In 1939, Gone with the Wind premiered, and women began to wear fuller skirted and more romantic feeling clothing. Nylon stockings were new to the fashion scene and selling fast. Then came the war, and fashion took a nose dive.
Dresses became sparser, shorter, and in darker colors, and nylon stockings disappeared as the DuPont company began making parachutes and airplane cords out of the material instead. Working women also began wearing pants. Now that women were running the factories, they needed clothing that would help them move about more freely and increase productivity. Clothes became simpler as everyone worked to conserve materials. Even bride and grooms were changing their wedding attires to uniform suits. Old clothes were mended, and undergarments were made out of household linens to preserve. Both the American and English governments issued regulations limiting fabric use.
In spite of it all, French women used their fashion as a defense mechanism. Even when Paris fell to the German Army, Parisian women proudly wore their elaborate hats as an act of defiance. They would not be seen as downtrodden!