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L-85 Restrictions

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by claireshaeffer, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. claireshaeffer

    claireshaeffer Trade Member

    I'm looking for a list of the L-85 Restrictions. I found some articles about them, but I haven't found a list.

    Several months ago I saw the list in a book I was reading. Silly me I didn't make a note. If you know which book, please advise.

  2. sues*stuff

    sues*stuff Trade Member

    There are lots of references on Google. I presume you want more than this:

    Order L-85, first announced in 1943, affected every kind of clothing produced in America except for wedding gowns, maternity clothes, infant wear, and religious vestments. The guidelines outlined by the government dictated that only one and three-fourths yards of fabric be used per dress. The purpose of Order L-85 was to discourage any change in fashion that would necessitate adjustment of machinery, technique, extra labor, or changed consumer expectations. The government wanted all its resources directed at winning the war, which meant that every yard of cloth, every button, and every silk stocking was seen as crucial to victory. Yet the government did not have to define strict guidelines for every aspect of fashion. The market did much of that, as fabrics and supplies dwindled.
  3. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie Alumni

    There is a list in Jonathan's Forties Fashion.
  4. joules

    joules Trade Member

    I was thinking there must be, in Jonathan's Forties book, which is still on my wishlist.
  5. claireshaeffer

    claireshaeffer Trade Member

    Lizzie, thanks, I'm sure that's where I saw it. Claire
  6. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    Yes, its in the American chapter: Independance and Limitations. I found a reprint of the 1943 list that referred to amendments to the 1942 regulations. As far as I know I have the only book in print with the L-85 limitations. I accidentally found it reprinted in a completely unexpected place after I had tried looking EVERYWHERE else including several U.S. Government archives.
  7. claireshaeffer

    claireshaeffer Trade Member

    I found my copy. I don't see anything about embellishments. As I remember sequins were exempt. Do you know anything about beading. Were there any limitations?

    I really like this book; the L-85 list is worth the cost of the book. C
  8. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    I never came across anything about embellisment restrictions outside of manufacturing limitations for things like quilting, which I suspect was considered too time consuming. I suspect sequins were more prevalent because glass beads weren't around once existing stocks were used up. Glass beads would have come from primarily Italy and Czechoslovakia so there may not have been any formal limitation needed if the beads were already in short supply. Any wartime 40s dresses with beadwork that I have handled are usually spot stitched and don't use a lot of beads.

    I once knew a women who was a teenager in Glasgow during the war and her first job in 1944 was to embellish plain crepe dresses with beads taken from 1920s dresses that women would bring in to have cannibalized for their plain 40s dresses. The ironic thing was that she worked as a textile conservator for the first museum I worked in the early 80s, and she spent a lot of her time sewing beads back ONTO 1920s dresses at the museum!
  9. claireshaeffer

    claireshaeffer Trade Member

    MCNY has a lovely Mainbocher from early 40's with beads and sequins only on the sleeves. The embroidery was done on the fabric before the sleeves were cut since there is embroidery in the seam allowance.

    Jonathan, you've been very helpful. The small amount of embroidery is probably because there wasn't a lot of beads to be used.
  10. Jonathan

    Jonathan Trade Member

    Mainbocher was a headline attraction at the New York designer shows in 1941 when New York was trying to establish itself as the new Paris, since the old Paris was occupied. I wonder if that dress might be 1941?

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