...these British Pathé short films.
Just search for "fashion" and set the decade for the 1940s, and it's a wonderful historical resource and source of inspiration. For instance, check out this May 1945 video (I wish I could embed it, but the technology won't bend to my will).
The narrator implies that rationing will soon be over, but in fact it would be in force for another four years. Sorry, girls--those frills and fripperies will have to wait.
(Thanks to CargoCultCraft for the link; I never would have found this amazing resource on my own!)