Thursday, January 15, 2015

༺ Doing an Authentic 1940s Cut ~ The Middy Plus ༻

This is the story of how I decided back in 2012 to get my hair cut in an authentic 1940’s war time style. This post originally appeared on my previous blog Depict This!. I thought it might be helpful, so I decided to republish it here. (。・◡・。) ❤ 

༺ ♡ ༻

One day I went to my hairdresser to get a trim. Initially I had planned to get my usual style freshened up, but at the last minute I found a diagram of the Middy Plus cut and popped it on my phone, just in case. 

I have been thinking about trialling that cut for a while, but when I asked my old hairdresser she pretty much said that she didn’t want to do the cut like that because she thought I wouldn’t like my hair being that short.  All well and good, but I sort of wanted to try it anyway!

So when I went back to the salon to have my first haircut with a new hairdresser I bit the bullet and rather haltingly asked her if she would do this “retro 1940s haircut for me because I sort of like to wearing vintage-y style outfits and I know it’s kind of random, but it’s fun and….”  Yeah. (≧ o ≦)

I was embarrassed ~ particularly after last time! But she was super sweet and loved that I had brought in an actual hairdresser’s diagram to show her.  {I took page number 3 ~ The Middy Plus}

The Baby 1940's cut | Lavender & TwillThe Middy 1940's cut | Lavender & TwillThe Middy Plus 1940's cut | Lavender & Twill The Long Length 1940's cut | Lavender & Twill

I won’t lie; when she made the first cut into my hair, I died a little inside….  I hadn’t realized just how short 4 1/2 inches at the back is!!  Still, I reasoned with myself that my hair does tend to grow quickly to a certain length {and then it just stop altogether  : P } so if I really hated it, it would grow out.  Anyway this is the finished result:

The Middy Cut Look | Lavender & Twill

I didn’t use any pin curls or rollers; just my natural curl with a bit of styling wax combed through it while it’s wet to control the frizz.  Overall I am super happy with the cut, but there are some downsides to getting an authentic cut.   Here’s my list of pros and cons.


Deciding on an Authentic Vintage Cut  ~


  1. It’s very easy to look vintage with your hair out.
  2. It’s super quick to do a pin curl set, or rollers.  And a lot easier!
  3. It’s cute and it’s different.
  4. It helps to keep era-ambiguous outfits period correct.  What I mean by that is that even though back in the 1940-50’s there would have been fashion cross-over, you can look a bit ‘muddled’ if you don’t try to stick fairly close to one era when you dress vintage now a days.  Fleur de Guerre once commented that vintage styled victory rolls was her best accessory for looking vintage and I agree.  Get your hair right and the rest follows ~ little things like correct make up, shoes, etc, don’t tend to matter as much then.


  1. You most likely will need to learn specific techniques for updo styles. The Middy Plus is supposed to be “a convenient length for updos” but I really haven’t found that even after having this cut for over two years. Low updos are easier, but high updos are quite tricky.
  2. It’s short.  As in really short.  I can’t pull it into a ponytail which is a bit frustrating.  I have heard that a way around this problem is to ask the hairdresser to add length to the cut, so for instance, if the Long Length cut is still too short, ask them to do the cut but add 4” all around, making 6” at the back 10” long and the 3” at the side 7” and so on.
  3. If you don’t want to look vintage, it’s a bit hard.  An authentic cut will immediately create a vintage, old fashioned air with any outfit.
  4. Sometimes you think you look like a grandma….  And in an old way, not the good way.

༺ ♡ ༻

Like I briefly mentioned above, I’ve swung between the Middy Plus cut, and the longer variation, the Long Length cut, for over two years now.  I have changed my hair product approach and tend to use styling cream, combined with hairspray or hair mousse to control the curl.

While the cut does look better with a proper curl styling, like pin curls, I like that I can wear my natural curl and still style my hair with an authentic vintage appropriate look.  For a busy mother this is a decided advantage and I know I’ll never look back now, these two cuts are the only two I will try.  I like them both that much!

Have you ever thought about trying an authentic 1940’s cut?  What would appeal to you about it?



༺ ♡ ༻

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  1. The curl of your hair seems to work so well with that cut. I'd love to try something like that, but my hair is so fine and rebellious that nothing ever seems to stay the way I want it to.

    1. Fine hair can be so difficult to manage and style. Bobs can look super cute with fine straight hair though.
      I'm just so lucky that my hair is curly at the same time so that I don't have to do much to make it look like I've done lots! Haha...

  2. You look so adorable in that cut, it really suits you. As someone who is trying to grow my hair out from a bob, I am a little bit hesitant to cut it again, but I have been interested in getting this for awhile. Maybe I'll get it when I have more vintage clothes so that when I wear it, the cut will make more sense.

    1. It can be hard to decide to cut your hair short when you've spent so much time growing it out! I am debating about going back to the Middy Cut after having a Longer Length for the last while. I do like being able to put my hair up, but I also like the cute shorter cut... Decisions decisions!

      But yes, being able to match your hair with your wardrobe does sound like a pretty good idea to me. :D

    2. Exactly! I do keep thinking of Veronica Lake, she had long hair and the vintage style at the same time. However, her style seems more suited to evening gowns instead of day dresses. But both have their pros and cons. :)

    3. Oh, yes. I love Veronica Lake's hair, but you don't really see much of her daytime style ~ at least, I haven't yet, so it's a bit hard to know how she did for a more casual look.

      Though you can't go too wrong with a classic ponytail. That was definitely a thing in the 1950s, and I'm pretty sure I've seen 1940's college student looks using a ponytail.

    4. I was thinking about Veronica's daytime look after I read this, so I looked it up and I found a picture of her in french braid pigtails! :D It was really adorable. Who knew? :P

    5. I didn't! I'll have to see if I can find a picture. :)

  3. This is such a flattering style on you! And I am soooo jealous that you have natural curl. I love that you embrace it rather than straightening it- it's nice to know you appreciate it! ;-)

    1. Thank you Lily! I must say, it took me all my teen years to learn to embrace the curl ~ I straightened it almost continually for over a year or two. But when I discovered vintage style, I also saw how well naturally curly hair works with it so that won me over so to say. ;D

  4. Dear Bonita, You look so amazing with this new cut, it just suits your natural curls so well! Lucky gal! It might feel short to you, but you look so well with it, I love it. My hair is super fine and straight and when I try do vintage styled it, is really frustrating, it looks terrible and I feel terrible. Probably I need to find certain styles and certain hair products that work better for me. Because I'm quite new to vintage, I know very little about it.

    Anyway, your hair looks fabulous! :-)

    Beta x

    1. Thank you sweet Beta!

      There can be quite a learning curve when it comes to vintage hair styling, and I know for myself it is still taking a lot of experimentation to find out what will and will not work for me and my hair.

      Watching Youtube videos is a great way to start, and I have a play list of video tutorials that I've complied on my Youtube account {the link is in my blogpost signature} that you might find helpful.

      Another great way is to look for tutorials written by people that have similar hair to yours to find out what products and techniques they favor.

      It takes a while to learn, but don't be discouraged! We've all had to start somewhere and I'm sure you will figure it out for yourself so that you can wear fabulous vintage hair styles just the way you like. :D ❤



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