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Rowena Murillo
Rowena Murillo • 2 years ago

Fashion on the Ration! :::: The Fashion on the Ration (FOTR) challenge is my attempt to spend one year shopping and sewing within the British wartime clothing ration imposed in 1941. "I’ve allotted myself 66 clothing “coupons” — the 1941 ration for each man, woman and child in Britain. Armed with my ration, my stash, period tips and techniques and modern style advice, I will upgrade my wardrobe while sewing a wartime mini-wardrobe from vintage patterns and style sources. (what a cool idea.)

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Plan Ahead - Allow for Growing, 1943; Children quickly outgrew new clothes, so mothers were encouraged to buy them in bigger sizes so they could initially be taken in and then let out gradually as the child grew. School uniforms could be a particular problem. Many schools did not relax their rules on uniform during wartime and families might have to sacrifice their entire yearly allowance of coupons, especially if they had more than one child needing to be fully kitted out.

Due to wartime shortages, Britain implemented food rationing in 1940. In June 1941, clothing ration coupons were introduced. Initially each person received 66 coupons per year. By 1945, that was reduced to 36 coupons. 'Make Do and Mend' became the new slogan.

UTILITY CLOTHES FASHION RESTRICTIONS WARTIME BRITAIN 1943- Checked suit (young adult), 18 coupons

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A model wearing a 'Utility' dress, 1943; Utility clothing went on sale in spring 1943. The Utility scheme was developed by the Board of Trade and introduced a range of quality- and price-controlled clothes. Utility clothing came in a limited range of garments, styles and fabrics. The range was designed by some of the leading names in fashion, including Hardy Amies, Digby Morton and Norman Hartnell.

January 8, 1940: Wartime rationing begins in the UK. The first items rationed were butter, sugar, and bacon, and these were soon followed by meat, tea, jam, biscuits, cereals, cheese, eggs, milk, and dried and canned fruit. Most food items were rationed according to weight -- meat, however, was rationed by price. The illustration is of a child's ration book from this period.

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