Wartime shortages and rationing meant that little black dresses really had to use as little material as possible, with everyone in Britain having 66 clothing coupons to last a year* (though this was cut to 36 in 1943). From 1947, Christian Dior's New Look dresses used 10 yards or more of cloth. Mr Monkey examined a utility dress, then pictures of someone shopping with coupons and a post-war Dior dress.
* You needed 12 coupons for a womans jacket, 8 for trousers or a skirt, 4 for a blouse, and 2 for a pair of knickers.
Copyright Rik Shepherd and Mr Monkey. This page last modified 19 April 2006