✯ Day 232 of Vintage 365 ✯
Often times as I look lovingly through vintage images, particularly those hailing from either World War, I'm struck by the fact that what seems merely charming and beautiful to us today, once served a very important social purpose.
Signs, cookbooks and pamphlets about Victory gardens, making doing or going without, and staying calm are swept up by the present day public with great gusto, enjoyed (by many of those outside of our vintage loving circle) more so for their artistic appeal than their historical significance.
It is the later point which ultimately draws me to many vintage images and items however. I'm fascinated by days gone by and what kind of things people saw, wore and were surrounded by as they went about their lives.
On the informative - and highly enjoyable - site Exploring 20th Century London, a striking three colour 1940s poster showcasing which types of fashions were and were not acceptable for WW2 factory workers really caught my eye.
There's a sweetness to the illustration (which was done by Grace Golden) that belies the fact that it was intended to be a very serious, informative piece. At first glance one could easily be forgiven for thinking this cute drawing hailed from the pages of a fashion magazine or clothing ad. Instead its purpose was to show female factory workers what styles were best suited to the demanding jobs they were to preform.
Of course, I like to think, there was a degree of common sense to the message (hmmm, I'm going to work in a factory, should I don an evening gown or a pair of overalls? ), but regardless it never hurts to be reminded of things that are good for one's personal safety, including the best garments to wear to a new job.
Today many of us who enjoy 1940s clothes would happily sport either (or both!) of these looks, one utilitarian, the other date night worthy. Fashion inspiration can indeed be drawn from this wonderful Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents poster, but so too, I think, can a great little history lesson.
It's the merging of these two points - style with fact, history with beauty - that perpetually endears me to the past and happily keeps me on the lookout for engaging vintage images like this beautiful British Factory Fashion Notes poster.