From Haute Couture to Homemade, 1939-1945
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As lives were changed by the conditions of war, dress continued to reflect important visual narratives regarding class, gender and taste that would impact significantly on public consciousness of equality, fairness and morale. Using new archival and primary source evidence, Wartime Fashion clarifies how and why clothing was rationed, and repositions style and design during the war in relation to past expectations and ideas about clothes and fabrics. The book explores the impact of war on the dress and appearance of civilian women of all classes in the context of changing social and economic infrastructures created by the national emergency.
The varied research elements combined in this book form a rounded and definitive account of the dress history of British women during the Second World War. This is essential reading for anyone with an active interest in the field, whether personal or professional.
Buying into Fashion: The Social Background
Shopping for Fashion in the Pre-War years
Being Chic and Being British
The Healthy Body and the Politics of Fitness
Fashions for a Phoney War
Calls for Rationed Fashion
Setting the Ration
The Utility Clothing Scheme
Assessing the Impact of Clothes Rationing
Home Front Clothing Initiatives
Clothes for Coupons
Keep Smiling Through: Good Health and Natural Beauty
Utility and Austerity
From rationed and repurposed fashion to high-end glamour, this accessible book examines the ways in which dress and appearance changed during the Second World War and reflected new attitudes to class, gender and taste.