Full image caption
This photograph shows a young waitress dressed in the uniform of a 'Nippy' who worked in a tea shop or restaurant run the catering firm J. Lyons. This style of uniform was introduced in 1925. The following year Lyon's waitresses became known as 'Nippies', due to the speed at which they 'nipped' in between tables when serving customers. The Nippy uniform comprised a short black Alpaca dress with a white Peter Pan collar and white detachable cuffs. The white square apron was worn at dropped-waist level. The dress had thirty pairs (sixty buttons in total) of non-functional white pearl buttons in two rows from the neck to the waist, all secured with red thread in a cross-stitch style. On the left of the bodice was pinned a medallion in form of a JL logo set in a clover-leaf design. Dark grey or black stockings were required, and black shoes with low heels, preferably with a strap across the foot.' A white mitre-style cap with a black interwoven band was to be worn low on the forehead. This band also incorporated a clover-leaf JL badge similar to that fastened on the dress. Finally a cord or strap was tied around the waist and an order pad hung from it.
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