Letter: Ration fashion

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GERALDINE BEDELL has got it wrong ('Night of the long skirts', 18 October). To support her thesis that hemlines sink when times are hard and rise when things improve, she teams long skirts with the Forties and short with the post-war years, but the photographs used are not representative.

During the war we wore 'utility' garments which were designed to use the least amount of extremely scarce material: narrow, short shifts and narrow, short jackets and skirts.

With the ending of the war and rationing, designers, who were suddenly free to use as much material as they liked, gave us the New Look in 1948: long skirts with opulent fullness - at vastly increased prices.

Jean Overton Fuller