What Did Women Wear in the 1950s?


Quick Answer

In the 1950s, women wore skirts and dresses that emphasized the female figure. Full skirts, as well as pencil skirts, were the fashion. Luxurious or bold patterned fashions were in high demand.

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The post World War II 1950s changed the face of America. Rationing ended, men came home from war, women gave up the jobs they held down during the war, families moved into the suburbs and the economy began to prosper. Regardless of the subject, "consumerism" is a buzz word when referring to the 1950s. For nearly two decades, scrimping had been commonplace, and when families found themselves with disposable income in the 1950s, they began spending it. Women, eager to please their husbands, took great interest in their appearance and shopping became a female pastime.

Full-skirted dresses with form-fitting bodices were very popular. Women emphasized the fullness of the skirts by wearing crinolines under them. Form-fitting pencil skirts were also commonly worn. The zeal for clothing that highlighted the female figure also redefined the undergarment business. Since form-fitting clothes are often unforgiving when it comes to imperfections, women utilized shapely bras and girdles to ensure they looked their best. Stiletto heels also became all the rage in the late 1950s.

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