I have always been fascinated by Katherine Hepburn. Though certainly not the most stunningly gorgeous of the 1940s era Hollywood actresses, she always struck me as being very elegant and extremely talented.
Her style was never over-done or blindingly glamorous; without the gobs of make up or tons of jewelry. She was basic; plain; and as I said above: elegant.
I recently got interested in the history of women and pants wearing in this country; and I've noted that is kind of got started in the 20s and the 30s; with the occasional wearing of pants outfits that were more like harem pants or split skirts than actual "trousers".
But it seems that in the 40s, with women entering the workforce in great numbers as the men marches off to war in Europe, pants became more commonplace.
I found this photo of Katherine Hepburn rocking a great pants outfit in the late 30s - 40s in a stage role:
Image by Brettmann/CORBIS
The pants women wore most often were "trouser" type, with wide legs and high waists; often cuffed at the bottom; as Katherine is wearing in this photo.
I knew I had a pair of slacks like this so I dug around and found them to put together my own 1930s - 40s pants outfit.
My pants are NOT vintage. They're GAP and I got them years ago in a bag of clothing someone from my church was tossing out that I got a hold of. I was probably 19 at the time. (I must say, I am pretty dang proud that I can still wear clothes I wore at 19.... 10 years ago.) They might as well have been made from a 1930 - 40s pattern, they look so vintage. They're chocolate brown.
I have no clue where the blouse came from. I do not recall ever buying it. It's a tan-colored rayon with full sleeves and shoulder pads. I think it is from the 50s but it has a clear 40s vibe.
I came close to tossing these pants so many times but I am so glad I didn't - they're keepers!
And to conclude - here's a great photo of my Grandmother wearing pants in the 40s; somewhere in Michigan, I believe. Maybe Lake Michigan? Note the wide leg style.