Agent Carter, My Grandma, and 1940’s Fashion

Agent Carter and the Fashion of the (1)

My grandma was very photogenic (read: a bombshell) in her younger years and we have tons of pictures of her from when she was in her twenties. Even though she claims to have just picked up whatever clothes were in her price range, she had pretty nifty fashion sense.

This past Sunday, I went through all the old photo albums at my grandma’s house. I’d been itching to take another look at her clothes after watching Agent Carter. She would have been a comparable age to Peggy in the 40’s so comparing Grandma’s fashion sense to that of the characters’ on Agent Carter was a lot of fun. Flipping through photo books, I saw a lot of outfits reminiscent of those Peggy and Dottie, in particular, wear in the show.

I love Agent Carter for it’s storytelling and characters, but it’s flawless style definitely adds to the allure. For today’s post, I picked a couple of standout outfits from Peggy and Dottie’s wardrobe and matched them up with my grandma’s old outfits. As you’ll see, it’s fairly impressive how little modernized all the clothes on the show actually are!

Mid-Length Skirt and Blouse



While Dottie’s not wearing a plaid top, the fit of the skirt and the feminine look of the top is reminiscent of what my grandma is wearing in the picture above. Peggy’s strap-y shoes might have heels, but again, the general look is similar to my grandma’s flats. My grandma told me she didn’t like sweaters back then so you’d never see her in a cute cardigan like Dottie’s though.

Women’s Dress Suit 

Hayley Atwell spy hat trenchcoat Restless Prisoner

Grandma-in-SuitI wish my grandma still had all of her dress suits.  I’d try to wear this one now if I could fit into it (I think she was the equivalent of a size four so it might be a bit of squeeze). The cut on the suits in both pictures is fantastic and the two pairs of shoes look lovely too. Peggy’s suit might be a bit more casual, but I think there’s definitely a correlation between the two outfits.

Sailor Dress


Grandma-Sailor-DressWho knew sailor-esque dresses were a thing in the 40’s? (Well, not me at the very least.) With the big buttons and extra-pointy collars, Peggy and my grandmother both look like the should be standing on a pier. I have to say this isn’t my favorite “look” from the show, but it definitely does seem like a Peggy-type outfit to wear (she did rock a uniform during the war!). I can’t quite get my head around my grandma dressing like a sailor, but then again, she said she disliked sweaters so maybe I don’t know her as well as I thought!


GrandpaHere’s my grandpa too! It’s hard to tell if his suit look tremendously similar to any worn on the show, but then again, all men’s suits look about the same. Still, I 100% couldn’t liken his outfit to Sousa’s–at the very least–because no sweater vests!

Thanks for wading through family photos with me! They were fun for me to fix up and share since I’ve always loved the fashion of the forties (and, of course, I love my grandparents too). Someday, I’d love to cosplay as Peggy Carter. Her sense of style mixed with her general amazing-ness would make her a joy to portray. I wish my grandma had kept a hold of all her old clothes. If the colors were right, I could have used my own family’s vintage clothes to play-act a spy–which would’ve been very cool.

By the way, if you haven’t been watching Agent Carter, it’s definitely not too late to jump on board. (All the episodes are up on Hulu.) The show is wonderfully done and you definitely don’t need to be a fan of Marvel or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to enjoy it.

If you already watch Agent Carter, who’s your favorite non-Peggy character? 

Sources for Agent Carter Photos: Dottie/Peggy, Dress Suit, Sailor Dress


13 thoughts on “Agent Carter, My Grandma, and 1940’s Fashion

  1. This was such an amazing idea and I love that you took the time to find your grandmother’s picture matches. She had great style, though, in my personal opinion, the time period lent itself to that.

    One of my favorite parts of Agent Carter has been repeat outfits. People didn’t own very many clothes at that time, even if they were affluent. Seeing Peggy wearing the same outfits is very true to life and I’ve appreciated it.

    Angie has been my favorite not-Peggy character so far. She’s quippy and forthright and is ready to eat half a rhubarb pie. But I’m intrigued by Dottie and Dottie’s alter ego, as well. I’m looking forward to learning more about her.

    1. It was fun watching Dottie go all Black Widow in that one episode. I’m hoping the show will have more time to delve into her story because she could definitely be interesting character to watch.

      1. Agreed. I think it would be very interesting to see more of the Black Widow program and its pupils. Particularly as we are so used to Black Widow the hero, the Avenger, but these are Russian agents on the other side. I’m keen on the idea.

  2. I love Agent Carter and the styles on the show! Hard to pick a fave non-Peggy character! I like Sousa and Dottie a lot, but of course I love Jarvis’ relationship with Peggy, and he’s so mysterious that I want to know more about him!

  3. Great post! Your Grandma did have a great sense of style. Maybe it was easier back then? Sort of classic before classic was a thing. I loved the comparisons and I agree that the show is doing a fantastic job of keeping the clothes in sync with the fashion of the time. And I looooove Agent Carter!

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