Skirting the Issue: Interweaving Dress into Sociopolitical Histories

Jessica Schwartz

Skirting the Issue: Interweaving Dress into Sociopolitical Histories
Schwartz, Jessica
Thesis Advisor(s):
Howell, Martha C.
Undergraduate theses
Permanent URL:
, Columbia University.
This thesis seeks to provide the social history that brought about such voices as [Steedman’s mother’s] in post-war Britain, through the analysis of dress that such women wore and aspired to purchase following the end of the war. As the shoppers and makers for their families, working class women like [Steedman’s mother], especially felt the restrictions imposed by austerity measures and government policies. I argue a deeper understanding of how these citizens, who had generally supported the Labour government during the war, came to vote for the Conservative party following the end of the Second World War, can be reached by examining clothing in the same manner in which historians analyze critical texts. Because, even before citizens could use the 1951 elections to punish the Labour party for its failure to deliver the better Britain it had promised during the war, British working class women had already taken a stance: Christian Dior’s New Look skirt.
Modern history
Women's studies
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Suggested Citation:
Jessica Schwartz, 2011, Skirting the Issue: Interweaving Dress into Sociopolitical Histories, Columbia University Academic Commons, http://hdl.handle.net/10022/AC:P:10304.

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