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Average prices of clothing ordinarily purchased by the working classes, 1914 & 1918

Information about the comparative cost of commonly purchased items of clothing in 1914 and 1918, divided into categories for men, women, boys and girls.

This information was published in the report of the Working Classes Cost of Living Committee (also known as as the Sumner Committee). The committee was appointed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to "enquire into and report upon (i) the actual increase since June, 1914, in the cost of living to the working classes and (ii) any counterbalancing factors (apart from increases of wages) which may have arisen under war conditions". The Trade Boards were represented on the committee in the form of workers' representative J.J. Mallon, in his capacity as Secretary of the Anti-Sweating League.

The Sumner report included a range of data on average working class expenditure and can be read in full through our online catalogue.

Information about the prices of commonly purchased items of men's, women's, girls' and boys' clothing in 1914 and 1918