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Skirt suit

Skirt suit

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1947 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Amies, Hardy, born 1909 - died 2003 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Worsted lined with silk, pewter

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Benita Armstrong

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This suit is a British interpretation of Paris designer Christian Dior's 1947 'New Look'. The suit's full skirt and softly padded hips contrast starkly with the war-time thriftiness of clothes designed just a year earlier. Here, Amies has tempered Dior's fulsome hip padding and economised on the quantity of fabric, resulting in a more moderate silhouette.

Physical description

Ladies suit consisting of a skirt and coat made from black, red and white striped worsted.

The coat is tailored to the figure with a four button double-breasted fastening, cut away from the waist, and fitted over the hips where there are flapped pockets. The revers are wide and slightly rounded. Lined with gray silk with a narrow waist-band of the same, fastening with a hook-and-eye. Buttons of pewter, round with a hand-moulded rim, are fairly large on the body of the jacket, and two smaller ones are at the cuff slit of each sleeve.

The skirt is long, bias-cut with panels of pleats stitched to the hip at the front right and back left. Smooth over the hips and unlined. The fastening zip is set into the last pleat on the left side of the front.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1947 (made)


Amies, Hardy, born 1909 - died 2003 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Worsted lined with silk, pewter


Weight: 1.4 kg

Descriptive line

Skirt suit with full skirt and fitted jacket, designed by Hardy Amies, Great Britain, 1947

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

De la Haye, Amy (ed.). The Cutting Edge: 50 Years of British Fashion 1947- 1997. London, England: V&A Publications, 1997.

Labels and date

Hardy Amies skillfully overcame the continuing shortages and regulations governing the availability and use of materials in the early postwar period. This superbly tailored double-breasted jacket has a nipped-in waist and pockets with deep flaps which curve over and accentuate the hips. The disposition of the large pewter buttons further emphasise the tiny waist. The long bias-cut skirt has soft pleats at the front right and the back left, which creates a flattering garment that also economises on fabric. [1997]
Hardy Amies (1909-2003)

Although this curvaceous suit has the small waist and wide hips typical of the New Look, the square shoulders recall earlier styles. Amies, like many London tailors, created custom garments in close consultation with his client. In this case, she may have resisted a complete change in style. [48 words]

Worsted wool

Given by Mrs Benita Armstrong
V&A: T.38&A-1966 [22/09/2007-06/01/2008]




Weaving; Tailoring


Fashion; Women's clothes; Textiles; Europeana Fashion Project

Production Type

Haute couture


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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