Shoes in the Soviet Union were a very interesting commodity – sometimes hard to get your hands on but when you did, you’d buy at least two pairs because you never know when you’d get the chance again.
In the USSR, leather and shoe production was turned into a major mechanized branch. New shoe factories and tanneries were built all around the country. Younger people wore sports shoes and primitive sneakers, men who wanted to imitate their superiors and leaders wore boots in military fashion. Now when it comes to women’s shoes, here’s where it gets interesting…
In this post I’d like to share with you all some tidbits about Soviet lingerie. I saw a similar blog called RealUSSR.com tackle this issue already. I agree with the author in almost all aspects however I’d like to specify and somewhat counter their claims!
The author of the blog said the following:
Due to a series of not so fortuitous events (the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917, the First World War, the overall rundown of the young Soviet country) women never had their needs attended to properly. Underwear was made, first and foremost, for the working class with no preferential treatment for the females so women had no choice other than to wear those sexless garments. This is probably the saddest part of the Soviet history.
Today I’d like to talk a bit about fashion in the Soviet era! Nowadays we can go to the store and buy what we like off the rack or if you like your clothes to have a personal touch, you can sew them yourself. Estonia was well known and recognised in the Soviet Union because of our western-like clothing style (we’re 80 kilometers away from Finland!) and fashion. People from other parts of the Soviet Union admired the level of our fashion industry. The fact that the fashion magazine “Siluett” (eng: “silhouette”) circulation reached 400 000 showcases this very well.
During the Soviet era, people lived in small collective housing apartments built in the beginning of the 1960s and towards the end of the 1970s. These buildings still stand all around the Eastern bloc. When redesigned and freshened up, they can look very lovely.
We sometimes tend to think that our elders are prone to hoarding but that’s only because they’ve lived in a completely different era. People all around the Soviet Union had seen excrutiatingly difficult times – WWII, deportations to Siberia in the Baltic states, Holodomor in the Ukraine etc. Everything was scarce, even food at times. This mentality was also reflected in interior design and furniture. Anything that had somewhat of a practical value was kept until it was in pieces and even then it was pieced together. Apartments pictured above that Khruschev built were small and cluttered. Kitchens were built according to a standard plan – no bigger than 6 or 9 square meters (that’s 64.58 sq ft to 96.87 sq ft) and popular opinion was that Soviet people won’t cook at home when everyone was expected to eat at canteens and diners. This is a great example of Soviet era furniture: