The Social Experiment

This blog is about understanding and exploring what my Grandmothers experienced by living on the home front during World War II. I am going to be living, as best as I can, to the US rationing standards of 1945. This is a social experiment, not only to connect to my families past, but to explore new way to live environmentally and socially responsible. I hope to show, that by living as our grandparents did, we can reduce the amount of waste that our society throws out and live healthier and more simple lives.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Caring for Clothes

I have not been to a new clothing store since this experiment started. Practically this is because I started a new job and I had purchased a new wardrobe before I started (two suits, two pants, and a skirt). The knowledge that I cannot get many new clothes and especially that I only can buy one pair of new shoes…. Has me looking at how I treat my clothes and shoes.

By the end of the first week – I realized that my shoes would not last long if I wore them to walk back and forth to work. I wear my pedometer and I walk 5-7 miles every day (depending if I am on call or not) at the hospital. A mile and half of that is my walk to and from work. Practically to save my feet, and also to save my shoes… I now wear my tennis shoes to work, and carry my shoes in my bag. Shoes are not made as they use to be – and I need my work shoes to last. I don’t know how I would fix them if they broke…

Clothing is interesting… I have had to re-sew the hem in my dress pants already. That is something I have always done. But now I am aware that these clothes need to last a long time. I have also started to look at consignment and second hand stores. Buying clothes from these places would not use up rationing coupons, and it save money. It helps that I live in a very corporate town – I found the cutest suit and a suit coat to match my own skirt. I was also very tempted to buy a suit that was much too big – but was made from beautiful wool … I wanted to cut it down and remake it.

The challenge that I discovered is that Nylons do not last very long… does anyone know how to mend (darn) stockings? Even though I am not following the nylon rationing… I would like to make mine last longer – and clear nail polish does not cut it sometimes.

Knowing that these are the only clothes I get… I have started washing things by hand that I need to keep longer. If you ever visit me on laundry day… you will notice that my bathtub is filled with my suits and (dry clean) items. I am willing to do anything to make these clothes last … but it does take up time!

1 comment:

  1. One good wartime hint to make stockings last longer is to knit a toecap out of some fine yarn and wear it under the stocking. It keeps your toenails from rubbing and starting ladders.
    I suck at knitting so what I've done is cut the toe from a pair of mis-matched socks. How far up your foot it goes is up to you and the style of shoes you wear. For me, I go to under the ball of my foot on the bottom then taper to just over my toes on top.