'Victory Suit' jacket: Mr John J Dedman, Minister of the Department of War Organisation of Industry

Place Oceania: Australia
Accession Number REL/00039.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Uniform
Physical description Artificial silk, Rayon, Wool twill
Maker Louis & Charles Noble
Place made Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Date made July 1942
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Dark grey wool twill suit jacket with a pattern of fine alternating white and red pinstripes. The single breasted jacket is closed with two grey-black plastic buttons. The left lapel carries a hand finished buttonhole. The lower fronts are rounded and the jacket has no vents. There is an inset pocket over each front hip with a rounded pocket flap, and an inset welt pocket on the left breast. An inner welt pocket is set into the right front lining. A black woven manufacturer's label with white lettering 'Louis & Charles Noble' with two crowns, is sewn inside the right front.

The body of the jacket is lined with dark grey rayon; the sleeves with beige artificial silk. There is a hanging tab inside the back neck. The lining and buttonholes have been finished by hand.

History / Summary

The 'Victory suit', sometimes known as the 'Dedman economy suit' was introduced by Mr John Dedman, Minister of for War Organisation of Industry, in 1942 as part of the 'rationalisation' and control of civilian clothing during the Second World War.

The suit was designed to reduce wastage by eliminating the waistcoat and the traditional double breasted fastening of the jacket, removing cuff buttons from the jacket and cuff turn-ups from the trousers, and reducing the width of the trousers, number of pockets and length of the jacket. The material saved would be enough to make a pair of boys' short trousers.

Such was the unpopularity of the new regulation that waistcoats were reintroduced in December 1942. Double breasted jackets (and overcoats), together with trouser cuffs, were again permitted from March 1943, allegedly because there was reduced demand for woollen fabric by the military.

This suit, the first of its type, was made especially for John Dedman, who wore it during press interviews promoting the new clothing regulations.

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