What Clothes Did People Wear in the 1950s?

In the 1950s, girls and women wore pleated, full skirts; shirt dresses and full circle dresses that accentuated the waist; pedal pushers; ballet flats; saddle shoes and simple plain sneakers. Boys and men often wore narrow, form-fitting suits with "cigarette-leg" pants, jeans, oxford shoes and saddle shoes.

After WWII ended, more freedom was afforded to fashion. The 1940s silhouette for women's dresses consisted of wide shoulders and a short skirt, while the 1950s silhouette emphasized the hourglass shape, and enhanced the natural feminine figure. The waist was emphasized in most dress shapes. Men's suits became more streamlined and form-fitting.

The emergent musical genre of rock n' roll and the swing dance style that carried over from the 1940s affected clothing styles. Rockabilly style emerged and was characterized by jeans with rolled up cuffs, checkered shirts, white shirts with rolled up cuffs, Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers, quiff and ducktail hairstyles for men, and victory roll hairstyles for women. Full skirts were often worn to dance swing and rock n' roll.

Both women and men also paid close attention to accessories, and women often wore cat-eye sunglasses or eyeglasses, gloves, cardigan sweaters, fur coats and pillbox hats. Men wore draper, pork-pie and fedora style hats, cuff links, horn-rimmed glasses, and used money clips.