Coat thumbnail 1
Coat thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Coat

ca. 1942 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This coat and hat for a little girl were made under the Utility Scheme, the UK government's regulations to control manufacturing and eliminate waste of resources during World War Two (1939-45) and the period of austerity afterwards. The Utility scheme launched in 1941 with the distinctive logo 'CC41', designed by Reginald Shipp, for use by manufacturers whose products met the rules. It used standard designs to avoid waste of materials and the use of un-necessary details in manufacturing: this coat has only one row of buttons instead of the two that would be usual for the style. The inclusion of the hat probably indicates that it dates from the early years of Utility clothing.

The coat and hat are probably former shop stock which failed to sell, and were stored away when fashions changed. The wartime 'Make Do and Mend' campaign had encouraged restraint, repair and re-use wherever possible: because of their smaller size and simpler construction, children's clothes for this age group were particularly likely to be made at home by their families rather than bought in shops. Buying new garments at this time was quite difficult, needing coupons from the limited number issued to each person, as well as the monetary cost. Families sometimes had to use the adults' coupons to get new shoes or winter coats for their children who had outgrown their old ones. The alternative was to buy second-hand garments, or to go to a dealer who was willing to break the government regulations - technically a criminal offence.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Coat
  • Hat
Materials and Techniques
Wool lined with rayon
Brief Description
Girl's coat and hat of russet wool, made in England under the Utility scheme 1941-1948
Physical Description
Girl's coat and matching hat of russet wool.This is a tam o'shanter hat with a decorative bow at the band.
Production typeMass produced
Marks and Inscriptions
'CC41 / SPEC. 20 / C.P.' (CC41, otherwise known as 'the cheeses' from the resemblance to a birdseye view of two round blocks of cheese each with a slice removed (indication of the UK wartime government's Utility scheme for the controlled production of various goods such as clothing and furniture))
Credit line
Given by Helen Graham-Cameron
Object history
Probably ex shop stock
Production
Probably made ca. 1942. The inclusion of a hat suggests a date in the early years of the scheme, when a hat, even for children, was still considered an essential part of an outfit, but before shortages of fabric had become acute.



Reason For Production: Retail
Summary
This coat and hat for a little girl were made under the Utility Scheme, the UK government's regulations to control manufacturing and eliminate waste of resources during World War Two (1939-45) and the period of austerity afterwards. The Utility scheme launched in 1941 with the distinctive logo 'CC41', designed by Reginald Shipp, for use by manufacturers whose products met the rules. It used standard designs to avoid waste of materials and the use of un-necessary details in manufacturing: this coat has only one row of buttons instead of the two that would be usual for the style. The inclusion of the hat probably indicates that it dates from the early years of Utility clothing.



The coat and hat are probably former shop stock which failed to sell, and were stored away when fashions changed. The wartime 'Make Do and Mend' campaign had encouraged restraint, repair and re-use wherever possible: because of their smaller size and simpler construction, children's clothes for this age group were particularly likely to be made at home by their families rather than bought in shops. Buying new garments at this time was quite difficult, needing coupons from the limited number issued to each person, as well as the monetary cost. Families sometimes had to use the adults' coupons to get new shoes or winter coats for their children who had outgrown their old ones. The alternative was to buy second-hand garments, or to go to a dealer who was willing to break the government regulations - technically a criminal offence.
Collection
Accession Number
MISC.18&A-1985

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record createdApril 3, 2006
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