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The "Downton" housekeeper and maids
"The maids had to make their own uniforms of two dresses: a print dress with a plain apron for cleaning in the morning, changing into a black dress with a more decorative pinny for the afternoons and evenings. This could be expensive: in 1890 the price of the fabric could eat up six months' of a scullery maid's wages. In many houses, a bolt of cloth was given to the maids at Christmas so they had only the work, but not the cost, of the dress."
-- creator Julian Fellowes