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Mr Monkey sees little black dress at Urbis

"I hope they didn't ration hats"

Mr Monkey with a 1940's dress Mr Monkey with photos of war time rationing and a post-war Dior dress

Wartime shortages and rationing meant that little black dresses really had to use as little material as possible, with everyone in Britain having 66 clothing coupons to last a year* (though this was cut to 36 in 1943). From 1947, Christian Dior's New Look dresses used 10 yards or more of cloth. Mr Monkey examined a utility dress, then pictures of someone shopping with coupons and a post-war Dior dress.

* You needed 12 coupons for a womans jacket, 8 for trousers or a skirt, 4 for a blouse, and 2 for a pair of knickers.

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Copyright Rik Shepherd and Mr Monkey. This page last modified 19 April 2006