The image of World War II's "Rosie the Riveter" is so firmly embedded in our culture that the Library of Congress calls their collection of images of women at work during WWII The Rosie Pictures.
But where did these women get their work duds? For the most part, they probably did what many of us still do today - they wore men's clothes.
However, Advance thought it was worth offering an overalls pattern for women. Nothing fancy about this pattern; only one view is given. Yardages are given for only 36" and 39" width fabric, common widths for denim.
If you couldn't find a pattern locally, Montgomery Ward could supply you. Here are three patterns they offered at 5 cents each (very reasonable; note that the Advance pattern would set you back 15 cents.)
If making your own wasn't an option, Wards offered a nice line of women's workwear featuring a "Victory Volunteers" emblem. These bib-top overalls were described as "a sensible choice for your wartime job" and were offered in three qualities: Best quality came in gunpowder blue twill jean for $3.77, Better quality came in navy and white pin check for $2.95, Good quality came in blue Sanforized denim for $1.95 and didn't have the emblem.
Everybody got to participate in marketing the Victory Volunteers effort:
Wards would also sell you Sanforized denim overalls. Although these were marketed for "Victory Workers, Farm and Factory," they may have been part of their standard line and not specific to the war. The description tells us that these will "take countless washings and ironings" and that they have "metal buttons for a smart, workmanlike appearance."
Not all women worked in factories; many did agricultural work, either on their own family's farms, orchards, and ranches, or through organizations such as the Women's Land Army.
Women riveting ships together or working in the fields probably didn't have time to sew, but their mothers or aunts might have helped out.
Yarn companies produced a variety of booklets of items to knit for military men and women, but the folks at Chadwick's Red Heart Yarn remembered the civilian women with their booklet Women's Sweaters - America at Work and Play. The cover model is their Victory Girl.
This practical cardigan was offered as well. While having a sweater you've knit yourself gives a nice sense of accomplishment, we shouldn't overlook the benefit of the soothing, repetitive nature of knitting, particularly during a stressful period.