Quite interesting. Female dress was more modest, until the dude in power, hungry for more power, decides to 'MODERNIZE' it so he says, 'take it down, ladies, show 'em what you got.' Gee, thanks Peter. Not.
Ok, so pre-Peter:
And yes, I hear the voices saying, "Hey, it's hot being covered up! And uncomfortable. What's wrong with letting go of some of these cumbersome garments?" Well, fine. But just cause it feels good, doesn't mean it truly benefits you or society. Plus, modern dress is full of uncomfortable crap and pain as well. So anyway, this is post-Peter, notice the plunging necklines:
"In 1701 Tsar Peter the Great decreed that all residents of Moscow must abandon their traditional dress and wear European fashion. Those who produced or sold Russian clothing would face “dreadful punishment.” Peter’s dress decree, part of his drive to make Russia more like Western Europe, had a profound impact on the history of Imperial Russia." He also made the men to shave their beards or pay a hefty fee if they did not. To learn more, check out his book:
Here are some further links: