Sarah Magill’s professional output

Standardised or Simplified? The Effect of Government–Imposed Restrictions on Women’s Clothing Manufacture and Design during the Second World War

Article – Published 11th Jul 18


The Second World War necessitated the transferral of labour and supplies from civilian manufacture to war production. Orders initiated by the government, in an attempt to make economical use of limited resources, severely affected the clothing industry from production to consumption. As a result, many contemporaneous sources and contemporary scholars claim that civilian dress was standardised.  Scrutiny of trade journals, government documents, Mass Observation records, extant garments, and sewing patterns demonstrates that though manufacturing methods were standardised and simplified, there continued to be a range of styles in women’s dress.

Publication details

Publication status Published
Refereed 1
Publication title The Journal of Dress History
Publishers name The Association of Dress Historians
Volume 2
Number of pages 10
Page range 15–25