Lip Stick and Pin Curls to Boost Morale

Sep 25, 2016 | Fernie History, Fernie Museum

Hardship and heartache were the norm during World War II. Rationing, in every Allied country, made life difficult with shortages of food, clothing and general supplies. Watching young men leave, knowing it might be the last time you glimpsed their faces, would break the heart of every family member.


But people and countries endured – and everyone was encouraged to keep up morale. “Women were even encouraged to pay attention to their appearance, applying red lipstick and setting their hair in pin curls to boost general morale.” In every quarter people were encouraged to keep up a brave face.

This look, stunning red lips and pin curls, was perfected  in this photo of actress Betty Grable. pin-curls-and-lip-stick

Today we have access to stores full of choices of not only food but clothing, shoes and fabric. But in 1941 the British government, as well as here in Canada, had to free up factories and raw materials for wartime production.

The imposition of clothes rationing was announced by Oliver Lyttleton, President of the Board of Trade (Britain), on 1 June 1941. Making the announcement just before a Bank Holiday allowed the Board of Trade time to brief retailers before the shops reopened. The news came as a complete surprise to most people. As with food rationing, which had been in place since 1940, one of the other reasons for introducing civilian clothes rationing was to ensure fairness. Rationing sought to ensure a more equal distribution of clothing and improve the availability of garments in the shops.

The Imperialimg_20160925_130717 Wartime Museum


This hat and shoe combination is going to be great for my Boogie Woogie Blitz Ball outfit. Thanks to Yvonne Molle at Odyssey for the awesome hat. Tickets are going fast so – get yours today at the Fernie Scotiabank!


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