"In this first spring of the new peace, with million of soldiers back home to dress for, U.S. women were indeed spending with the grand air of drunken sailors. Result: U.S. retail sales were up a whopping 50% over 1945, appeared headed last week for a record Easter total of $1.5 billion in women's clothing alone."
The magazines and newspapers were full of Easter fashions this week. Despite clothing shortages, retailers expected a record Easter season, with about $2-billion being spent on clothing, about three-quarters of that sum being spent on women's clothing. One department store advertising manager grumbled to Time that clothing was selling so briskly that it was gone from the shelves before an ad could be worked up. Shoppers waited in the stores for the merchandise to come in. Most of the ads that ram in the newspapers were for high-end merchandise at the upscale shops and bargain basement clothing at the mass market department stores. Very little menswear was advertised despite the return of millions of vets who needed new civvies. Many were still wearing bits and pieces of their uniforms.
Life reported that women's suits were lighter in color this year with more rounded shoulders and fuller sleeves. If you had the figure for it, the desirable shape was still highly tailored, a triangle on top of a long, slender rectangle. Straw hats bedecked with flowers or ribbons had come back in style after a long absence. Most of the hats being featured were worn "bonnet-style, on back of head with forehead uncovered." According to New York Times fashion editor Virginia Pope, "elegance is their message."