An original 1940s cotton collarless shirt by 'C.W.S' which was made as part of the CC41 utility clothing 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 style of shirt was extremely popular with men in the first part of the 20th Century. Made from a thick yet soft cream coloured flannel wool, the shirt is cut long in the body for warmth, wide in the chest to aid in pulling of the wearer's head when dressing and features a neckband collar. Attached collar shirts were available from the 1930s onwards, but only became common in the late 1940s with men predominantly wearing this style with a detachable collar prior to that.
The original label is still present inside the shirt and is still bright and legible as it would have been when new. It features the standard CC41 logo as well as the maker's name of 'C.W.S' - better known as the Co-Operative, or the Co-op, today. As well as this it features the brand name 'Wheatsheaf Make' over a graphic depicting a wheat stack. The neckband is also stamped with the neck size which reads 15 1/2"
The shirt will suit up to a 40" chest depending on desired fit and when laid flat the shirt measures -
Chest - 23 1/2"
Inside arm - 19 1/2"
Outside arm - 22 1/4"
Shoulders - 19 1/2"
Length at back - 40"
Collar 15 1/2"
Please bear in mind that shirts of this period are cut in a very 'full' manner meaning that a chest measurement is much greater than on modern shirts.
The shirt is in fantastic condition as can be seen from the pictures. I think it would be fair to describe it as 'new old stock' as it has clearly never been worn or laundered. There are a few small marks from storage etc but overall it displays very well and is totally wearable. Please take time to study the pictures and bear in mind that this is a vintage, pre-owned item which may have small flaws commensurate with age.
Original utility clothing items rarely come on the market in this un-worn, new old stock condition. It would make an excellent addition to any clothing collection or wardrobe without a shadow of a doubt. This would also make an ideal addition to a Home Guard or ARP display as they wore their civilian shirts underneath their uniform.