1940s Wedding Attire

Bridal wear in the 1940s was a reflection of the war with the attire that was available being limited by rationing. For this reason, many brides in the early 1940s ended up wearing practical dresses. Clothing was typical civilian wear, so women often borrowed dresses from others or wore their best dress. They would "mend or make do" with whatever was available. Suit styles were popular both in the Australia and overseas.

1940s weddings were not as formal as they were before or after the decade. Weddings were held during a 10-1pm brunch time, with a light meal and cake served after the church ceremony.

Servicemen wore uniforms both during and after the war as it was possibly the best clothing they owned.

Moira Hollywood married Major Kevin McNamee at the Pro Cathedral Maitland in 1942. Being wartime Kevin wore his uniform as a Medical Officer with the AIF. Moira wore a day dress with a orchid pinned to the cyclamen clutch purse that she carried. They met when Kevin was a locum to Moira’s father, Dr Hollywood. Moira was an ambulance driver in the Australian Women’s Army Service. After the war Moira and her husband Dr Kevin McNamee lived in High St, Maitland where they raised 4 children.

Moira's dress was made from a grey/blue fine wool crepe. It features a Peter Pan collar with a pin stitched edge. It has a front opening to the waist and is fastened with mother of pearl buttons. The front bodice has tucks on both sides and features patch pockets fastened with a button. The long sleeves are fastened at the wrist with 3 small covered buttons and embroidered loops. The skirt has a set of inverted pleats in the centre and has knife pleats on either side of that on both the front and back which extend to the hemline. There are a few moth holes on the back bodice.