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The Costumer's Manifesto: Costume Sites on the WWW #5: WWIIResources Costume Sites on the WWW #5:WWII Resources

Military Uniforms

Canadian Uniforms of the Second World WarBroken Link can be found at The Canadian War Museum, and other war museums also have large numbers of images that are useful for this era. The Imperial War Museum, London has a searchable database of images at

and the German Historical Museum has a uniform page at uniforms.html@160x120.jpg

The California Historical GroupBroken linkof WWII battle reenactors includes uniform information for four nationalities in the conflict, including Soviet Infantry Uniforms

In fact military reenactors consistently provide the most information online about uniforms: Isiu Island Provisional Infantry Homepage has images and an equipment list for Japanese Infantry equipment.html@160x120.jpg

while the Finnish Re-enactor Site

has images of Finnish soldiers.The WW2 Reenactor’s Webring hub?ring=ww2reenactor&list@160x120.jpg

lists many more groups of this kind.

Reenactors keep a number of companies in business reproducing WWII uniforms, including Lost Battalions

Castle Keep [this site no longer online] and World War Two Impressions

More are listed at my own Military Costume and Armor Linksyou can also find many dealers in vintage uniforms and insignia listed here.

Civilian Fashion

Rationed Fashion, American Fashion DuringWWIIbrokenlink by Chloe Black has a good brief outline of American Women’s Civilian dresswith pictures.

1940’s FashionbyKatherine Rohe (?) is more detailed, with many pictures of women’s dressincluding museum examples.

Yesterdayland-Fashion in the 1940’sDeadLink conveniently provides definitions and images formost of the pop-culture fashion terms and fads of the era.

Retro Magazine: 1940’s Hairstyles[this site no longer online] by Yvonne Hawker and Malvina DeVries describes howto recreate several 1940’s hairstyles, with pictures. So does this site: brokenlink Another hair page is Nocture Hair-Dos [this site no longer online] a sitefor swing dancers. Retro Magazine

also has lots of other freeonline articles on 1940’s themes, including fashion how-to tips on Marcelwaves, tying bow ties, and wrapping Dorothy Lamour style sarongs.

1940's Fashion - A Progressive Chart 1940s_1.html@160x120.jpg

by John Peacock has a year by year outline of men’s and women’s fashionsilhouettes, with variations on hems, collars, etc.

Sleek and Chic

sells real Vintage Stockings, Vintage Girdles and Lingerie.

Patterns from the Past @160x120.jpg

has a large selection of vintage sewing patterns, including many 1940’sstyles, as does Rusty Zipper

and Blue Gardenia

Savoy Style

sells ready made “swing dance” styles (1930’s-1950’s) of clothingand shoes. For Feet First

also sells “swing” shoe styles.In fact, the Swing dance enthusiasts on Swing, Swing, Swing (In aRing)hub?ring=daddyo&id=12&hub@160x120.jpg

have a total of 167 sites with useful information for dancing and dressing inthis era, including many that sell ready made products, or vintage items.


has many images of 1940’s and 1950’s neckties, especially the more exoticvarieties that were made in California, and so came into favor late in the war,as servicemen were routed through West Coast ports.This site also has links to vintage tie dealers that sellcollectable neckwear of this era.

Everything you wanted to know about thehistory of the Aloha shirt

originally designed in the 1930’s and then popularized outside Hawaiiby returning servicemen in WWII.

1940’s Fashion Linksat my site lists more civilian clothing links as well.

Clothes Rationing & RenovationChristine's Costume Page

by Christine Hawkins has fashions of World War II, from the “AustralianHome Journal”, Hints for making-do from “The Lux Wartime Clothes Service”and more tips from the Commonwealth Rationing Commission of Australia, inaddition to images and articles on Australian fashions of other eras.

Make Do And Mend, Wartime advice from theBritish Board of Trade

is self-explanatory.


Vintage Heels.Com

sells both vintage and reproduction seamed Nylon stockings. The Nylon Drama (Link no longerin operation) and The History of Hosiery: Nylon Stockings

tell the historical background of nylon fiber and it’s use in fashion.

Zoot Suits

The Zoot-Suit and Style Warfare no longer in operation) by Stuart Cosgrove is primarily useful for it’sin depth text on the Zoot suit riots.

The Zoot Suit Store

sells custom made suits from Siegel’s a store that has made and sold Zootsuits since their inception, at very reasonable rates. Siegel’s also rents. ElPachuco

and Suavacito’s

also make and rent Zoots and all the attendant male accessories (hats, shoes,ties).

The Holocaust

Concentration Camp Prisoner Symbols [thissite no longer online]

has a color chart of the various triangle and starbadges worn by different groups of prisoners.Badges at the Pink Triangle Site

has another, similar, chart.Uniformedprisoners with triangular identifying badges are shown here:76278.htm@160x120.jpg

Two concentration camp badges bearing purple triangles worn by Jehovah'sWitnesses are here:4207?hr=null@160x120.jpg

A uniform jacket worn by another prisoner is here:4204?hr=null@160x120.jpg

And at this site is a large database of prisoner images: photos?hr=null&query=kw110035@160x120.jpg

The Jewish Badge


by Jennifer Rosenberg, has a long essay on it’s history andday to day use under the Nazis. This photo pagebrokenlink has an image of Jewish citizens wearing thebadge. brokenlink has a color photo of a surviving similar star badgefrom Holland. This page:8839-3.htm@160x120.jpg

has one from France.In BulgariaJews were ordered to wear Bakelite buttons like those here: brokenlinkHere is a database of many images of European Jews wearing the badges(link no longer working)

THE EVOLUTION OF TATTOOING IN THE AUSCHWITZCONCENTRATION CAMPCOMPLEXbrokenlink by George Rosenthal, a campsurvivor, who explains the numbering systems, and their use, is quite detailed.

If you have good web links for any topicrelated to costume, please e-mail me at

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