1950’s vintage fashion summons up images of Grease, Grace Kelly’s iconic lace wedding dress, Marilyn, housewife chic and girls in petticoats sipping milkshakes in shiny diners.
Obviously, this is a somewhat romanticized view but with vintage fashion from the era, these are the trends that come through the years. It is survival of the most beautiful and with a vintage that comes from the 1950’s; it really is only the best trends that come through today.
At fancy dress parties a few years ago, it was a dead cert that there would be somebody there in some kind of 1950’s fashion in a tribute harking back to the decade. These days, it is perfectly acceptable to wear these clothes in a normal, non-fancy dress setting and look perfectly fashionable.
When epitomizing vintage fashion the mind will automatically think of this era, is it is by far one of the most iconic periods of time that stands out in fashion.
The reason it has carried so well is that that it is versatile; this is the key element that makes this era the benchmark for vintage fashion. If women don’t want to wear the iconic full skirt, there is always the ‘Chanel suit’ a combination of a box jacket and straighter skirt that looks sleek and slim, made famous by Jackie Kennedy, who also sported the infamous pillbox hat with hers.
Tops and blouses were designed to sit on the waist, paired with a high waisted skirt or a pair of trousers, all looks that are very much ‘in’ now. The idea of showing off the waist now a part of our fashion culture, rather than wearing cuts that sit on the hips made to show off boy like figures that are now becoming defunct.
Cute sweaters, mainly with pearls and beads sewn on were designed to be worn with the famous cone-shaped bras, smart straight skirts and kitten heels.
As with every era, the men’s fashion of the fifties was a little less complex than the ladies, with a few staple looks but pretty straight forward staples were a part of their wardrobe.
Men were made to look like gentlemen, with hats being a real staple of an outfit. Preppy, clean-cut and masculine were the trends and trousers were worn with cardigans and shirts mainly tucked in. Suits were smart and a little oversized with plain ties and a big overcoat over the top. Ladies, there wasn’t a tracksuit bottom of V-neck t-shirt in sight!
The diversity of principle looks from the 50’s allow it to be worn as vintage in this area as it can be played with, it allows fashion to become fun again and not so serious. The wearer can combine vintage items with modern twists to ensure the look isn’t old fashioned, but more edgy. Hairstyles should be sophisticated and neat, often the thing that sets the whole outfit off for a woman, think pin curls and waves.
However, the real hero of 1950’s vintage fashion is not the dress, it’s not the blouse nor the suit or hat. It’s the mindset behind the designs.
Clothes that are truly designed with a woman’s body in mind, suits that are tailored to accentuate masculinity and looks that are supposed to bring confidence to people who are encouraged to feel comfortable in their own skin. No matter which vintage look you decide to rock in this era, you can guarantee that the clothes will make your body feel celebrated.
For more about 1950 vintage fashion through the decades, read about style through the ages-get good wood revival look.