The look at the beginning of the 40's was very masculine with strong shoulders (think of 2 triangles with the points touching each other) small waists and on the knee skirt hemlines. Necklines where high with small collars and trousers where wide legged with flow. Jackets where cut straight to end ether at the waist or mid thigh. Playsuits where popular with matching skirts for multi use.
Dresses had A line skirts and creative detailing Wrap dresses and shirt dresses where very popular and dresses with a peplum where also popular. Dresses where split into 4 catagories, house dresses to be worn around the house when doing general housework, day dresses where simple for running errands around town, afternoon tea dresses for social outings in the afternoon (and informal evening events) and evening/cocktail dresses that where used for formal social occasions ether worn with a long skirt (if you had the money) or over the knee length.
The 40's new look was more feminine. Skirt lengths where mid calf length and ether long and straight pencil skirt or a billowy circle skirt. Waists where tiny to accentuate the womens curves. Necklines where still high with v necks or scoop necks.
Knitted jumpers, cardigans, twin sets and even dresses where worn by every woman. They where normally knitted by hand (it was a subject all girls had to take at school) with very thin wool as a fine knitt. There where lots of patterns with different colours and different stitch patterns. The modern t shirt was not normally worn so a short sleeve jumper where normally instead.