World War II and Women’s Fashions

Final days!  Come see a four-case exhibit on World War II Costume and Women’s Fashion on the 3rd Floor of Alden Library.  This exhibit, drawn from the Mary C. Doxsee Historical Costumes and Textile Collection of Ohio University, was curated by graduate student, Trina Gannon.  The exhibit contains a number of clothing pieces drawn from women’s military uniforms, including a smart women’s navy blue wool army cape lined in brilliant red silk.   

Women’s military uniforms echoed male military uniforms in style and function.  Interestingly, as this exhibit makes clear, non-military fashions for women took on a decidedly military cast in cut and detailing during war-time, reflecting a total engagement of the home-front in the war effort.  

The exhibit also includes a wonderful example of American ingenuity in the post-war period, as a young woman employed recycled military parachute made of pale raw silk to craft a beautiful wedding dress with a most impressive train.

The exhibit also includes military mementos, including a pillow case, as well as books drawn from the Alden Library collection which speak to the scholarly nature of the display and the world of research surrounding war-time and post-war fashion.

The Libraries thank the Doxsee Collection for sharing these unique artifacts and Trina Gannon for her efforts!

Photographs courtesy of photographer Trina Gannon.