Pointy Bras and Loose House Dresses: Female Dress in Hungary and the United States in the 1950s

Katalin Medvedev


This paper is a comparative study of the social, ideological and economic differences between the United States and Hungary during the 1950s through the examination of the expressive features of female dress. It argues that dress served as a significant means of conveying the major divisions between the two countries and demonstrates that the female body became one of the crucial sites for waging the everyday battles of the Cold War opponents. Because less information is available about the construction of gender and the sartorial practices of women in Hungary in the 1950s this paper primarily focuses on Hungary. Data for this paper was collected through oral histories, archival sources and through the examination of contemporary photographic images.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/ahea.2010.26

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