Fashion on the Ration: Style in the Second World War

Fashion on the Ration: Style in the Second World War

Julie Summers / Aug 13, 2020
Fashion on the Ration Style in the Second World War In September just three weeks after the outbreak of war Gladys Mason wrote briefly in her diary about events in Europe Hitler watched German siege of Warsaw City in flames And she continued H
  • Title: Fashion on the Ration: Style in the Second World War
  • Author: Julie Summers
  • ISBN: 9781781253267
  • Page: 387
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In September 1939, just three weeks after the outbreak of war, Gladys Mason wrote briefly in her diary about events in Europe Hitler watched German siege of Warsaw City in flames And, she continued, Had my wedding dress fitted Lovely For Gladys Mason, and for thousands of women throughout the long years of the war, fashion was not simply a distraction, but a necessIn September 1939, just three weeks after the outbreak of war, Gladys Mason wrote briefly in her diary about events in Europe Hitler watched German siege of Warsaw City in flames And, she continued, Had my wedding dress fitted Lovely For Gladys Mason, and for thousands of women throughout the long years of the war, fashion was not simply a distraction, but a necessity and one they weren t going to give up easily In the face of bombings, conscription, rationing and ludicrous bureaucracy, they maintained a sense of elegance and style with determination and often astonishing ingenuity From the young woman who avoided the dreaded forces bloomers by making knickers from military issue silk maps, to Vogue s indomitable editor Audrey Withers, who balanced lobbying government on behalf of her readers with driving lorries for the war effort, Julie Summers weaves together stories from ordinary lives and high society to provide a unique picture of life during the Second World War.As a nation went into uniform and women took on traditional male roles, clothing and beauty began to reflect changing social attitudes For the first time, fashion was influenced not only by Hollywood and high society but by the demands of industrial production and the pressing need to make do and mend Beautifully illustrated and full of gorgeous detail, Fashion on the Ration lifts the veil on a fascinating era in British fashion
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      Posted by:Julie Summers
      Published :2020-05-17T00:03:43+00:00

    About "Julie Summers"

      • Julie Summers

        I was born near Liverpool and grew up first on the Wirral and then in Cheshire Although the greater part of my childhood was spent outside pursuing any number of outdoor activities, I have always wanted to be a writer.I am passionate about writing and unembarrassed to be so I love researching my books, especially when they involve meeting people and finding out about their lives I have a little study in the attic of our house with one of the best views in Oxford the dreaming spires seen from Iffley I write in the mornings after the children have gone to school and find the problem is not sticking to the routine but tearing myself away from writing at the end of the day I describe myself as a biographer and historian but the most important thing for me is to be a story teller.

    718 Comments

    1. This book accompanied an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum that I intended to go and see but unfortunately never did The austere simplicity of utility fashion makes it one of my favourite eras of style along with the mid 18th century and the 1870s because I also love extravagantly wide skirted silk gowns It s a brief, entertaining account of men s and women s fashion from 1939 to 1945 Although as social history it lacks rather in depth, there were enough charming anecdotes and new bits of in [...]


    2. I bought this book because I had missed the exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, which I would love to have seen The book was my consolation gift to myself It follows the development of fashion and cosmetics during the war years 1939 45 The UK, being a small and over crowded island, has always imported a lot of goods, including fabric and fashion That almost entirely stopped during the war, plus much of our own production was required for the war effort uniforms for the troops in particular As [...]


    3. I have never been interested in fashion But I was fascinated by the story of women who lived through six years of war, having to make do and mend to keep themselves and their children not only clothed but looking good And this during a period when the strictures on women s wear were writ in stone When I told my daughter in law about the chapter on corsets, we were laughing, but my husband said, Why didn t they just quit wearing them Men This book is a tribute to the strength of these women But I [...]


    4. I would have liked to have seen the exhibition that this book was written to accompany but sadly they never venture out into the sticks In the spirit of WWII I have made do with the book instead I d recommend it to anyone with an interest in fashion or women s history, it s full of interesting facts and anecdotes Some of which I ve never come across before for example story of the philanthropist who donated sanitary towels for servicewomen for the duration of the war I m embarrassed to say it ha [...]


    5. Like all of Summers books, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Fashion on the Ration and learning about the often overlooked history of WWII on the British home front Summers has a very pleasing writing style, her research is outstanding, and her passion for WWII history shines through If you re looking for a historical nonfiction that s totally worth your time look no further.


    6. This was an interesting and enjoyable read It doesn t just focus on the perceived drabness of wartime clothes and make do and mend It also touched on the women and men and how they maintained their spirits while creating styles and looking as good as they could, or dared.


    7. An insight into what life what life for the women left behind by war Fashion may be a frivolous topic but how we look can affect how we feel and women have always striven to look their best Gave me a real appreciation of the talent and creativity of ordinary women.




    8. A fascinating book The author has a readable style and trawled through official records, the archives of Vogue, and private diaries to discover how women not only coped with clothes rationing in the Second World War but how they kept their spirits up by giving old clothes a new twist It is almost impossible now to imagine the strict class divide and the formality of the prewar years In 1941, in view of the shortage of stockings, the Archbishop of Canterbury announced that women could attend chur [...]


    9. Who would have thought the challenges of dressing well in wartime could be so interesting Julie Summers has an easy style and deep research into various topics, especially around WW2 in the U K.Sourcing material, restrictions on pleats and tucks and the controversy over the banishing of trouser turnips are dealt with not to mention the dreaded, baggy lisle stockings For entertaining and informative Social History go to Julie Summers


    10. Well researched and charmingly written it is so interesting to know how folks women managed in a different era Recommended read for all the Home Ec folks like me who want or need spirit buoying in our quest to live a sensible, considerate up cycled life.



    11. A superb analysis of wartime clothing, both male and female, in uniform or out of it It s the best book of its kind It s based on the exhibiton of the same name, and if you haven t been yet, go



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