed is the one that illustrates a woman on the picture. It shows numerous clothes on the shelves; at the same time, it depicts a girl dressed in the fashion clothing of the World War Two time.

According to the visual analysis, this image could be characterized by means of a medium. Since this is not a paining but a photography work of art, its medium represents a paper in black and white, which shows the suits of different kind. Based on the image, the suits are made for the conventional usage by most of the people of that time.

As for the technique, the picture is made of ink, this is an image engraved with the help of a camera or a photograph that reflects the view of the author of the image. A special consideration could go about the perception of the person, who took this picture. It is important to understand that the view of this image is made particularly to emphasize the girl on the front plan. In more detail, the picture view is taken in the way to show people other clothing fashion that is on the back part of the image. Particularly, this was made to show people the ordinary clothing of that time.

The next aspect of analysis is the size of the image and that it is not too big. The author wants people to see the front and back lines; at the same time, there is no possibility to look into details. The same relates to size of clothing, it is about the same and is shown in the way to illustrate the overall size of clothing.

The next element is composition, which is arranged in the way to show the woman at work. In the first thought, there is no focal point to be discussed. Alternatively, if to look deeper into the image, it is possible to think about the thoughts of a woman, while she is doing her job. The image is not crowded; it is only the woman in the center of the picture. There is a constant repetition, showing people the styles of fashion during the World War Two. Though, different people have different points of view. The thing is to look at this picture, and think of what the author is willing to tell people.

The space is one of the key elements of the work of art. The overall method that was used in the picture is that it gave enough space for the woman in the center. There are no other people around her and the overall image looks as if the environment of the woman is a part of her life. Besides, the picture relates closely to the sphere of the British fashion during the Second World War.

The color base is not addressed in the full strength. The image is shown in the black and white colors, so it is impossible to see the colorful atmosphere addressing the value of the image. The only thing that depicts color is the shadow that is put to emphasize the structure of the image.

The global value of the image shows its perspective in terms of nation and its soul during the World War Two. It hugely illustrates the standard fashion of that time and addresses the poor position of the British nation in the time of war.

The next aspect of analysis for this picture is its framing. There are the three aspects to be addressed during the visual analysis, such as evolving, social power, and dimensions. Hence, the evolving part of the image is addressed openly, as when the person looks at this image, one wants to get inside.

In order words, the image sort of attracts the viewer and asks one to come into the photography. The social power examines the ideas of the author in terms of the original perceptions of the way it can interact with the fashion wishes of people. The final element of dimensions shows that this particular image is to be looked at in the front. Thus, it makes a viewer mention the required details and make the consequent conclusions.

The formality of this picture addresses the way it reflects the contrast and balance of the image structure, including the texture, colors and shapes (balance), and the attention-grabbing elements (contrast). This particular image is not that balances in its nature for the main reason of no color, it is made in black and white tones. As for the contrast, the most visible element is a girl, in a darker dress, which addresses the viewer’s interest towards the fashion of British clothing.

Another aspect of interest in the visual analysis is density, which implies the analysis in terms of its reality, commonness, and mixtures. Hence, this image is quite dense from the position of its realistic approach to the British fashion and the Second World War. The commonness is addressed entirely, as it fully implies the most conventional clothing of the war time.

The following part analyses the functionality of each part of the image in respect to its storyline, classification, analysis and metaphors. This image is widely strict in its nature, as it positions the story of the World War and its impact on the British trends in fashion. The classification is simple, as it directs a person to the most standard perception of clothes. The image requires analysis only from the viewpoint of a professional in the fashion industry, and it does not have any metaphorical effects.

Finally, the degree of the involvement is the aspects that drives visual image analysis to address the emphasis, pattern, proportion, and unity. The emphasis of this image is addressed towards the contemporary fashion during the war time. The patters refer to the arrangement of the whole image and its implications of proportion of the fashion clothing. There is also a unity between the woman and the bars of clothes.

The second image is going to unleash the power of the dress of a lady. Most probably, this dress is chosen for the balls and dancing. Though, there were not that important of such leisure during the war. Besides, the needs of the people were addressed towards the need of a living, not the one of going to the ball and dance.

The same visual analysis goes for the second image. It addresses the medium, technique, size, composition, color, and space.

The medium of this artwork is a picture; this time it is given in colors, which helps to understand the viewpoint of the conventional British people. This is a standard dress for the so-called ‘night dress’ today. The background is in grey, which makes it possible to see the dress more distinctly. One of the main parts of the hair wear on the image addresses the strict approach to the hairstyles of women during the World War Two.

The technique of the image is given in details of carefulness. It strongly emphasizes the lines and shadows of the image, and it feels like the dress is made of silk. The overall perception of the picture is freedom over the daily activities. The only thing that is important is the particular moment in time, while wearing this dress.

The size of the image is about the same as of the previous one; it is neither too big, nor too small to address the overall thoughts of a photographer, as well as the designer, who have created this dress look. The thing is to pay attention to details and think about the minor characteristics of the dress that could be used to illustrate personal character or mood of the war time.

The meaning of space is also very important in every particular image. In this one, the space effect is not mentioned in the way to show people anything important, but the dress on the front line. The viewer is to see the whole nature of the fashion during the World War Two and the perception of people of that time.

The color is shown as soft and light, with gentle lines that make the dress so beautiful that the woman of that time should have by all means and reasons. The intensity of the colors on the images is spread, so that the viewer could see the optical depiction of value that the author and the photographer wanted to illustrate by the image.

The next aspect of the visual analysis implied farming as the derivative of personal evolvement, social power, and dimensions. At first glance, the image is taken as it is on the distance, and the one, who is looking at it, cannot approach it any closer. This means that this particular image is not that social, as it does not have the power to attract people that much. Instead, it allows the viewer to assess the image from the perspective of a different person and not the viewer.

Another part of the visual analysis addresses the formality aspects in relation to the contrast and balance. The structure of the picture shows much texture of the background and the dress itself; it is colorful, as compared to the previous image, and has more visible shapes that arrange the format.

The density of this particular image is also analyzed with the view of its reality, commonness, and mixtures. Therefore, this picture shows the true women’s fashion during the war time, as well as depicts the nature of women as a whole. As for the analysis and metaphor, it does not imply to the unordinary things, just the top clothing of the past time in Great Britain fashion apparel.

The functionality of this image is not that strict; in fact, is has a story that is addressed to the ball or masquerade, including the aspects of dances and any further leisure activities. It could be classified as one of the top images to present the British culture of the highest circles of society. The analysis and metaphorical understanding projects the view of the comparison between the fashion clothing of the conventional British people, and those from the top of the British Empire.   

Finally, the degree of the involvement addresses the emphasis of the image from within, meaning that by looking at this picture, every woman would pretend to be on the place of the model. The patterns of the image are covered in its shape and feeling of the dress. The proportions are fixed for most of the women of the war time, which unites the perception of the women’s clothing and future fashion perspectives.

The third final image shows the dress of a more simple view; at the same time emphasizes the difference in the levels of life during the period of the World War Two. In fact, there are always people, who are rich, and those, who are poor, despite the factors of time and nations. The third image is somewhat different from the original perceptions of the author, and it addresses the need to be simple in the views on life of the vast majority of British people, and the true distinctions of different outcome as a whole.

This image shows people the very pure individuality of women during the World War Two, and its influence on the British nation, as well as the fashion proscriptions. 

The medium of an image is the same format of a picture illustrated in color and vision of softness and overall nature of a conventional woman. This fashion is either related to the job or home, despite of the person. But this is surely the one to illustrate simplicity in the approach of the British fashion.

The technique of an image is also very simple. The background is natural; it is also made in color to make the viewer see the difference in perception of dress. It is shown in the front line, so that it was possible to make the most attention to the dress itself and not the other parts of the image.

The size is also not that different from the rest of the images, and it is made so precisely to address the core of the British fashion in the period of the World War Two. Though, the overall vision of dress takes the whole picture; thus, not leaving a trace for any other contemplation about this British dress and the fashion perception, as a whole.

The composition is made in the way to illustrate the importance of simplicity, as well as intentions of a woman to wear the dress. There is also no focal point rather than an objective, as well as subjective view of the women’s fashion and the whole British perception of style. The repetition is given only in the colors of work. 

The space is the final aspect that shows nothing but the dress itself. It does not let the viewer see the rest of the place, which makes a person consider it as one of the most traditional ways of style during the World War Two and the British fashion overall.

The framing element of this image addresses the need for evolvement in terms of the idea to touch the dress. As a woman looks at it, the only wish is either to buy it or at least to try it on. The dimensions are the same; a viewer is aimed at the front line of the image and could easily see all the aspects of it.

The formality depicts the nature of the contrast and balance for the image. The contrast refers to the willingness to try the dress on, just as a woman can see it. The balance is shaped through the image structure, comprising the easy texture, different colors, and various shapes to emphasize individuality of every woman.

The density of this image reflects its reality as during the war, many people could afford to buy it; it is simple and convenient and at the same time, common for the vast majority of women’s fashion during the Second World War. Also, the image is not mixed by all the meanings. 

The functionality of the picture most probably has a story behind it that many British women could easily understand. From the position of analysis and metaphors, the idea of the author was to make the viewer see one’s own interests and fashion perceptions in the course of war time.

Finally, the degree of involvement is taken from the emphasis of the nature of every conventional woman, as well as the dress itself. The patterns of proportions are addressed towards the unity of all women to the matters of fashion, nature and the overall culture of the British time.


The overall style of the fashion in the British Empire is one of those that were highly affected by the Second World War and all the outcomes of the war time. The paper addressed the visual elements and the cases of three images to show the difference in perception and style of that time. Hence, this is just the beginning and people never know what they can have in future, if they do not value the past. Thus, the influence of the World War Two was huge from the position of women’s fashion and the overall British apparel of that time.

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