Not even World War II could stop bridal beauty.
There's something to be said about WWII-era glamour. Fluid curls paired with bold red lips and the tailored dresses that clung to a feminine silhouette promoted a beauty worthy of Hollywood, but it was subtle enough to be reminiscent of the girl next door.
Actresses like Veronica Lake and Lana Turner exemplified the standards of makeup and hair of the era and, to be quite honest, I wouldn't mind it one bit if we reverted back to those trends.
Everyone did their part at home and abroad during WWII, and women were no exception. While their sweethearts were away, women worked in factories, filled much-needed nursing positions, and signed up for female-designated roles within various military branches. With all these newfound duties to aid in the war effort, there was one thing that all the ladies had to remember: it was important that they still look pretty.
Can I get an Oorah?!
Cosmetic companies stressed the importance of women maintaining their femininity in spite of the fact that rationing made every household sacrifice little luxuries, such as nylon stockings and sugar. Because Hitler hated red lipstick, it was only natural that the Allies would use crimson lips as one serious dig against the Fuhrer. Red symbolized patriotism and even famed beauty heavyweight Elizabeth Arden created a makeup collection for the use of the American Marine Corps Women’s Reserve, one lipstick aptly named "Victory Red."
Now there's something worth fighting for!
The War couldn't stop the cosmetics industry and it certainly couldn't stop love either. Wartime marriages were often speedy and as a result, couples had to act quickly to have a wedding ceremony before the groom was sent back overseas. Despite limited resources in terms of fancy fabrics, many dresses were made of materials like rayon that had a satiny sheen.
Some brides chose to forgo a traditional wedding gown altogether in favor of a favorite dress due to the restriction on both time and resources. Sleeves and veils were both long, necklines were conservative, and no bride was prepared to walk down the aisle without her bouquet.
I'll see your DIY Pinterest bouquet and raise you a bouquet made out of war stamps!
One bride who got hitched shortly after her 16th birthday in 1942 managed to pull off a sweet look, red lipstick and all. If she looks somewhat familiar, she should because that is Norma Jeane Mortenson, a.k.a. Marilyn Monroe.
The world was in a terrible, scary time and there was no shortage of fear or heartache. Men and women were called to serve their country in various forms and all had something to provide for the war effort.
But no matter how bad things get, remember that not even the hell of war can stand in the way of a woman feeling beautiful, and it certainly can't stand in the way of love.