Old News – War Rationing

Rationing during World War I has even effected women’s clothing. Wool is needed for military uniforms for the troops that are headed to Europe. Did this War rationing lead to tighter and shorter skirts for ladies of the 1920s?


Friday, Jan. 11, 1918


Patriotic action is demanded of women in clothes as well as in food. There was an important meeting in New York which consolidated the co-operation of the trade with the commercial economy board, which has its headquarters in Washington. The government knew that it was useless to appeal to women to save wool in the building of their clothes, under the present commercial circumstances of clothes selling. The great majority of women buy their clothes. They do not make them at home. They but what they can get, and they do not know the amount of material contained in a garment.

Therefore, the government  made its appeal for co-operation in the conservation of wool to those who make and design women’s garments. At this meeting it was resolved and rules were formulated that no man or woman in America would use over 4½ yards of wool in any costume, and less, if possible.

The American tailors and manufacturers of ready to wear clothing will cut off the long jacket for women when it is made of wool, no matter how light the weave; they will eliminate fullness in the skirt and cut it as short as decency will permit.

The slim silhouette will be accepted between Hudson Bay and Palm Beach and then crosswise. The women who cries out against a narrow skirt either because of tradition or as artistic perception of what her figure needs, need not gnash her teeth. All she has to do is to eliminate wool from her gown or suit with another material.

One of the quick ways which has leaped into fashion for women to conserve wool for the army is the use of a short, slim separate skirt with a cutaway coat of velveteen, heavily lined. Women who have such costumes declare that they will wear these skirts with corslet blouses of soutached silk and satin in the spring, thereby saving cotton for the government..

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