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Foreign News: Raw and Unrestrained

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From British women in war factories last summer came a swelling chorus of complaint: a lack of good corsets caused undue fatigue, spoiled dispositions, slackened morale, hindered production. The Government investigated, found corsets were only an item in a grave undercover situation.

The Government survey showed that 91% of British women wear corsets or abdominal belts—or at least would like to. Wartime “utility” garments made of low-priority materials are a painful failure. One result: a “shocking” number of women prefer to use their coupons for outer clothing, wear no underclothes and sleep raw. Some individual comments on the wartime garments:

>Corsets: “Like armor. . . . Sitting down becomes an accomplishment.”

>Garters: “Public life consists of charging into doorways to yank them up.”

>Brassières: “Scratch like a vegetable grater. . . . Could hold a wild bull in leash.”

>Stockings: “They are dire. They have colossal seams. . . . Do they expect us to grow utility grooves?”

One London working woman had no complaint: “I still got the corset I bought for the Coronation but I only wear it Sundays. This utility stuff don’t bother me, dearie.”

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