Wartime austerity restrictions on British clothing
The look of clothing in the UK during World War 2 was dictated largely by the Making of Civilian Clothing (Restrictions) Orders, a series of legislative measures passed in 1942 and 1943 whose aim was to minimize the amount of labor and materials diverted from the war effort into the garment industry. These austerity restrictions applied to all clothing sold commercially — whether made by mass producers, by local dressmakers or by high-end bespoke tailors– and prescribed the design of utility clothing, which constituted the majority of civilian clothing sold by war’s end.
The following posts are verbatim reproductions of the relevant measures in various Making of Civilian Clothing (Restrictions) Orders, as printed in the Statutory Rules and Orders for 1942. My own comments are in [italics and square brackets].
For comment on wartime austerity in Britain, see posts tagged with “austerity“.