Blouses made from underpants and scarce jeans: what fashion was really like in the USSR. Photo

Alina MilsentNews
Women of the Soviet era

In the USSR, a country of rockets and shortages, there was little talk of fashion. Soviet women were too busy with work and everyday life to pay attention to bourgeois and bourgeois tendencies-at least, that's what the party believed. Since the Soviets promoted equality (rather conditional, since the party nomenclature was still "equal"), the textile industry worked to produce uniform garments of the same styles.

During the late shortage, the situation in stores was not the best, but what is a shortage compared to a natural desire for aesthetics and beauty? Therefore, people used improvised materials: curtains, old clothes, or sometimes even underwear. Read the article by OBOZ.UA to find out what fashion was like in the USSR.

Speculators, dealers and "tailors to themselves"

People of the Soviet era resorted to various tricks to impress with their outfits: they turned to tailors, dealers, or speculators. The most creative tried to make their own clothes from scrap materials to stand out from the crowd.

Many tailors in the USSR sewed at home

It is worth noting that tailors were almost worth their weight in gold, and the queues for them stretched for months. And while the party nomenclature was serviced in special ateliers-one of which was located, for example, on Khreshchatyk and was called the "Dressmakers' Club," which included the wives of officers-ordinary Soviet people sewed and altered things at home.

Soviet advertisement

Interestingly, tailors used to charge 50 to 100 rubles for copying clothes from fashionable Western magazines, while the average salary in the USSR was 120-150 rubles.

Jeans in the USSR

Jeans became a symbol of independence, self-expression, and, of course, scarcity. Jeans in the USSR first made a name for themselves in 1957 at the Festival of Youth and Students. It took a while for the Soviet people to embrace the denim era.

Jeans in the USSR

For a long time, jeans remained the main trend, slightly changing their shape - from flared to bananas.

Blouses made from underpants and scarce jeans: what fashion was really like in the USSR. Photo

Buying jeans was a real quest. People used to buy them from speculators, exchange them with foreigners and sailors, or even try to sew them themselves from available fabrics for sky-high prices.

Old clothes

And again about the shortage. Since it was difficult to buy high-quality fabric, some craftswomen managed to alter oversized underpants bought in a store into blouses.

Clippings and drawings

Then checkered shirts came into fashion, and needlewomen began to alter their parents' old clothes into brightly colored dresses.

Officers were given a woolen monochromatic fabric called a "suit," and women sewed "pencil skirts" from its cuts.

A plastic bag instead of a handbag

Buying a quality bag was an asterisked task, so people's creativity was once again at work. One of the fashion trends in the USSR was plastic bags with colorful prints. And if in the post-Soviet years there were so many of these bags that one had to allocate a separate drawer for a "bag of bags," in the era of the late shortage, polyethylene was also considered a luxury.

''Fanta'' bag
Plastic bag
Soviet plastic bag
Blouses made from underpants and scarce jeans: what fashion was really like in the USSR. Photo

It is said that brightly colored bags were even given as gifts for holidays and were carefully kept, and torn polyethylene was glued together with tape.

Striped leggings - a trend in the USSR

When videotapes with aerobics lessons by American actress Jane Fonda penetrated the USSR from under the Iron Curtain, all Soviet women wanted to wear striped leggings.

Leggings have become a trend
Sports leggings
Blouses made from underpants and scarce jeans: what fashion was really like in the USSR. Photo
Sports leggings

Earlier, OBOZ.UA told about 10 "inventions" of the USSR scientists that were brazenly copied in the West.

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