Utility Clothing was introduced towards the end of 1941 by the British government to cope with the short supply of fabric. The Incorporated Society of Fashion Designers, lead by the likes of Norman Hartnell, Digby Morton and Hardy Amies, created over 30 different utility clothing designs that became hugely popular and are still greatly evocative of the period today.
Darlings of the vintage reproduction scene Tara Starlet have paid their tribute to 1940s wartime fashion with their version of the classic Utility Dress. The pin spot dress, accented with white buttons and piping, is available in 5 colours. Pitch perfect 40s chic for attending all those vintage events over the spring and summer months.
The Utility Dress is £75 from the Tara Starlet website.
If you like simple, retro-inspired goods that do what they are meant to, then Utility in Brighton may be your ideal shop.
It's named after the Second World War scheme that produced everyday products under rationing and their aim is to stock no frills, hard wearing goods from all eras. These include some products that are made in-house such as the 1940s inspired linen and cotton tea towels pictured above which cost £9.50 to £10. They also source a wide range of products encompassing hardware and other household goods, as well as a selection of second hand homeware.
At the moment their web shop isn't up and running but you can browse the website and order anything you'd like via phone, email or the old fashioned way of popping into the shop.
Utility is found on North Road Brighton or online here.