Fashion Of The 1950's

Gina Bagatti

TN_3298.jpg When we look back on the fashion of the 1950's we see articles of clothing that many people wouldn't be caught dead wearing today. They have the same types of looks that we have preppy, work clothes, and sports wear. We just see a different way that it is worn.

The teenager's are the one's who have to be in with all the new styles. The style for girls in the 1950's were very unique. They had what they called the "preppy look." Long big poodle skirts, bobby socks, sweaters, saddle shoes, hair in ponytails or worn down in curls. Boys had there preppy look too, but not as preppy as you think it would be. Baggy pants, v-necked sweaters, topsiders or white bucks (shoes), and long, but not too long hair.

Fashion was a high standard in the 1950's. Everyone had to be in with all the latest styles, of course it was the teenagers, of all people, but then there came the parents too. All of the constant social occasions called for dressing up. Christian Dior's 'new look' influenced the fashion world with its new designs. Coco Chanel's conservative work clothes did the same. Another revolution in the fashion world was Charles Jourdan's Stilleto heel in 1951 which made the older 'chunkier' shoe out of style. Shoes in that era were usually intended to match every outfit.

Menswear in the 50s changed drastically from bright colorful clothes in the 1940s to a lot of dark colors like shades of brown, blue, and gray. In 1953 the gray flannel suit began to come out. It was in 1953 that President Eisenhower wore a jacket and homburg with his striped trousers instead of the usual top hat and cutaway.

Teenagers were basically the point of this area. Films like 'Rebel without a cause" were a main reason that teens started wearing things like leather, Levi’s, and Converse sneakers. Saddle shoes, penny loafers, and colored sneakers were also popular with teenagers. Sandals, ballet slippers, and other casual footwear became really fashionable, when pool parties and other casual outdoor activities became more popular.

A popular well known and loved designer was Coco Chanel. In 1954, Coco Chanel introduced the first major line of styles for a woman, her now classic suit look was immediately popular in America, where women strove for excellence, the look was clearly feminine, with a slim skirt and high, sling-back heels. However, the front-hanging, open cut of the jacket lent it a comfort and practicality all of its own. Her trademarks included contrasting trimmed edges, single-breasted buttons, and the use of girlish bows. Another wonderful designer, Dior liked to experiment with other equally feminine lines, such as the 'Princess Line' in 1951, whose skirt began under the bust and fell gracefully to the mid-calf. In 1954 it was seen in the introduction of the 'new fashion line."

Yeager, J. "History of Fashion 1950-60." American Vintage Blues. 1999. 12 Feb. 2007 <>.
Patricia Baker "Fashion Of The Decade The 1950's" New York 1991