Rationing began in March 1940, coupons were used during this period of rationing and included food and clothing. 40s Clothing was rationed on a points system which initially was sixty-six points per person. This was cut to 48 points in 1942, then to 36 in 1943 and finally to 24 points in 1945 at the end of the war.
Lace and frills were banned on 40s Womens clothes with restrictions on pleats, pockets and buttons following in 1942 to conserve materials for the war effort.
40s Utility clothes as they were then known, were fashioned to conserve materials and so were tailored to fit. Introduced as CC41 with the utility mark sewn inside clothing items, 40s utility clothing was characterized by squared shoulders, nipped waists and with skirts above the knee for Women. For Men trousers without pleats, turn ups and shirt lengths were restricted .
In 1947 after the War, 40s utility fashion was replaced with the “New look”. Characterized for Women by rounder shoulders, a fuller bust and full, longer skirts and marked a return to normality from the turmoil and restrictions of wartime.