The fashion of the 1950s continues to inspire women’s clothing today, with its timeless elegance and feminine silhouettes. This article is a guide to the world of 50s style clothing for women, covering everything from the key elements of the trend to where to buy it. So whether you’re a vintage fashion enthusiast or simply looking to add a touch of retro flair to your wardrobe, read on to discover the beauty of 50s style clothing.
The 50s was a decade of glamour and sophistication, with fashion icons such as Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe setting the trends of the time. From the full skirts and nipped-in waists of the day to the sleek, form-fitting dresses of the evening, 50s style clothing was all about celebrating the female form and embracing femininity. Today, this classic style is still admired and coveted by women of all ages, making it a fashion trend that truly stands the test of time.
Understanding the history and significance of 50s fashion is important for appreciating its enduring appeal. The post-war era was a time of hope and renewal, and fashion was used as a means of expressing these sentiments. The 50s was a time of prosperity, and women’s fashion reflected this with its luxurious fabrics, bold colors, and attention to detail. The resulting style was both glamorous and practical, designed to make women look and feel their best in every situation.
Key Elements of 50s Style Clothing for Women
The key to achieving the perfect 50s style look lies in its signature elements. From the silhouettes to the fabrics, every detail plays a crucial role in creating the overall effect. Let’s take a closer look at the key elements of 50s style clothing for women.
The 50s was known for its feminine silhouettes, which emphasized the hourglass figure. The most iconic silhouette of the era was the full skirt, often paired with a fitted bodice or blouse. Other popular styles included pencil skirts, which hugged the hips and thighs, and wiggle dresses, which followed the contours of the body. High-waisted pants and shorts were also fashionable, often paired with a cropped top or sweater.
The 50s was a time of bold and bright colors, with pastels and jewel tones reigning supreme. Popular colors included pink, blue, yellow, green, and red, often paired with white or black for contrast. Prints were also popular, with polka dots, gingham, and floral patterns being the most common.
Luxurious fabrics were a hallmark of 50s style clothing. Silk, satin, and taffeta were popular for formal wear, while cotton and linen were used for more casual styles. Wool was also commonly used for outerwear, such as coats and jackets. Textured fabrics such as lace, brocade, and velvet were also popular, adding depth and interest to outfits.
Accessories were an essential part of 50s style, adding the finishing touch to any outfit. Pearls and other classic jewelry were popular, as were cat-eye glasses and headscarves. Gloves were also a common accessory, often made of satin or lace. Shoes were typically pumps or sandals with a low to medium heel, while handbags were structured and elegant, often made of leather or patent leather.
Popular 50s Style Clothing for Women
The 50s was a decade of fashion innovation, with new styles and silhouettes emerging that are still popular today. From daytime wear to evening attire, 50s style clothing for women was characterized by elegance, femininity, and attention to detail. In this section, we will explore some of the most popular 50s style clothing items for women.
Dresses were a staple of 50s fashion, with a variety of styles available to suit every occasion. The most popular dress style of the era was the fit-and-flare, also known as the “full skirt” dress. This style featured a fitted bodice and a full, voluminous skirt that flared out from the waist. Other popular dress styles included the shirtwaist dress, the sheath dress, and the wiggle dress, which was designed to accentuate the curves of the body.
Skirts were another popular daytime wear item, with a range of styles available to suit different body types and preferences. The pencil skirt was a popular choice, featuring a straight, narrow cut that hugged the body and accentuated the hips. The circle skirt was also popular, with a full, flowing silhouette that was perfect for twirling. Skirts were typically worn with blouses or sweaters, creating a chic and sophisticated look.
Blouses were an essential component of 50s style clothing for women, providing a versatile and feminine option for daytime wear. Blouses came in a range of styles, including button-down, collared, and sleeveless. The most popular fabrics for blouses were cotton, silk, and chiffon, with prints and patterns ranging from polka dots to florals.
Cocktail dresses were a must-have for any woman attending a formal event in the 50s. These dresses were typically knee-length and featured a fitted bodice and full skirt. The most popular fabrics for cocktail dresses were satin, taffeta, and lace, with colors ranging from classic black to bold jewel tones.
Formal gowns were the epitome of 50s glamour, with flowing skirts and intricate beading and embroidery. These dresses were typically floor-length and came in a range of styles, from the classic ball gown to the more modern sheath gown. The most popular fabrics for formal gowns were silk, tulle, and chiffon, with colors ranging from soft pastels to rich, deep hues.
No 50s evening outfit was complete without a fur stole, which added a touch of luxury and sophistication to any look. These stoles were typically made from mink or fox fur and draped over the shoulders, creating a glamorous and timeless look that is still popular today.
How to Style 50s Style Clothing
Bring the 50s style to life by combining your vintage pieces with modern accessories that complement the overall look. Here are some tips on how to style your 50s style clothing:
Hair and Makeup
Hairstyles in the 50s were as iconic as the fashion itself, often featuring voluminous curls and dramatic updos. To complete the look, consider styling your hair in a classic victory roll or a sleek chignon. Makeup was also an essential aspect of the 50s look, with bold red lips and winged eyeliner being the go-to style. Don’t be afraid to experiment with these classic beauty looks to add the finishing touches to your vintage ensemble.
Shoes are an important part of any outfit, and with 50s style clothing, they can make all the difference. Choose shoes that match the style of your outfit, such as classic pumps or kitten heels for daytime wear, and strappy sandals for evening wear. Don’t forget to pay attention to the details, such as the shape of the toe and the height of the heel, to ensure that your shoes complement your outfit perfectly.
Jewelry is the perfect way to add a touch of glamour to your 50s style clothing. Choose pieces that are elegant and refined, such as pearl necklaces, chandelier earrings, and delicate bracelets. Vintage pieces are a great option, but modern pieces that capture the essence of the 50s style can also work well.
A stylish bag is the perfect accessory to complete your vintage look. Choose a bag that matches the style of your outfit, such as a structured handbag for daytime wear, or a clutch for evening wear. Look for bags with classic details, such as quilting, metal clasps, and top handles, to add an authentic 50s feel to your ensemble.
Where to Buy 50s Style Clothing
If you’re looking to add some 50s style clothing to your wardrobe, there are several options available to you. Whether you prefer shopping in person or online, you’re sure to find a wide selection of vintage-inspired clothing that captures the essence of the era. Here are some of the best places to buy 50s style clothing:
Vintage and Retro Boutiques – Many cities have vintage and retro boutiques that specialize in 50s style clothing. These stores often carry authentic vintage pieces as well as reproductions of classic styles. They may also offer accessories, such as hats and gloves, that complement the clothing.
Thrift and Consignment Stores – Thrift and consignment stores can be a treasure trove of vintage clothing, including 50s style pieces. While you may need to do some digging to find what you’re looking for, the prices are often very reasonable.
Costume Shops – Costume shops are another great place to find 50s style clothing. While they may not have authentic vintage pieces, they often carry reproductions that are designed to look like the real thing. Costume shops are also a good option if you’re looking for a specific outfit for a themed event.
Vintage and Retro Online Stores – Many vintage and retro boutiques also have online stores, making it easy to shop from the comfort of your own home. These stores often offer a wider selection of clothing than their physical counterparts and may also offer free shipping or other promotions.
Reproduction Clothing Websites – There are several websites that specialize in reproductions of 50s style clothing. These websites offer a range of styles and sizes, making it easy to find the perfect outfit for any occasion.
Online Marketplaces – Online marketplaces like Etsy and eBay are a great place to find vintage and reproduction 50s style clothing. These sites allow you to browse a wide selection of items from a variety of sellers, so you’re sure to find something that fits your style and budget.
Thrift and Consignment Stores – As mentioned earlier, thrift and consignment stores can be a great place to find vintage clothing, including 50s style pieces. These stores are also a good option if you’re looking for a bargain.
Garage Sales and Estate Sales – Garage sales and estate sales are another place to find vintage clothing. While you may need to do some hunting, you can often find great deals on unique pieces that you won’t find anywhere else.
Online Classifieds – Websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are a good place to find second-hand clothing, including vintage and 50s style pieces. These sites allow you to search for items in your local area, making it easy to find something nearby.
In conclusion, 50s style clothing for women is a timeless trend that continues to inspire fashion today. From the feminine silhouettes to the bold colors and luxurious fabrics, this classic look is all about celebrating the beauty of the female form. Whether you prefer the full skirts of the day or the sleek, form-fitting dresses of the evening, there’s a 50s style outfit to suit every occasion and every woman.
When it comes to styling 50s style clothing, don’t be afraid to have fun with it. Experiment with different hairstyles, makeup looks, and accessories to find the perfect vintage-inspired look for you. And remember, confidence is key when it comes to rocking retro fashion – so wear your 50s style clothing with pride and let your inner fashionista shine.
Finally, if you’re looking to buy 50s style clothing, there are many options available. From physical stores to online retailers to second-hand shops, the world of vintage fashion is at your fingertips. So why not give 50s style clothing a try? With its timeless elegance and feminine flair, it’s a trend that’s sure to make you feel beautiful and confident every time you wear it.