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321802.  Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:09 am Reply with quote

Elastic was desperately short during the war, because the rubber to make it came from Malaysia, which was occupied by the Japanese. In 1945, Woman magazine asked readers: “Are you worried about elastic? Unless you're in the black market, how are you keeping your panties in the correct position, not to mention pyjamas now that the stuff is so scarce?”

S: ‘London 1945’ by Maureen Waller (John Murray, 2005).

321811.  Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:16 am Reply with quote

MatC wrote:
And gravy browning was also used to give an impression of tan stockings.

And wasn't beetroot juice used as lipstick...?

321818.  Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:32 am Reply with quote

Roll-on corsets were also illegal; corset facts at post 321774.

321820.  Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:40 am Reply with quote

Helen says that nowadays you can't easily get traditional corsets at all but you can get body-sculpting longjohns although she would like to make it clear that she doesn't use them. But she does report a live issue in the context of new relationships which is the dilemma of how and when to manage the revelation that your figure isn't what you've been pretending it is.

321823.  Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:42 am Reply with quote

This is why I always arrive naked on first dates.

321827.  Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:54 am Reply with quote

Yes, we'd been wondering. Good to have that cleared up.

321889.  Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:25 am Reply with quote

It was illegal to wear heels of more than two inches.

From same source:

“Peep toes” were banned in 1943; high heels were legalised in February 1945.

321909.  Tue Apr 22, 2008 8:59 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
I just did some original research (asked my mum) and her memory is that you dressed as well as you could, but that wasn't very well. She also confirms that they used to draw stocking seams up the backs of their legs, but says that nobody was seriously trying to pretend that they were wearing stockings, it was just a fashionable look. They used something called Myners Liquid Make-up (not sure of the spelling) which was apparently specially made for the purpose, but which came off on your clothes if you weren't careful.

For those who could afford it, Cylax produced Stockingless Cream and Elizabeth Arden Fin 200, obtainable only in the London area. They were like a fake tan, able to resist rain, mud and splashes. Others resorted to liquid gravy browning, applied with a sponge or cotton wool, or a cup of cold cocoa.

Apparently, “women were mortified to appear without stockings, fearing bare legs would make them look available.” There’s a tip worth remembering, lads, eh?

S: ‘London 1945’ by Maureen Waller (John Murray, 2005).

322598.  Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:59 am Reply with quote

Same source says boys under the age of 12 were banned from wearing long trousers.

322649.  Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:46 am Reply with quote


Are we meant to conclude that boys were made to bare their legs to "make them look available"

This book should be banned.

322654.  Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:59 am Reply with quote

And they were covering their legs with cocoa to appeal to the American soldiers. I'm with you WB, it's a disgrace.

322659.  Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:03 am Reply with quote

Small boys being made to wear shorts and draw stocking seams up the backs of their legs is a LOL for me, and a racing certainty for a good five minutes on the show if I'm any judge.

322665.  Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:10 am Reply with quote

Then WB and I will lobby for the show to be banned, too.

322717.  Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:54 am Reply with quote

“To wear clothes that have been patched and darned - perhaps many times - is to show oneself a true patriot.” - Hugh Dalton, President of the Board of Trade, 1943.

S: ‘London 1945’ by Maureen Waller (John Murray, 2005).

322881.  Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:36 am Reply with quote

A contribution to the subject of forgotten feuds - not useful, but beautifully ornamental:


I have lived in important places, times
When great events were decided: who owned
That half a rood of rock, a no-man's land
Surrounded by our pitchfork-armed claims.
I heard the Duffys shouting "Damn your soul"
And old McCabe stripped to the waist, seen
Step the plot defying blue-cast steel -
"Here is the march along these iron stones."
That was the year of the Munich bother. Which
Was more important? I inclined
To lose my faith in Ballyrush and Gortin
Till Homer's ghost came whispering to my mind.
He said: I made the Iliad from such
A local row. Gods make their own importance.

Patrick Kavanagh


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