Thursday, 22 November 2018

Clothes - could be another frugal tip!

I'm sure a lot of people spend an awful lot of money on clothes, changing with the seasons and fashion. Not here. Clothes get bought when we need them and not because we want them. They are often bought as presents as it doubles up and saves on buying seperately.

However, during the war, clothing was very restricted and bought on a points system. Other than jumble sales where points were not needed (or the black market), there was no way round it. Yes you could alter worn out clothing, sheets, blankets, parachutes (if you could get one)  to make something new. You could reduce items in size for the next child down. Bedding, blankets and towelling were often cut around holes then re-hemmed to make a new sheet etc. An awful lot of items were knitted but even wool for this was on the points system.

In the 60's, I remember my mum and gran pulling out old jumpers, washing the wool and reusing to make something 'new'. I had lots of hand me down clothing growing up, as did my peers.


Clothes rationing began in 1941 and ended in 1949. In the first year, each adult was given a grand total of 66 coupons to spend. By 1942, this had dropped to 48, then 36 in 1943 and by 1945 just 24 points. The chart below shows what was required for items of clothing in 1942 when you would have had 48 points to spend.

Just because an item was rationed didn't mean you were entitled to it. You had to be able to afford it and it also had to be available to buy. Would you have managed?


You can understand why everything was repurposed can't you?

13 comments:

  1. Can't imagine life before charity shops for clothes!

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    1. I suppose jumble sales were the equivalent.

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    2. You hardly ever see jumble sales now, do you?

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    3. I used to love jumble sales when I lived in the UK many years ago.
      The thrill of the hunt, you never knew what you might find. On Saturdays I would often go to several, no car, so I would go home on the bus loaded with bags. Then getting home and tipping it all out and putting the washer on. I had some lovely clothes and bits and pieces from jumbles, shame that they are no longer around.
      Pam in Texas.

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  2. I've been looking at my wardrobe "Needs vs Wants" since I retired and money is much tighter. This winter I decided on the basics I was going to wear and sorted my wardrobe accordingly - then I decided on a couple of accent colours (mostly from sweaters & scarves), placed those items in my wardrobe and packed away all others. What I intend to do next year is bring out those items that are currently packed away so it will feel as though I've an almost new wardrobe. I could go back and forth likes this for a few years but do admit that I'd probably get a bit bored.
    I am now concentrating on things like undergarments, socks & shoes. I have a few good purses so would not have to worry about any new ones.
    Since I try to buy decent quality items and long ago learned to mix and match I think that I could have managed - but it must have been very difficult, especially for those with children. I remember my mom talking about how happy she was just to get a pair of nylon stockings, something we pick up without even thinking about it.
    I rather like the idea of a "uniform" type look but for someone more invested in fashion than me it must have been very dull and frustrating.

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    1. Very true and heavens know what happened if you were bombed out!

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  3. The points certainly didn't go far with a growing family to clothe no wonder everything was 'make do and mend'. What would we do without charity shops these days?

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    1. Not only for buying but also disposal.

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  4. I try very hard not to buy new and when I can't get away from it I buy the best I possibly can afford. They seem to last much longer. I also sew a great many of my own and Harvey's clothing items.

    God bless.

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    1. My summer tee shirts cost me £5 each new this year, they will do me for a few years, like most of my clothes.

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  5. my mum bought her wedding dress with coupons - 1948. imagine having to organise a wedding on rations... there was one bridesmaid, one best man and 6 guests - the food was tea, sausage rolls and 'fancies'.

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    1. That would also have been way cheaper than today.

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  6. I get 'new' clothes when my SIL switches out her closet.

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