Fashion Of The 1940’s: Part 2

1940s fashion

You can see Part 1 HERE.

When I thought of this whole series, I knew I wanted to go to various locations in Los Angeles that best represented each period. You have already seen the Deco buildings in my 1920’s post and my 1930’s post. But then in the 1940’s, construction slowed way down because of the war. Most buildings that were built in the 1940’s were actually made with a Deco or Moderne style. So I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. Then in my research I found out the Watts Towers were built from 1921-1954. I figured this would count so off I went to look at what ended up being a breathtaking example of human tenacity.

watts towers 1.1

What are the Watts Towers? Basically this Italian immigrant named Sabato Rodia wanted to create a masterpiece so he spent his life creating a huge sculpture/building/chapel using just a few simple tools, rebar, cement, and lots and lots of garbage. No seriously! And what he ended up making is surprisingly beautiful.

watts towers 12.1

Does’t it look a bit like a fairy tale? It is like Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney teamed up and created a structure using only found materials.

watts towers 2.1

watts towers 13.1

watts towers 6.1

watts towers 10.1

Can you see how almost every inch of the place is encrusted with old broken tile, shells, bottles, and other pieces of junk? It was hauntingly magnificent.

watts towers 4.1

It was also a stunning backdrop for a little photo shoot. For my 1940’s outfit I decided to wear a new Emily and Finn dress (here) with a vintage cherry necklace, button earrings, and a pair of 1940 reproduction shoes (here).

1940s fashion 2.1

I have mentioned by total obsession with Emily and Finn in the past, and my loyalty has not waned. I now own at least 4-5 of their pieces and wear them all the time. I just think they are comfortable and glamorous at the same time. Plus they are made of cotton, so they are easy wash and wear- except for the fact I have to iron them. I hate ironing. Just saying.

1940s fashion 1.1

My cherry necklace is one of my favorite vintage pieces, and it has matching earrings. Watts Tower is located in a fairly unsavory area of LA, so I didn’t want to stand out too much or wear much jewelry.

1940s fashion 8.1

The shoes are uber comfortable and as far as I know, are directly based on a style from the 1940’s.

1940s fashion 4.1

I chose this dress because I thought it had quite a few of the details I outlined in part one. It has an emphasis on the shoulder due to the puffed sleeves, though they are much shorter than anything one would see in the 1940’s.  I thought the cut of the skirt was pretty much dead on, and the color, fabric, and contrast piping were all widely used during this decade. Of course my hair and makeup is also based on the 40’s but you will have to wait for my beauty post for details!

1940s fashion 3.1

As for the Watts Towers, I was pleasantly surprised by how fascinating they were. I have grown up in Los Angeles and never bothered visiting them, and this is something I now regret. There is something so inspiring about seeing the completed creation of one man’s obsession. It just goes to show you the tenacity of the human spirit.

*Affiliate links were used in this post


  1. Betsy says

    It’s too bad the Watts tower is surrounded by a bad neighborhood. They’re beautiful I hope they don’t get destroyed in gang warfare!

    Love the dress!

    • BethanyThe Glamourous Housewife says

      There really is no point in gangs destroying it, they know it brings money to the community. I had always been wary of visiting because I heard the neighborhood was terrible, but it was just fine. Didn’t feel unsafe at all.

  2. says

    I have never heard of Watts Towers before – I wish I would have known about it earlier, so that I could have visited on my trip to LA earlier this year! Looks beautiful, and reminds me a little bit of Barcelona and all the Gaudi architecture.

  3. somewherebeyond says

    Bethany, you look amazing in this dress. It really, really works on you and I love a good old honest red. I also love the late 40s shape on you. Late 40s and 50s clothes are definitely designed with your body shape in mind.

    And if you ever want to sell that necklace, then give me a shout! I LOOOOOOOOVVVEE it!

  4. says

    Hi Bethany,

    I stumbled on your blog through A Beautiful Mess–what a lovely vacation home you have! I particularly love the white cabinets, bright orange Kitchen Aid, and butterfly wallpaper.

    Thanks for the introduction to Watt’s Towers; I’m new to the LA area and there is so much to explore! Love your cherry red outfit and white sandals.


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