40s Fashion – essential for the new image of the Overlord Show

New to the 40s, no problem… you don’t have to wear a uniform, spend a fortune on hiring a costume or buy the genuine article, here’s how to achieve the look:

Have a stroll around the charity shops or on one of the internet selling sites and find a floral, button front dress, team it with a pair of low heel rounded toe shoes or lace-up flats with socks – stockings were scarce in wartime so ladies took to wearing ankle socks. A hand knitted cardigan, small brimmed hat, plain ‘Kelly’ style handbag, plus a shopping basket, this makes you the wartime housewife out buying rations for your family.

Perhaps a tailored suit, tweed or a muted colour, matching bag, shoes and trilby style hat for the country lady on her way to help out at the local WVS. Similar to a fitted plain jacket and tweed skirt, matching accessories. Gloves were ‘de rigeur’ and matched the outfit.

A pair of jodhpurs or dungarees, short sleeve shirt, headscarf tied around the head and some sensible brown lace-ups… voila! you’re a land girl.

Wrapover ‘pinny’ and hairnet/snood/scarf and you can be the local ‘lady what does’ – with so many household staff going off to war charladies were in demand in the big houses.

Borrow hubbies or dad’s boiler suit, belt around the middle, again the sensible lace-up shoes and a tied headscarf… you’re now ‘Rosie the Riveter’ working on Spitfires at Wadhams, Waterlooville.

Hair was put into pin-curls and ‘Victory Rolls’ were popular, longer hair often put into a snood to keep it tidy. Jewellery was understated, only a single string of pearls or similar during the day and brooches usually in the lapel of a jacket or coat.

Girls wore summer dresses, smocking was popular and in plaids, cottons and often matching hand knitted skirts and cardigans for winter. Lace-ups, sandals and ankle socks. Boys wore short trousers, usually until they were fourteen and left school. Lace-ups, long socks (usually grey) and a snake buckle belt – so hard to find nowadays – maybe a jacket or school blazer and school cap or a flat cap.

Gentlemen would be wearing suits/jackets with wide lapels and turn-ups – later in the war, these were banned as material became scarce. Braces, shirts tended to be white and shoes sensible, again a rounded toe and brogues were popular. The iconic trilby was the hat of choice. Office workers carried briefcases or small suitcases – similar to the ones child evacuees took on their elongated trip to safer areas for the duration of the war.

The choices are endless… try putting ‘40s clothes – images’ into your search engine, you’ll like what you find. And if all else fails, come along to the show anyway, you’ll love what’s there and always friendly advice to help you with your new image.

Most importantly…

Never go out without your gas mask. A small box, approx 20cm x 15cm x 15cm covered in brown paper, string attached to wear over the shoulder – you never know when there’s going to be a gas attack. Lots of ladies actually used theirs to carry their everyday items around, leaving the actual mask at home!

By Chris Allaway

The Overlord Show team would like to emphasise that the 40’s theme is one aspect of the show which we have carried out in the past, but has been forgotten in recent years. We are simply looking to revive this aspect. We acknowledge that a significant number of vehicle exhibitors are not from this period, and we would like to make it clear that the objective of the 40’s theme is not one which is designed to exclude exhibitors with more recent vehicles but to encourage the public to participate.

Reposted from 2017.

Applications for 2018 open!

After a few delays, the show team is prepared to open the applications for the 2018 show.
Please visit the Exhibitors page and click on the respective buttons for Vehicles, Reenactors, Traders and Non-Traders.

The process has changed for Vehicles, Reenactors, and Non-Traders. More information can be found on the Exhibitors page. There is an all-new exhibitors centre, which will allow you to manage your applications online and the whole process should also be easier for any exhibitors who have to make multiple applications.

The process for Traders remains the same as in previous years.

The Code of Conduct has received a much-needed update and has substantial changes. It is now called “Exhibitor Standing Orders”. Please be sure to read it in full.

Charities for 2018

We are happy to announce that the Overlord Show 2018 will be in support of Hounds for Heroes, Homes for Veterans, and The Spirit of Normandy Trust.

Hounds for Heroes Logo



Hounds for Heroes

“Hounds for Heroes provide specially trained assistance dogs to injured and disabled men and women of both the UK Armed Forces and Emergency Services. Through this provision, we aim to provide help and practical support leading to an enhanced quality of life.”




Homes for Veterans Logo


Homes for Veterans

“Alabaré’s Homes for Veterans provide supported accommodation to British Armed Forces Veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.”



Spirit of Normandy Trust BannerThe Spirit of Normandy Trust

“The Trusts objectives are to increase the knowledge and appreciation concerning the events leading up to and culminating in the Normandy Landings and their historical significance and to provide financial assistance for veterans of the three Services and their dependents who are in need.”

Overlord Show 2018: Update for Exhibitors

For any potential exhibitors who were planning on attending the show this year. No! We haven’t forgotten about you!

The application forms are not quite ready yet but we are hoping to make these available as soon as possible. Applications will be online (except traders) like before, however, you will now be able to check and modify these applications via the website.  All exhibitors from last year should expect emails notifying them when we have made them available. There have been a number of revisions, aiming to reduce the amount of information asked. There have also been a number of proposals for ways of improving the show layout and improving the use of space on the show field, so these are being planned by the respective subteams for vehicles, reenactors, and traders.

Be sure to note us down on your calendar and we thank you for your patience.

Overlord Show 2018 ‘Impact’ Trailer

Mark us in your diary 26th to 28th May 2018 for more explosive action guaranteed!
Here’s our ‘Impact’ Trailer.

Overlord 2018 Planning underway.

Soliders Shooting with clip ejecting from gun

I am glad to inform everyone that Solent Overlord Executive Military Collectors Club has had its first meeting to discuss the Overlord Show 2018.

We are still in the process of assigning duties to team members and prioritising jobs so anyone in the Solent area who is interested in helping should consider joining S.O.E. and the Show Team.

You may notice, we have a new website which has been rebuilt from the ground up, which should improve loading times and address some minor issues. Feel free to send in your comments and suggestions for the site. New features for exhibitors are planned which aim to make the application process even easier than last year. Applications will probably be looking to open some time around November/December time.

Food traders who are interested in catering can send interest via the contact form and it will be passed on for consideration.

We have a number of social media platforms now, so be sure to like, join and follow! Facebook Page. Facebook Group. Twitter.

There will be more information and promotional media released in the coming months, so stay tuned!


Thank You for a great Overlord 2017.

Well well well. Another year and another Overlord show.

The Overlord Show team would like to thank all the public who visited the show this weekend, the vehicle exhibitors, re-enactors and traders who really are a massive aspect which makes our show great. Their attendance is greatly appreciated.

Jason Browne and his team for providing essential Security, First Aid, Fire and Rescue, and the Road Traffic Collision demonstration in the arena.

Tex for blowing up our cottage and organising the Pyrotecnics and ammunition.
All of the re-enactment groups who took part in our re-enactment battle.

The Wessex Hillrunners for building bridges (literally) and for their 4×4 off-roading experience.

Fort Nelson for displaying their Sexton 25pdr self-propelled artillery vehicle and The Ubique Right of the Line Group for operating it.

Solent Sky Museum for their Hawker Hurricane display.

Also our sponsors Horndean Tyres and RMS Waste Disposal Ltd.

We’d also like to that all of the members of Solent Overlord Executive Military Collectors Club who spent the last year planning the show, and the members who dedicated their time over the duration of the weekend to help with the many many jobs which needed attending to and kept the ball rolling.

T.S. Active for their assistance in the carpark and T.S. Alacrity and their Marching band.

No-doubt I will have forgotten someone and for which I apologise.

We now look forward to next year where hopefully the weather will be a little better! 

As part of our quest for feedback, we would like to ask all members of the public to respond to our survey.
Click Here to take survey (We are using the University of Southampton to run our survey)

The survey is entirely voluntary but as an incentive, we will offer a chance to win a family ticket for any who opts into the giveaway.

If you are a vehicle exhibitor, re-enactor or trader, we will have a separate survey for you which will be sent directly to your email.


Just 3 Months to go!

I realise that it has been a while since we have given a status update and with 3 months to go, now is a great time to do so.

Over the last few weeks the organisers have been working to maintaining the show field and implementing improvements. We have recently had a new gate installed at the main entrance to improve security. The gate has been widened and set back to enable larger vehicles to swing into the show site more easily.

We have had several hedges cut back, in some cases several meters of depth has been removed, which has opened up various areas of the show field providing more space for exhibitors and re-enactors. You may remember the rather large bramble bushes near the stream which runs through the re-enactors field, they have been significantly reduce in size, which we hope will enable the public to see across and encourage them to interact and explore the show more thoroughly.

In particular there is was a working party at the show field today in which we spent securing the other entrances and improving emergency access to the show field, as well as replacing the posts to which water supply taps are mounted. We were also pleased to have the attendance of several members of the Wessex Hillrunners 4×4 group who plan to support the show this year by very kindly offering to assist with groundwork and constructing a bridge to provide access for vehicles to the plastic camping field. You’ll also be able to catch them at the show, see them in the arena or in their “mud run”.

We have a good number of vehicles, re-enactors and traders already booked in. If you haven’t done so already, best get a move on. Please to the online forms, which can be found in the menu bar under their respective headings, if you have a vehicle or a re-enactor group. Vehicles will receive an immediate response and confirmation of acceptance to the show. Re-enactors will receive an immediate confirmation of their application information. The re-enactors coordinator will process these applications and undertake some checks and will confirm any requirements in full at a later date. Traders should download the forms available and post them along with full payment to our Traders coordinator.

Show Flyer 2017

Here’s our 2017 Overlord Show Flyer.

Overlord 2017

The show team is currently working hard at planning the Overlord Show for 2017.

We hope to make vast improvements over previous years with an all new Show Team, so lots of new ideas to be considered for implementation.

There will be a lot of work going on behind the scenes to improve the way the show operates in terms the application process for exhibitors, re-enactors/living history and traders, new improved forms and dedicated contact links for each department. We will be opening up for applications in the coming months, so keep an eye out.

Flyers have been designed and we are just waiting on a decision from SOE as to what will be the headline charity for 2017.

We are looking at ways to improve the showground, access, drainage and appearance. Teams will dispatched to tend to these matters throughout the year. There may well be some changes to the arrangement of exhibits around of the show ground.

Make sure to mark 27th-29th May 2017 into your calendar.

We hope to see you there.