Worst of all was the shortage of accessories for clothing and the especially vital elastic was very difficult to obtain. What problems this caused; yet what ingenuity and inventiveness it inspired! Tape, string, cord, or buttons and faith had to be relied upon to hold up garments. Nor was it any use depending upon a safety pin. These, too, were hard to come by, since all metal was needed for munitions. When a suspender gave way, a button or small coin twisted into the top of the stocking served as an emergency fastening, but most of the time girls went stockingless, painting their legs with make-up instead. This dried very powdery and rubbed off on the bedclothes, despite the constant pleas by mothers to their daughters to remove it before going to bed. (Not all houses had indoor plumbing and even if they did, bath water was restricted to a depth of five inches – try it!)
The greatest humiliation could come when the fastening on panties suddenly gave way, yet the resourceful girl soon learned to cope even with this. She had a choice of three courses of action. She could step neatly out and quickly pocket them; she could leave them lying and walk on calmly, pretending they weren’t hers; or, immediately she felt that PING she could clamp one hand in a vice-like grip on her waist, preferably in a pocket, and keep it there until she reached some suitable place of sanctuary.