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wartime fashion  • Make-do and mend

Late wartime • Skirt altered with contrasting material• Dress lengthened with bold patchwork.
Clothing had been rationed Shops would only sell a few items to each person. So that everyone had a fair share. since 1941 and from about 1943 onward the civilian population of Britain found new clothing almost impossible to obtain.
As the war progressed rationing became tighter.Civilians were encouraged by posters and advertisments to "make-do Put up with what they already had and mend". Material from worn-out adult clothing could be remade into childrens clothing.
Government booklet
People were advised to prolong the life of clothing by repair and alterations.Women were encouraged to make patches and repairs a conspicuous feature of a garment.Many like these women would repair or alter existing clothing with whatever material they had. There was little point even trying to match colours or material.
The woman on the left has altered a straight skirt by adding side gorestapered insert panels to make a flaired skirt.
The woman on the right has added a contrasting collar and belt to a dress she has lengthened a few inches using chevrons of patchwork.
Old knitwear was unravelled and reknitted.

Left hand photograph poss. by Wells of Lancing

Date about 1943-44