Theses Bachelor's

Skirting the Issue: Interweaving Dress into Sociopolitical Histories

Schwartz, Jessica

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.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Howell, Martha C.
B.A., Columbia University
Published Here
May 6, 2011