Russian Fashion: Why Russian Women Love to Dress Up

Even if you haven’t traveled to Russia or Eastern Europe you probably know that Russian people, specifically Russian women, dress differently.

One of the most popular comments which I hear from Western guys who travel to Russia, Ukraine or Belarus is that they have never seen so many beautiful women concentrated in one place. While Eastern Europeans/Russians have certain facial features which some men find attractive, the belief that all Russian women are hot is widespread mostly because those women know how to present themselves and they always dress well.

Russian culture encourages women to put effort into looking beautiful. Most Russian women always wear make up and flattering clothes, they take care of their hair and nails and they believe that their beauty is one of their most important assets. But this is not the only reason why Russians pay so much attention to their clothing.

During the Soviet Era people were strongly discouraged to stand out. Everyone’s clothing was very plain and dull and looked pretty much the same. No one was wearing bright or stylish clothing, because modesty and equality were in value. This is not necessarily what Soviet people wanted, but the government wanted it and they had to obey to avoid the consequences.

Even if someone wanted to stand out, it was not an easy thing to do, because people couldn’t travel much and everything sold in stores was very simple, modest and almost identical. I remember being a kid and having a hard time finding my coat when trying to leave school, because there were eight or nine coats of the same style and color (ugly light pink) just in my class. Once I did end up wearing someone else’s coat home and got in trouble for being so absent-minded.

After the Soviet Union collapsed, people got freedom to travel, freedom to follow different religions and freedom to dress the way they wanted to. People started travelling and bringing foreign clothing to the FSU countries. My first “foreign” item was shiny bright green leggings which my mother bought in Poland. They were hideous, but I was so happy to wear them, because they were not boring gray like most of the other things I had. Wearing them made me feel different and it was awesome.

Many FSU women still remember the times of gray and dull fashion and they love to be able to express themselves with fashionable and attractive clothing. I know women who would rather eat potatoes all week just to be able to afford a fashionable piece of clothing. Not everyone is as extreme, but looking good and being dressed well is one of the biggest priorities for Russian women. It makes them feel their beauty and their femininity.

After living in the U.S. for awhile your Eastern European woman may get Americanized and lose her Russian fashion sense, but if during the first months or even years she is getting ready to go to a grocery store as if she were getting ready for her prom, don’t think that she has an affair with the cashier. It may take her awhile to give up stiletto heels and mini skirts and as far as her makeup goes, you may have to get used to it. Some Russian women never give it up.