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A Proper Dress Length for Little Girls?

Soviet Taste, Girls' Innocence, and Children's Fashion in Contemporary Russia

Olga Boitsova and Elena Mishanova

In this article we present the results of research on children's fashion in contemporary Russia. Our premise is that what is known as individual taste and universal traditions are determined socially. The ways in which parents dress their daughters convey messages about girlhood. Short dresses for girls in so-called Soviet taste can still be seen in Russia nowadays, along with examples of a new Western trend of apparently protecting girls by dressing them in long dresses, skorts (hybrids that combine the features of skirts and shorts), swimsuits, and leggings worn under skirts. In this article we discuss two trends in girls' wear that reflect two different conceptions of what counts as girls' innocence. We suggest that these are tied to societal changes in the country.