An original 1940s poplin cotton collarless shirt by 'St. Michael' which was made under the CC41 utility clothing scheme.
The shirt was made as part of the CC41 utility scheme which was brought into effect in the UK in 1941 as part of the larger rationing scheme. The idea behind it was that affordable, quality clothing would be available to everyone of every class and could be bought using coupons.
This shirt is typical of those made and worn during the 1930s and 1940s in almost every way. It is made from a lightweight poplin cotton which has a white and blue stripes running through it which is a typical period colourway. It features a half placket front which is pulled on over the wearer's head. This design was prevalent from the Victorian period through to the 1950s when full button front shirts started to gain popularity. The shirt also features a double cuff, or 'French cuff'. This is designed to be folded back on itself and worn with cufflinks - a popular choice during this period.
The collar is neckband style made from the same material as the body of the shirt and is lined with white cotton inside. It is designed to be worn with a detachable collar but can also be worn without one. Below this the original label is still present and features both the maker's logo and the CC41 utility logo on the same label. The fabric code of X3022/2 is present, as are the words 'Rigmel Shrunk'. The collar size of 15 1/2 is printed onto the inside of the neckband.
The shirt is a medium size which will fit around a 38" chest depending on desired fit. When laid flat measures -
Chest - 23 1/2"
Inside arm - 24"
Outside arm - 27 1/4"
Shoulders - 18 1/4"
Length - 34 1/2"
It is important to remember that these shirts are cut very wide across the chest to allow them to be pulled on over the head so the true fit will be much smaller than the measurement provided. The measurement of the arms includes the french cuff which would be folded back when worn with cufflinks, shortening the measurements by roughly 2".
The shirt is in good condition for its age and displays well. There are no serious signs of wear etc but please study the pictures before purchasing and bear in mind that this is a pre-worn vintage shirt which has small issues commensurate with age.
A nice original WW2 period shirt which would make a great addition to any wardrobe or collection. It would suit a variety of wartime uniforms including LDV, Home Guard and many more.
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