Lucy Adlington

Ready for Action - Women’s Lives through Clothes 1939 – 1949

*Work in Progress*

Ready for Action is a unique, illustrated insight into of the experiences of women during World War Two and in the war’s aftermath. The history of ten tumultuous years is reflected in clothes, fashion, accessories and uniforms. As housewives, farmers, fashion designers or spies, women dressed the part when they took up their wartime roles.

Textiles hold evidence of the threads of women’s lives – war service, love & loss, hard work and high hopes. Spanning every continent affected by war - including the Home Fronts of Europe and North America, battlefields of Russia, outposts in Africa and Australia, the Holocaust and Hiroshima - Ready for Action weaves together tales of women from around the world. There are famous names and exploits… and many never-before-told stories of quiet heroism and everyday adventures. Together the stories create a fascinating patchwork of patterns and contrasts.

Ready for Action features original costumes, accessories, fashion notebooks, fabric samples, magazines, photos and ephemera from the History Wardrobe collection.

If you have family history or photographs from this era please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.

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