WWII Farm Girls and their Overalls

I usually don’t take the time to look through stacks of old cards, but maybe I ought to do it more often.  Otherwise, I’ll be missing some great things like the sweet card above.  I found it last week in a pile of miscellaneous paper items at the Charlotte Flea. I ususally don’t think of old greeting cards as being fashion illustration, but it does happen that you can see a lot of the fashions from the past reflected in print of all kinds.  What caught my eye about the card was the fact that I already had a pair of overalls like the girl is wearing.

I found these 1940s overalls two years ago at an antique mall in Virginia and just couldn’t believe my luck! During WWII, many women did jobs that previously had been held by men. And while Rosie the Riveter is a well-known 40s icon, the farm girl was just as important. The raising of food was a vital part of the war effort, and many college women spent their wartime summers on farms, filling in for the farmhands turned servicemen.

The blue overalls were standard wear for these farm girls. I think it is great how they took a garment that was all about function, and managed to make it look cute!

These lowly overalls also played an important role in making women pants-wearers. Many women had been wearing pants for very casual occasions since the late 1920s, but it was the daily wearing of them during the war that made pants more accepted among women.

Some  images from my 1940s fashion magazines:

And here is a look at the clothes of the British Land Girls.


Posted by Stacey Brooks Newton:

Love the post! So informative! I would never have thought of the history of these overalls without your information. Thanks:)

Saturday, October 11th 2008 @ 8:54 PM

Posted by Lizzie:

Hello Stacey, Yes, it’s amazing how the simplest of items can have an interesting history!

Sunday, October 12th 2008 @ 8:19 AM

Posted by maria:

hey well thank u so much..for this information..i have to dress..in the early 1040 for the school and i was goin to wear a dress but this i a better way..:)

Tuesday, February 24th 2009 @ 6:57 PM

Posted by Laura – threesaparty@hotmail.co.uk:


Awesome post! DO you have a picture of the back of the overalls by any chance?

Friday, August 7th 2009 @ 4:26 AM

Posted by Lizzie:

Laura, I don’t have a photo of the back, and they are packed away. The straps criss-cross the back and attach at the waist. Hope that helps you visualize!

Friday, August 14th 2009 @ 6:55 PM

Posted by lilly:

wow do u have any evacue girls clothes?:)

Sunday, November 22nd 2009 @ 7:44 AM

Posted by Lizzie:

No, I’m afraid not. Was that a British thing?

Sunday, November 22nd 2009 @ 7:53 AM

Posted by Lowongan kerja:

That’s great

Sunday, April 11th 2010 @ 11:59 AM

Posted by Wilbur Clinet:

excellent blog

Tuesday, April 13th 2010 @ 7:33 AM

Posted by Diane:

Oh, the cute-ness! Those look pretty tiny… what size would you say that they are?

Saturday, June 26th 2010 @ 5:51 PM

Posted by Lizzie:

Diane, They are pretty small, with a waist of about 25″!

Saturday, June 26th 2010 @ 6:40 PM

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Filed under Vintage Clothing, World War II

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