Despite - or perhaps because of - the privations of war, the 1940s was one of the greatest decades for fashion in Britain. The designs and fashions of the 1930s would linger on through the early years of the Second World War but with shortages and rationing firmly in place, the Utility clothing available in the shops had to overcome these restrictions and still look new and vivid. Because so much of the war effort depended on Britain's women, fashion was considered important for morale.
Fashion in the 1940s ranged from military uniforms (for men and women) to siren suits to be worn to keep warm in air raid shelters at night and the demob suits issued to those leaving the services at the end of the war. The mantra of `make-do and mend' would spawn a decade of creativity, and a generation who would not let austerity prevent them from looking good. Transatlantic and military influences were everywhere, and after the war was over Dior's `New Look' set the scene for the fashions of the prosperous
This book is part of the Britain's Heritage series, which provides definitive introductions to the riches of Britain's past, and is the perfect way to get acquainted with 1940s fashion in all its variety.
Fiona Kay is a born and bred Geordie girl and proud of it. She lives in Northumberland and has known the county all her life. Fiona has had a life-long interest in the First World War, is a researcher with a keen eye and a real feel for subject (she has worked on the award winning King's Men project for Sandringham, Edith Cavell centenary project and Somme 100) and has co-authored Newcastle Battalions on the Somme with Neil R. Storey (Tyne Bridge 2016). Neil R. Storey is an award-winning social historian specialising in the study of the impact of war on British society in the first half of the 20th century. He has been writing since the late 1980s on topographical, military and crime history themes. He has written features for local and national magazines and journals as well as several books on the First and Second World Wars.