The fashion of the 1950s was largely influenced by the Dior New Look, epitomized by small waist lines, calf-length skirts with pronounced hips and fitted jackets. This look represented a return to glamour after the utilitarian fashions of the 1940s.Continue Reading
The fashions of the 1950s were feminine and were a reaction to the military styles of the 1940s. After World War II, women desired clothing that did not resemble civilian army uniforms. Dior's New Look debuted in 1947, and it became the dominant silhouette of the following decade.
While this elegant style was the most popular during the era, it was by no means the only design. Actresses like Audrey Hepburn and Leslie Caron preferred a boyish look to the perfect elegance of the Dior look. They wore flat shoes, simple sweaters and cropped their hair short.
In the later part of the decade, the trends that would flourish in the 1960s began to crop up in fashion. Hubert Givenchy, for example, debuted his "sack" dress in 1957. This dress had a straight waist instead of the cinched design of the Dior New Look. It eventually transformed into the fitted, darted sheath dress. The sheath-dress style was picked up by Mary Quant, who used it as inspiration for her mini shift dresses. These became all the rage in the 1960s.Learn more about Historical Dress
Common clothing for teenage girls in the 1950s included dress flats or high-heeled shoes, circle skirts that came to a below-knee length or tea length with starched petticoats underneath and well-pressed button-down shirts or sweaters tucked in paired with a narrow belt. Teenage boys wore dress pants with blazers and a button-down shirt with a narrow tie. Suede shoes were also common for teenage boys.Full Answer >
Many women in the 1950s wore blouses and skirts or long dresses, while men wore suits and hats, or dress shirts and slacks. Dress in this decade was relatively conservative.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
In the 1950's it was not common to find women wearing jeans unless they were working on a farm. When jeans were worn, they tended to have a high-wasted fit without any cinching.Full Answer >