Saturday, 29 September 2012

Did Your Mum Make You Wear A Liberty Bodice?

Did any of you wear a liberty bodice when you were little?  I saw this little cabinet at Quarriers Village - advertising liberty bodices from "Libertyland" Market Harborough.  It brought back a few memories.

 
A liberty bodice was like a vest but made out of a soft, warm fabric.  My mum made me wear one during the winter when I was very young.  I suppose in the days before central heating we needed all the warmth we could get. 
 

When I think about it - this was my winter school gear when I was about 5 years old - pants and woolly tights, vest, liberty bodice, full length petticoat, school blouse and skirt then a cardigan!  If I was going outside, then this ensemble was topped off with a school blazer and trench-coat!  How on earth was I able to move????  Getting ready for PE (gym) must have been awful - although when  I think about it we didn't have PE kit in primary school, we just pranced about in our uniform.  No wonder!  Teachers would have had to spend an entire morning  waiting for the little girls to divest themselves of all their layers!

 
Discovered that liberty bodices (sometimes called "emancipation bodices") were introduced when flapper gals abandoned their corsets and freed themselves from the tyranny of restricting clothing.  Although given what I had to wear when I was little, I'm not sure my Mum got the message!
 

Love, Liz

29 comments:

Alix said...

What a sweet set of drawers! I never had a Liberty bodice but must have worn vests when small, as indoor PE was done in vest and pants!
x

claire said...

cute! i've heard of liberty bodice's but didnt really know what they were about. I guess that was in the days when little girls didn't sweat at gym class! haha!

Scarlet said...

I wore a liberty bodice - I was born in 1965. I think they had small rubber buttons on them. The drawers are lovely.

thriftwood said...

Yes, yes, yes! You knew winter had arrived when the liberty bodices were brought out! Is it my imagination or did they have little rubbery buttons on them? Lovely, nostalgic post. Our central heating's on the blink, could do with an LB! Have a lovely weekend

Claire xxx

Deborah said...

What an interesting post! My mother used to tell us that as soon as she had us bundled in our snowsuits we would need to be undone to go to the bathroom.

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Interesting. Never heard of liberty bodices. Cute set of drawers. xx

Mum said...

My friend had a liberty bodice which had loads of buttons to do it up. I just had a vest tucked in my knickers! Do you remember roll ons. Again another of my friends had one - I thought it looked like an instrument of torture. Love the 'drawers'!
Love from Mum
xx

Anne said...

I remember wearing a vest but not a liberty bodice.I think it would have been preferable to the vest though!

June said...

I'd never heard of Liberty bodice but remember wearing a vest and petticoat. I think we did PE in vests and pants too!
June

Rose H (UK) said...

What wonderful draws Liz :o)
I missed out on actually wearing one, but I do own a childs one complete with the paper labels - it looks as though it would have been VERY snug! I didn't escape the vest though ;o)
Rose H
x

**Anne** said...

Liberty bodice, no we didn't have those, just singlets.
Love those little drawers. Think of all the things you could put in them
Anne xx

blackenpot said...

Oh, I do remember the liberty bodice with the little rubber buttons on! What memories.... And the small chest og drawers is very sweet.

Thank you for sharing.

moleymakes said...

I didn't have a liberty bodice but I did have woolly vests during the winter that were on the itchy side :)

Oh and yes, I too did gym in my underwear with the obligatory navy blue knickers.

Little Nell said...

The answer is 'Yes' and very grateful I was too, in a house with no central heating.

Miss Simmonds Says said...

My mum wore a liberty bodice but being born in the 80s I never had one. Lots of itchy wool jumpers but no liberty bodice. Did you come back with the drawers? They're gorgeous!!

sky-blu-pink said...

I didn't wear one as we lived in the South, and had central heating, but my Mummie remembers wearing one! Like many others above I did wear my vest tucked into my knickers to keep out the chill on the way to school.

sky-blu-pink said...

Oh I forgot to say how sweet are those drawers! I have some haberdashery chests I bought at a sale at the Royal School of Needework, love them!

Knit, Natter, Nature, Nurture said...

Hi again, Yes I definitely did wear a Liberty Bodice - they fitted very snugly worn over the vest, and yes had little rubber covered buttons all the way up the front - I hated it and there was definitely nothing liberating about it!!!

Also at Primary School, we had no uniforms for PE, just plimsolls and we girls had to tuck our skirts/dresses into the legs of our pants to keep them out of the way - can you imagine anyone doing that now? Secondary school was not much better - black satin knickers with buttoned sides and blue airtex shirts - Ah - those were the days !!!!

Celestial Charms said...

What a lovely set of drawers. Your words took me back to my grammer school winter days, when all the children would line up in the hallways, outside the classrooms, pulling off their snow boots before classes started. The classrooms stayed dry, but the hallways were a wet mess. :)
Hope you enjoy your Monday!
Maureen

grunge-queen said...

Cool story, Liz - and new information for me, being a Canuck! We just wore bulky snowsuits as kids. :)

Lucille said...

We had winter and summer vests so I think the winter ones may have been Liberty bodices but I also remember the Chilprufe brand.

Caron Dunn said...

I remember wearing a liberty bodice in the winter under my catholic school unifofm, I also remember those ubiquitous navy knickers which had enough fabric in them to make a shelter in an emergency and a notoriously unreliable elastic wasteband. I also remember getting up early in the morning to light the coal fire, and it only just beginning to be warm by the time I had to leave to catch the bus. I was born in 1956 anyone remember5 boys chocolate?

The Custards said...

Just found this post - my sisters and I go on and on about Liberty bodices....not in a good way! STill my old dad was of a generation that was sewn into his clothes for the winter....there is always someone worse off...
Best wishes
Jenny

caroline said...

yes I wore one and I lived in the south mum had a electric airing cupboard and the rubber buttons were always warm when the bodice came out.Also remember dressing in front of fire and at night running like the wind up the stairs and into bed - only had a fire in the living room, also had stone hot water bottles and I was born in 1955

Caro

Jannie D said...

Hi. My sister and I wore liberty bodices in the winter in the early '60s. I think we were in the minority then, but our house was so cold we couldn't do without them. I clearly remember when we couldn't use the loo first thing in the morning because it was frozen and mum had to pour boiling water in to melt the ice!

Our bodices were very thick and padded, with rubber buttons. The buttons were rubber so that the garment could safely go through the mangle without damage.

bruce said...

I remember these from about 1947-48, when I was 5 or 6 and living in England. My younger sister definitely wore them in winter, but I can't remember if I wore them. The name was used even though we kids didn't know the meaning of either word. They were distinct from [cotton] vests, and both could be worn if it was particularly cold (as was the '46-47 winter in Europe).

Bruce (b.1942)

Mitzi said...

Oh my I have just come across your post about Liberty Bodice. It did make me giggle as yes we were all made to wear them when we were girls.

Anne said...

I was made to wear a liberty bodice too over the top of my thick, woolly itchy vest, pre-school and at younger primary school ages. I hated them. My Mum had me when she was forty and seemed to have almost a Victorian outlook on life as none of my friends were made to wear the things.
I then went to an all girls secondary school and we had the navy blue knickers as part of the P.E. uniform, short sleeve mustard yellow polo shirts and short wrap around navy blue skirts. It was freezing playing netball outside in the winter and I would have been really grateful for a liberty bodice and woolly vest!
Then there was the best part of the uniform - not. That "oh so wonderful" fashion must have for every 1960/70's teenager, the hooded gabardine mac. How I detested that monstrosity. I was born in late 1955.

Frances Andrews-Speed said...

Yes i did wear a liberty bodice I was born in the middle of the war in 1941, I am now 73 and still live in a house without central heating or hot water