Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style

IWM North
27 May 2016 – 1 May 2017


Members enjoy free admission to our exhibitions.

Join today

For school bookings and enquiries please complete our online booking request form.  For group bookings call +44 (0)1223 499 353 and ask for the Customer Services Team.

Admission Price
Adult £6
Child £3
Concession £4.50
Members Free

From 'onesies' to wear in the air raid shelter to jewellery created from aeroplane parts, Fashion on the Ration looks at how fashion survived and even flourished under the strict rules of rationing in 1940s Britain, often in new and unexpected ways.

This exhibition explores how men and women found new ways to dress as clothes rationing took hold. Displays of original clothes from the era, including military uniforms and functional fashion, reveal what life was really like on the home front in wartime Britain.

Keep up to date with all the latest exhibition and event announcements at IWM North

Sign up

“A new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum celebrates the ingenuity, determination, and just plain battiness of the attempts by the stylish to get around rationing and shortages of everything from knicker elastic to buttons”.

Maev Kennedy, The Guardian
London in the spring of 1941: everyday life in London, England © IWM (D 2937)

“Quite simply, it’s unmissable”.

Stylist Magazine

Events and Activities

A Closer Look Tour: Fashion on the Ration


Available to Fashion on the Ration ticket holders, join our closer look tour to discover revealing stories of how fashion and style were maintained and even flourished during the Second World War.


Family Activities

Weekends and School Holidays

Free activities for families every weekend and every day throughout the school holidays. Visitors of all ages can get involved in family workshops, tours, games and activities.


IWM North
The Quays
Trafford Wharf Road
Manchester, M17 1TZ

Plan your visit

Getting to us

By car - leave the M602 at Junction 3 and follow the signs

By tram - stop at MediaCityUK

By bus - 250 to Village Circle, X50 to IWM North or 50 to MediaCityUK

Free entry

Open daily from 10am - 5pm

Last admission is at 4.30pm