Audio clip: Gwen Atwood Uzzell

Gwen Atwood Uzzell details how women dealt with the lack of hosiery:

Gwen Atwood Uzzell: Oh my goodness—you didn't have hose. If you were fortunate enough to have a relative or a boyfriend or somebody in the service, they could go to the commissary, maybe, and get you a pair of nylon hose. Oh, (claps hands together) that was a big treasure.

We had to wear rayon hose. Now, I don't know whether you know what rayon is but we'd pull them on—'course, we had garter belts to fasten them to—and when you sat down in a chair like this, with your knees bent, when you got up, well, the knees were still bent like you were still sitting down (laughs).

Vivi Hoang (interviewer): Oh my goodness!

GAU: It wasn't very attractive. Finally it got to where we painted our legs with makeup, you know, makeup like they have now. And that worked pretty good. But we did without a lot of things like that that you just took for granted.

VH: What gave you that idea, the painting your legs?

GAU: Well, just, you know, we just hated those old rayon hose. And the paint, unless you got wet or something, it didn't—it stayed on. But back then, women didn't wear the slacks and things like they do now. We wore dresses. So it was a bit airy (laughs) with painted legs and no hose in the wintertime.

Listen to Gwen Atwood Uzzell's entire oral history interview.