Re: WAAF uniformOctober 25 2011 at 1:24 PM
|Anonymous (Login tallyhochaps)|
from IP address 18.104.22.168
Response to Re: WAAF uniform
A J Smith. Thank you.
When I wrote the original post I was a little irritated, and so I wasnt really expecting much in the way of a reply. As you have now been kind enough to assist, I will explain things in a little more detail as your obvious expertise is something wed like to seize upon.
Firstly, we are a little naïve as regards the WAAF look. We have started some earnest research, but prior to the sudden declaration from my wife that her true desire is to be clad in blue, our adopted look was one of an American 8th air force captain and his English rose girlfriend, the latter being generally attired in a variety of dowdy clobber appropriate to the era, and supplemented by hand knitted garmenture such as snoods from original 40s patterns.
Okay, onwards and upwards. We poised the question on another forum, and were advised to contact a certain Della, whose military tailoring skills are legendary amongst re-enactors. Weve had no response to the email and so Im wondering if perhaps she is no longer taking commissions.
The Warhorse website looks wonderfully promising, but weve failed miserably in our attempts to purchase items from them in the past. We wrote asking if we might visit them at their own premises with a view to trying and buying on the spot, but despite an initial reply to the affirmative, all subsequent lines of enquiry have gone unanswered.
I will say, the look my wife has in mind is that of an enlisted rank rather than officer, and we understand it would be the black shiny peaked cap which would be the appropriate choice for that. We saw the look at Pickering, approached the startled wearer to enquire where it had been gleaned from, only to be told it was hired. At that point, a knowledgeable bystander interjected with yeah, and its a clocked cold war uniform at that.
We also understand that during the early part of hostilities at least, the mens jackets were the only jackets, and so our quest did initially appear simplified.
As I said, we were sold a tunic on the basis it would be easy to adapt. We was advised that the removal of one button would be necessary, and that should be replaced with a blank as the belt would cover it. The spare button could now be sewn on below the belt [all buttons to be replaced with Kings Crown versions of course]. We have the belt, and that too has a brass buckle, the material matching the tunic perfectly.
Size 36 is indeed small, but my wife is generally a 14 and stands at 5ft 10 inches tall. Skirts may therefore be a problem. The trader from which we purchased the tunic did have hats, but, as it was the conclusion of a busy and successful weekend, the few he had remaining were dismally small. Today Im in an altogether lighter frame of mind, as we have just found some lace up shoes which look more than adequate, and Im already poised to avoid the mistakes so many evidently make with regards to shirts. Your own advice echoes that weve heard from others, so be assured, shell not be sporting Wedgewood any time soon. The Lisle stockings can [Im led to believe] be purchased from M&S, only theyll not be Lisle, but they will be an acceptably passion diminishing likeness.
So here we are with our £25:00 tunics. What to do? For some, the impression will have to be 100 per cent Im sure. Whilst I do applaud that quest for authenticity, we have already agreed wed be loathed to wreck an original. For starters, we get rowdy when weve been drinking, and our jive attempts frequently put us on our posteriors. In that regard, we are uncannily similar to those we wish to emulate, but wed rather go repro. Our experience with Ebay has been mixed, but Im sure thats due to my inefficiency at finding items. I suppose our main concern is having to source the uniform in bits rather than being able to just purchase the whole look off the peg. Im not sure how acceptable mismatched colour variations would have been? Budget isnt TOO restrictive, and I was looking to spend around £300:00, which is now reduced to about £220 given weve brought the tunic, shoes, Kings Crown buttons and belt.
Do we just cut our losses on the tunic and start again, or given we are going for the enlisted look, should be built on what we already have? I ought to mention that we didnt nail the tunic to the 1970s ourselves, it was merely a decade offered by another vendor hoping to flog us a 2009 issue in its stead. The label reads:
Uniform Mens RAF
No 1 dress OA
SIZE 176 92 76 [HEIGHT, CHEST, WAIST]
J. COMPTON SONS & WEBB LTD
SL 33A/311 5
When held up to an original, it was a REALLY good match, only we dont know if the original was really an original lol
Hope that helps to clarify and wed be REALLY appreciative of any further advice you could furnish us with.
Why the WAAF? Her Father was in the RAF, served in Gutersloh and Aden ,Benson and Marham , he worked on Beverlys and Argosys and we lived on his stories for many wonderful years until his recent passing. Im guessing it is a tribute to his memory, even if she precedes his era by a decade or two.