1930s/40s Summer Shorts & Heat Warnings

I don't know what the deal is, but Missouri is HOT right now.  Not Sahara Desert hot, but definitely way hot for Missouri.  And the main difference between Sahara hot and Missouri/U.S. hot is that in the U.S. it's generally not socially acceptable to be sweaty in public, especially for ladies.  We have air conditioning everywhere, so that is not too hard… as long as you don't actually go outside.  Sahara hot is different because everyone knows you can't do anything but turn into a sweaty puddle when it's 130 F/54 C so nobody cares.

Flashback Summer: 1930s/40s Summer Shorts & Heat Warnings

So when it comes to being U.S. hot in Missouri, it requires very wise clothing choices that will be cute AND not show sweat.  This is the outfit I went with.

These are phone pics from my sister from our hangout day with my mother in law.  We visited a local tea room then went shopping in another town to try to find some shoes in the store that my tiny doll feet could try on.  (I wear a US 5.  Try finding a 5 in a store without special ordering.  Very difficult.)

Flashback Summer: 1930s/40s Summer Shorts & Heat Warnings

Flashback Summer: 1930s/40s Summer Shorts & Heat Warnings

ANYWAY, besides shoe frustrations, it was a lovely day.  I wore my authentic vintage 1930s shorts that people often think is a fluffy mini skirt, brown wedges, and my me-made 1940s white button down blouse.  My hair fared surprisingly well, and I topped it all off with sunglasses and a brooch my mother gave me.

These are both solid, plain garments, but I think they're a testament to the worth of these kinds of pieces.  The outfit looks SO very late 30s, early 40s in its simplicity.  Most "real" people in this time didn't have lots of fancy dresses; they had versatile pieces like these.

Flashback Summer: 1930s/40s Summer Shorts & Heat Warnings

Flashback Summer: 1930s/40s Summer Shorts & Heat Warnings

Also, random note, these puffier shorts make me look like I have stick legs.  So maybe… if stick legs are a look you'd like to achieve, this could be an unintentional fashion tip?  I guess the roomier fit does make legs look smaller, in comparison.  So… there you go, unintentional fashion tip o' the day.


Outfit details
1930s/40s shorts: OLL
1940s blouse: handmade by me
shoes: Payless
sunglasses: F21
brooch: gift from my mother

29 comments

  1. I love this outfit. The simplicity of it is so lovely. I'm leaning towards mix and match separates for summer, in solids and coordinating florals, so I love seeing how you make this so chic

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  2. I adore this look! Just like you said, it exudes vintage flair in its effortless simplicity. Oh, I love it :) And if those shorts make you look like you have stick legs, then I would look like a crane fly in them :P

    xo,
    -Charlotte
    boyerfamilysingersblog.com

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    1. HAHA! Well, I guess the stick-ness of one's legs is in the eye of the beholder, haha!

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  3. I think your shorts are gorgeous! And your hair! Everything is too cute to boot. Good luck finding some shoes. :)
    xoxo, Lindsey Dish
    thebeltedpear.blogspot.com

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  4. Very cute! The heat and humidity are getting to me! I haven't bothered to set my hair in awhile, the humidity just makes all the curl fall out anyway.

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    1. And THAT, my friend, is why I got a perm! My hair wasn't staying worth anything either!

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  5. This is such a sweet look! I love forties style shorts so much. But your heat warning makes me nervous to go back to school in Missouri in a few days--even coming from frightfully hot Texas!

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    1. Haha, it really isn't that bad, I don't think. I mean, really, who's outside much during the day anyway? You'll be in air conditioned classes! Plus, you'll just have to go on a float trip one weekend to cool off. The heat is perfect for that!

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  6. These shorts! I seriously never wear above the knee shorts because I can't find the right cut, but I would wear the heck out of a pair of shorts like those!! Gosh, I really want to try drafting my first pattern just so I can have a pair like these... I'm really into how cute they look! But maybe that's all due to the wearer? ; )

    It's a seriously cute outfit on you Emileigh, you look so summery and effortless, in a total Grace Kelly way. :) ❤

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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    1. Aw, thanks so much, Bonita! And you may not need to draft your own shorts; I'm pretty sure Wearing History has some that are really similar to these, even late 30s/early 40s like these are. That could be an easier route!

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  7. Those shorts are adorable!!! And I actually agree that it is genuine looking. People seem to think 30s is all about maxi dresses but they revolutionise sportswear around that time and you look like you are up for a game of tennis too!

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  8. Wow, that is staggeringly hot! We got us to 44C here earlier this month - and as a lover of very warm weather, I didn't mind at all - but crossing into the 50s makes even me pause and wonder how I'd manage. I don't think I've ever felt as warm at Mother Nature's hand as 54C before. My goodness, that's incredibly toasty! You did a great job of looking lovely (and very cute) despite the intestine heat.

    Sending cooling breezes and virtual glasses of ice cold lemonade your way,
    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Basically I managed by laying on our tile floor in front of a swamp cooler and trying not to move, haha. Most people didn't do a lot during the day; life kinda switched to functioning at night when it was cooler. It's also socially acceptable to lay down anywhere there is shade, so that was nice. :)

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  9. I'm not sure my body would know what to do in such heat - but putting clothes on at all probably wouldn't be at the top of its agenda! So well done for staying - and looking - cool! These shorts are really cute - I haven't seen anything quite like them before but I really like the idea of stick legs ;) x

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    1. Hahaha, yeah, I wasn't too fond of all the clothing I needed to wear (but it was a Muslim country, so definitely necessary!), but I did find that my blood thinned out a lot. When I came back to the U.S. I was freezing when it was in the 70s F!

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  10. I love those shorts! I was hoping you would post about them after seeing them in your sewing room post. I was hoping you had made them and would be showing construction details. ;) How awesome that they are true vintage! And a great color too.
    We've had some pretty hots days here in New England too. I freeze in the AC when I'm in the office then instantly melt when I go outside at the end of the day, blah.... can't win.
    -Emily

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    1. Alas, I did not make them. When I bought them I didn't realize they were so pleated-poufy, but they've grown on me!
      And I have the same office temperature struggle!

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  11. When I was in highschool I made myself a pair of white shorts similar to this, just much more 80's with pockets and pleats. I find it amazing how those early years of fashion still very much influence what we wear or sew today. ( or what I sewed 30 years ago lol)
    Love your summer look and stay cool!

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    1. Haha, and I'm sure the shorts you made were fabulous!
      I've been surprised by that too, especially as I've been watching early 80s and 90s shows. There are a lot of pieces that are clearly 30s-50s inspired!

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  12. Your outfit is SO cute Emileigh! Those shorts are just splendid! And your hair!! Ah! Your hair is so cute.

    Brigid
    the Middle Sister and Singer

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    1. Thank you, Brigid! I'm getting a hang of this hair, finally!

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  13. I can't get over how adorable those shorts are! And your hair!! <333
    What is your brooch? I bet it's adorable as well!

    Carla, TinyAngryCrafts

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    1. Thanks, Carla! My brooch is silver with a blue stone in it. It's costume jewelry, I think from the 80s. It was my mother's engagement brooch that she wore, and she gave it to me! I love it a lot for the sentimental value. You can see a better picture of it in this post: http://www.flashbacksummer.com/2014/11/my-first-me-made-suit-with-pattern.html

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  14. If I haven't said it already, I love your hair cut. It looks great on you!

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  15. It makes me think about when I lived in Philadelphia during the summer. It is a big walking city, and there was a universal "okay, we all need to walk, and we are all sweating, we aren't going to need to look that nice right?!" Okay people weren't super sweaty, but I think everyone knew there would be a slight whiff of sweat throughout the town. I also remember reading an article saying something along the lines of "summer is the fashion equalizer in new york city, everyone is hot sweaty and disgusting and we all know it" It's a little harder in the burbs, there is air conditioning in cars and stores and houses. People expect it now.

    BTW... totally want your pants. they are so cute.

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  16. I love this outfit, it's so cute! These shorts are just lovely, I want a pair. Very impressed with your hair style too. It's making me think about bobbing my hair.
    Amber
    http://www.sweetwordsprettypictures.com

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  17. Incredibly cute!! I love those shorts. I am not sure I'd want to put any clothes on at all in that kind of heat, so I think you're brave for venturing outside at all in it. x

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  18. Such a great casual outfit, those shorts are so sweet!

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