Vintage Fashion: Style of the 1950s Woman
The 1950s era was the epitome of fashion. Looking good and dressing elegantly was the norm, and every young girl was brought up to recognize style.
Vintage apparel of the 1950s was the formal tailored silhouette look. Women always looked so refined and stylish, not only in their full-skirted dresses, or pencil skirt and blouse, but also with their complete look including a long coat, hand gloves, a hat, and a string of pearls.
It was a very feminine and stylish era and a woman's figure was meant to be shapely with the curves in the right places, showing distinct hip lines and prominent busts.
Vintage style clothing demands a women’s waist be small, and for those who weren't naturally endowed with a figure eight, girdles, waist cinchers, and body shapers provided the desired hourglass shape.
"Provocative" Cuts of 1950s Fashion
Chic and almost provocative, the fashion of the '50s include beautifully tailored apparel like the wiggle dress, the skin tight figure hugging high-waist pencil skirt, and full circle skirts with stiff nylon petticoats.
The wiggle dress is definitely a provocative, body-hugging dress that clings beautifully, giving the woman a silhouette many couldn’t get enough of, and the tiny waistlines and narrow mid-calf skirts drove women’s fashion into an appealing and sexy "overdrive".
The fifties was a time of practised etiquette and femininity, a time when every occasion demands a studied attention to fashionable clothes and glamorous accessories.
Afternoon attire worn to ladies tea parties was different from the ones worn to the cinemas. And when shopping for groceries, or attend children’s school events, though clothing was casual, it was still stylish and tailored.
The '50s Woman's Vintage Clothes
The 1950s was a great decade that experienced a very vibrant fashion activity that celebrated some of the best qualities of the traditional gender roles, including all things feminine for women.
Examples of apparel styles of the fifties include:
- Tailored skirt suits
- Wearing dresses with bolero style jackets
- Twin-sets tops
- Wiggle dress
- Shirtwaist dresses with full pleated swing skirts
- Full-length cocktail gowns with elbow length opera gloves
- Bullet bras, worn under tight sweaters and cardigans
- Full skirt with attached petticoats
Sun dresses with square necklines
- Poodle skirts paired with black or white saddle shoes
- Smart but slightly tight jeans and pants for teenage girls
- Pedal pushers
Change in Clothing Styles by the End of the Decade
Towards the late '50s, fashion designers began to design less structured clothing.
They dispensed with the tight waist, tight fitting, full-skirted styles of the post-war years, and started promoting designs such as Chanel’s relaxed sweater suit designs for women, great designs that were gaining popularity.
Designs of clothing and fashion accessories become much more comfortable, relaxed, and wearable.
The design of the sack dress that appeared towards the end of the 50’s was the prelude to some of the stylish shift dresses that became popular in the 1960’s.
And, hemlines moved inches up!
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