The government ordered a 15 percent reduction in the allotment of yardage to be used for women’s and girls’ apparel. Dolman and leg-of-mutton sleeves became no-nos, as did tucks, pleats, plackets, hoods, and belts wider than two inches. We went along with the rules because we wanted to help our boys, but we suffered less than other women across the country, because theatrical costumes – along with bridal wear and religious and judiciary robes – were exempt from the new restrictions. In other words, we looked crummy by day and fabulous by night.
– Grace, dancer at Forbidden City nightclub and fictional character in Lisa See’s novel China Dolls (Random House, 2014).
China Dolls is a fun read about three Asian-American women living in San Francisco during the 1930s and 1940s. They bond while working as dancers and entertainers for Forbidden City, which was a real SF nightclub located just on the edge of Chinatown. There are historical and local references plus plenty of drama. In this quote that I’ve used, Grace is speaking of the restrictions placed on Americans during WW II.