An original British military issue lightweight grey flannel suit dating from 1954.
The exact origin of these suits is still somewhat of a mystery. Clearly an issue item as both jacket and trousers feature standard War Department labels; who these were actually issued to is not know. Clearly it was for men who needed to travel in plain clothes when going abroad as made clear by the 'air travel' part of the label and the lightweight half lined construction of the jacket.
The suit is made from a lightweight grey flannel material typical of the era. The cut of the jacket is very traditional and would certainly pass for 1940s if not slightly earlier. It features a three button front and a lapel which is typical of the 1930-40s. The interior of the jacket is half lined with rayon and features the War Department issue label inside the pocket.
The trousers are made from the same material and have a button fly, waist adjusters, slash pockets, a ticket pocket and belt loops. All these features are typical of those which one would expect to find on a suit of this period. Again the original issue label is present to the interior and a purple ink stamp, similar to those found on demob suits, can be seen on the rear of one of the pocket bags. This stamp is also present in the sleeve lining of the jacket.
The sizes of the suit are clearly stated on the labels but the trousers have been taken in. This has been done well and they could easily be let back out to their original size if you so wished. When laid flat the suit measures -
Chest - 20"
Inside arm - 19"
Outside arm - 26"
Shoulders - 16 1/2"
Length at back - 31"
Waist - 15 3/4"
Inside Leg - 30 1/2"
Rise - 14 1/2"
Rear Rise - 18"
Cuff width - 9"
The condition of the suit is good for its age but it does have a couple of flaw, namely towards the bottom of the trouser legs as shown in the photographs. There is also a small period repair to the seat of the trousers although this is hardly noticeable. The jacket is very good with just one small moth nip to the upper right sleeve. The sleeve lining has also come away slightly inside the jacket as is common with vintage suits. It just needs a couple of tacks to put it back to where it was originally.
Overall this is a very nice period suit which displays very well. The military labelling makes it a collectable in its own right an certainly this would make an interesting addition to any collection and would always be an interesting talking point.
More photographs are available upon request.