5 vintage ads from the 1940s that show the decade's cozy winter style

Who said that cold weather halts fashion statements?

In the 1940s, winter was a season that brought out the best of the best in terms of coats, hats and stylish boots.

While people waited for the snow to fall, staying warm was a must and the primary way to do so was with layers of clothing. Yet, that didn't mean what you wore had to be boring or basic. In the words of Telly Savalas, clothing attire can be a crucial part of your personality. It doesn't have to be luxurious or expensive, yet it should express who you are.

Vintage ads are great ways to see how companies advertised their products in past decades and what was in style for the season.

Here are five ads from the 1940s that showcase the decade's cozy winter style.

1. Champ Hat Ads

The hats shown in the advertisement are called homburgs. However, many refer to them as dress hats. Homburgs can be seen throughout the years, mainly the '40s-'60s, worn by working-class men, especially men in law enforcement positions. They were almost on the head of every male actor in Western series like Bonanza, Gunsmoke and more.

Homburg hats could be worn throughout the year.

Did you know?: The hat was popularised in the 1890s by Edward VII after he visited Bad Homburg in Hesse, Germany. After bringing back a hat of this style, every man wanted one.

2. Stylish Suede Glove Ads

Shoes are supposed to be the main focus of this ad, but the gloves on the model's hands stand out more than anything. These are stylish and protective weather gloves for men's and women's hands, and there were even smaller versions for children. Men can be seen with short, leather gloves, while women primarily wore longer, suede ones.

Did you know?: Gloves have been around for a while, dating back close to the 1500s, but long gloves, like the one in the ad, were invented as a fashion statement for women.

3. Mink Fur Coat Ads

Nothing makes a winter fashion statement more than a fur coat. These are on the expensive side of staying warm and were worn by middle-class and wealthy women from the '40s to now. As times changed, different types of faux fur coats appeared, becoming an affordable, stylish option. They were always seen as a sign of luxury.

Did you know?: In the 1500s, fur was initially used for trading.

4. Commuter Boot Ads

In the advertisement, you can see that versatile styling boots were trendy in the '40s. You could wear them over your pants or under, and your feet would remain warm. Leather boots were more stylish in the winter and could be seen on men, women and children.

Did you know?: The earliest mention of leather boots can be traced back to the 11th century.

5. Men's Fashion Coat Ads

What went along well with the Homburg hats in the '40s? Men's fashion overcoats. You know, the solid ones with six big buttons. These coats came in many colors, but Black and Khaki were seen the most in television shows and films.

Did you know?:These overcoats were mainly wool, and some were said to have two layers, one for warmth and a waterproof one.

SEE MORE: 5 Leave It to Beaver holiday dinner-style outfits

What if you had a holiday-themed dinner where everyone dressed like it was the late '50s to early '60s?

SEE MORE

 
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56 Comments

bnichols23 1 month ago
Most definitely not Homburgs. Homburgs have a single crease in the crown, & the sides have a rounder curve than the sharper-edged fedora.
gmail 1 month ago
I agree with an earlier comment, However, upon closer examination, the difference between a Homburg and a Fedora is quite clear. While a Homburg always has a single dent running down the center of the crown, a Fedora usually has a similar dent, with two additional indentations on both sides of the crown.

The pictures displayed by ME TV above are Fedora's not Homburg!
CaptainDunsel gmail 1 month ago
Here's a simple illustration of the difference between a fedora (left) and a homburg (right), a well as the sort of gentleman who wore each.

Exactly. The Homburg was a notch or two above the fedora, thus usually worn by professional men like bankers, lawyers, & the independently wealthy. (If people have trouble visualizing it they can check Alec Baldwin as Lamont Cranston in "The Shadow.")
You mean, between a Superman or a Gangster?
Between a professional man and a senior executive.
gmail 1 month ago
I have no problem wearing my overcoat and fedora and I'm only 70. My investigations when I was with the state, I wore the same clothing and heard the comments and still do even though I'm retired. It's as comfortable as putting on a pair of shoes. Which I stopped wearing tennis shoes when I entered the service. I was issued boots and to this day, even for the state, I wore and to this day boots, laced up, polished boots. I guess I still live in the fifties and sixties.

Unfortunately I don't have a tree stump removal suit for when I'm working outside like OWD of Green Acres. It's not unusual to stop by and find me in my suit without the jacket reading the paper, puffing on a cigar on the front porch or dining on the patio. 2 different neighbor ladies, one in her 50's thinks I'm a nut and one in her 30's finds it cool!

Me, I'm just old fashioned me!
Big3Fan 1 month ago
Bah Homburg! Looks like a fedora to me.
bnichols23 Big3Fan 1 month ago
Mos' def. The Homburg not only has a single crease & no pinch in the crown, but also a curled brim that the fedora doesn't have.

Big3Fan bnichols23 1 month ago
Winnie wore it well.
Pacificsun 1 month ago
OMGosh, when I was young I remember the older people wearing those clothes. My dad always wore a hat. And even in the Sixties, an urban city like SF expected "ladies" to wear gloves. And women just liked wearing hats; my mom had beautiful ones which nicely finished a lot of outfits. I remember (really) old people, wore old people's shoes. I thought, that I would never do. But we wore rain boots and overcoats. Because we rode public transportation.

Furs eventually earned the worst stigma which could be imagined. But our neighbor in the suburbs raised Mink. [ Don't throw the coal at me. ] And they were a gorgeous accessory. We never saw protestors in "Union Square" throwing paint at people wearing leather or purchasing Down feather pillows, or eating meat. Which wouldn't have been nearly as dramatic a protest. But all that is a discussion for another day, and requires a great deal of perspective.

Anyway, it was an interesting look back. Thanks MeTV Staff for the nostalgia!
Michael Pacificsun 1 month ago
I vaguely remember my mother wearing gloves in the sixties. I don't think all of the time.

My father had a beard, and other than a winter hat, I never saw him wear a hat. But he'd go off to collect biological specimens. For a decade, there was a narwhal tusk in my room.
Ellencmurphy 1 month ago
I think I would be really disgusted seeing anybody in real fur these days. That fur belongs on the body of that animal not on anybodies back.
Uyates 1 month ago
The hats depicted in the ad are FEDORAS, NOT HOMBURGS.
CarolKelley Uyates 1 month ago
And cowboys and other men in Westerns wore neither homburgs not fedoras. Indy Jones wore a fedora though along with Rick Blaine in Casablanca. I believe a saw ward wearing a homburg in a recent episode of Leave It to Beaver, though.
AgingDisgracefully 1 month ago
It was a simpler time when all men dressed like Luca Brasi.
timothys71 1 month ago
These are print ads, of course, but I think it would be cool if retro-formatted TV networks such as MeTV could squeeze a few classic TV commercials into their broadcasts--maybe one or two ads each half-hour that aired during the original broadcast of that particular episode. I recall that there was a cable channel--I want to say TV Land--which did that for a while.
Pacificsun timothys71 1 month ago
Sounds like TVLand (novel in the day). But those retro-adverts would need time taken from the Show's running time. Interesting thought, though.
Buzzr, a game show broadcaster, does this with some of the old game shows, such as "The Price is Right" with Bill Cullen. They include some of the commercials that originally aired with - or directly involved - the shows. I haven't done a detailed study, but I *think* they have to be careful to only use ads for companies (or at least products) that aren't around any longer, lest they get in trouble with present day competitors. Thus things such as "Ipana" toothpaste are seen.
ElwooodBlues 1 month ago
I must take exception to the description of the hats for men. Given a little research I would opine that the hats in the ads tend more to be styled after the Fedora and not the Homburg.
I was going to say the same thing. The snap brim is a feature of the fedora, not the Homburg.
bnichols23 jholton30062 1 month ago
Agreed. Homburgs have a curled brim all the way around.
Runeshaper 1 month ago
As a working man, I could definitely see my self sporting a Homburg, Commuter Boots, and a Fashion Coat.
MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
I love these old ads.
bnichols23 Runeshaper 1 month ago
Me 7 & 5/8ths. Oh, wait.... Never mind.
urainnah 1 month ago
I meant Della Street. ☺️
Pacificsun urainnah 1 month ago
🎄 Della Street (and Barbara Hale) never looked anything but perfectly suited for her character. And played the role so well.

Watching PM into the TV Movie version (recently being shown) she was incredibly consistent in all her nuances. She made the character so real.
urainnah 1 month ago
I would love to buy some outfits that Stella Street wore on Perry Mason. Sharp and stylish.
1958Model urainnah 1 month ago
I'd love it too!!!
tootsieg 1 month ago
I love the films (especially the film noirs) of the 40’s and the 50’s because of the clothes on both men and women.
ncadams27 1 month ago
How much fur can you get from a faux?
CaptainDunsel ncadams27 1 month ago
It's probably similar to the amount of hide one gets from a nauga.
Only the common American spotted nauga, of course, not the smaller & rarer African striped nauga...
KJExpress 1 month ago
Those Champ hats look closer to a Fedora than a Homburg. And I don't seem to recall too many actors on Gunsmoke wearing them. 🤔 I never would have cared to wear mink or any other fur coat. My grandmother had a mink stole back in the 60's. It actually had two or three minks on it, connected to each other. I always found it to be hideous. 😝
MrsPhilHarris KJExpress 1 month ago
I don’t recall many homburgs on western shows, but I suppose fancy easterners going out west wore them. I remember those fox and minks with their heads and shiny eyes. Scary. 😳
Michael MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
Westerns are not likely to be an authorative source. They represent a distortion. Yes, some wore cowboy hats, but not everyone was a cowboy. And people moved west, with their derby and top hats.

I was reading recently where mt Scottish great grandmother said she knew enough Cree to hold a conversation. That was in Red River, now Winnipeg Manitoba, in the 1800s. That's very different from westerns. But Red River was a Metis place, most had Native relatives.
bnichols23 KJExpress 1 month ago
I got the feeling that whoever wrote that question was deliberately messing with people. }:)
KawiVulc 1 month ago
To paraphrase the late, great Lewis Grizzard - I was once held prisoner of war for a few years in a large northeastern city... (hint - most people in the more rural areas of the state would palm it off on New Jersey in a heartbeat). Never saw people walking around wearing shorts in the dead of winter before I lived there. Folks in the 40's had the sense to stay warm.
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