Guide to 1950s Women's Fashion - What Did Women Wear in the 1950s
The ultra-feminine year the 1950s was full of colors, elegance, and grace. Vintage 50s dresses were something that was started in the late 1940s. It was different in different nations but the theme remained pretty much the same. Christian Dior was one of the major contributors in the 1950s fashion with their “New look” in February 1947.
1950s Fashion History
The fashion industry is dynamic so the trends followed a fluctuating pattern of variety. The late 1940s was the time when the 1950s trend started or what we know is the 1950s trend. Tightly compressed waist and the full-skirted silhouette went on to be the center of the trending style till the mid-1950s. And later the silhouette shifted to be slimmer and straighter to enhance the delicate curves. This style maintained the elegance and energetic vibe of the clothing industry. With the 1950s coming to an end, the style also faded away and the silhouette started to be a part of both evening and morning dresses.
1950s Fashion Trend
Starting their day with a poodle skirt and apron which was usually sold in coordinate sets, further making it easier to mix and match clothes. Housewives would then complete the look with a hair scarf and flat shoes. If we talk about the girls, they would wear a knee-length frock and pair it with a scarf curled around the neck to form a perfect bow. Plain-colored wedges were the perfect footwear for the ladies to complete the look.
1950s Fashion Dresses
The 50s fashion showed class and culture in every possible way. Polka dots, floral, gingham, cherries, and flamingos would be printed on basic colored dresses. Summer would lead the way for light-colored dresses like pinks, yellows, and whites.
1.50s Swing Dresses - Full circle skirts completed with a pearl set was the trend of the decade. It was the hourglass era and the dresses would help show off the delicate features of the body.
2.50s Pin-up Dresses - Vintage 50s dresses were equally hot for plus size girls or slim girls because they would give an illusion of a perfect figure.
3.50s Rockabilly Dresses - While most of the designers made couture pieces, the mix of music and culture dresses like the rockabilly continued to be the trend of the decade.
4.50s Housewife Dresses - Shirtwaist dresses dominated the housewives’ fashion, layered with the apron either full length or knee-length.
5.50s Polka Dresses - With a basic color like white and the black dots all over the dress, polka dot dresses were all-time favorite party wear for the ladies.
6.50s Pencil Dresses - Accentuating the tiny waist with the knee-length pencil 50s dresses were bombarded in the closets of the ladies.
7.Plus Size 50s Dresses - The 50s fashion did not distinguish between fat or slim women both were equally gifted with tons of dresses, majorly dark-colored to give a vision of a thinner waist.
1950s Party Dresses
To fit into the party dresses, girls had to squeeze into some serious undergarments, especially a tight corset to get the wasp waist, and then padded bras would complete the innerwear. Evening balls would be filled with ladies wearing off-shoulder gowns with a bust at the hip till the gown hits the ground. Colors also played a major part in the 50s style dresses like rich shades of black accessorized with heavy pearl jewels.
1950s Day Dresses
The 50s inspired dresses have found their way back in 2021 as well. Summer would inspire ladies to wear skirts or button-down shirt dresses which would be completed with pants. jumpsuits, rompers, or a pair of shorts.
1950s Cocktail Dresses
Cocktail parties were quite common back then and hence the wardrobe always had something that we call a perfect retro 50s dress. Perfect makeup and jewelry on point went well with tea-length party dresses of vibrant colors like red or yellow. Many other women would wear pencil dresses made of satin or velvet cloth.
1950s Evening Dresses
Evenings in the decade were formal with a full-length gown and gloves that would make you look like a princess. Raising a toast to the party, women in the decade represented class and their bold characters.
1950s Prom Dresses
Proms were for the teens who would wear bright-colored tea-length ball gowns while walking down the aisle with their prom dates. Dresses were quite long with a few layers of petticoats to give that bouncy look to the dress.
1950s Wedding Dresses
Wedding dresses of the era were the biggest, longest, and with the largest circumference dresses. The heavily embroidered pure white gown would be the center of attraction of the weddings. Brides used to look like Cinderella with their fine veil sliding through the aisle behind them.
(Shop: 1950s Petticoats)
Since the ladies in the retro 50s dresses preferred more fluff under the dress, the layers of petticoats would increase as per the desire of the women. Unlike the cotton petticoats, they would prefer a sturdier cloth to give enough bounce to the dress. The more elite class women would wear layers of petticoats.
Having an hourglass figure inspired women to wear more revealing swimwear which was the key of the feminine sex appeal in the decade. Although 1950s swimwear options were not enough at that time, still the ladies enjoyed the best of all the dresses they would wear.
1950s Fashion Accessories
Fashion accessories were an integral part of women’s lives back then.
1.1950s Hats - Chef hats were something that a diner would wear to work. And beach hats which were rounded went well with floral printed swimsuits.
2.1950s Gloves - Plain white made of either net or cotton was best worn with the formal look or a bridal dress.
3.1950s Handbags - Vintage style handbags were something that ladies preferred to carry only to work and nowhere else.
4.1950s Jewelry - The accessory that dominated the decade was a set of pearls that would go for any formal and informal looks a lady liked to carry. And sometimes a scarf would work wonders for them.
5.1950s Shoes - Housewives loved wearing ballet shoes, usually flat or with smaller heels, whereas at work, they would wear high heels, especially wedges made of satin or leather.