The war was over, the men were home, they had money, and 1950s fashion was at the top of the wish list. Rationing of goods was no longer necessary and fifties women wanted luxurious textiles and the same celebrity fashion seen in Vogue magazine. In response to fifties consumers demands, Dior's "New Look" design was introduced.
Although the voluminous skirts and softly sumptuous fabrics were in contrast to the straight skirts made of lightweight wools or gabardines worn during the war time fabric conserving age, the two designs coalesced into an era of phenomenal 50s dress style.
Simplicity Patterns. Only $.35. Found in July 1952 Good Housekeeping
A collection of popular vintage style dresses. Note the hats, heels, costume jewelry, and gloves accompanying each outfit. This is the 1950s clothing I remember from my childhood.
See Below To Tell Us Your Favorite Retro Dresses From The Fifties Look
Whether they were going to a PTA meeting, a bridge party with friends, or just to the corner market, vintage style clothing from the fifties consisted of pencil or shirtwaist dresses, stockings, gloves, and hats. Floral, polka-dots, or cherries printed fabrics were favorite choices for day wear.
Whirl-Skirted Glamour Dress. Mail order from Parade Fashions, Inc. Only $3.98 with petticoat. March 1959 Redbook
This shirtwaist dress ensemble gives tribute to Dior's design. It features a tight waist and bodice, full skirt and either a print or polka dot fabric. It was sold mail order in fifties ladies magazines for only $3.98 with petticoat included.
The undergarment in every girl's lingerie closet included the requisite crinoline slip. Whether worn under a frilly cotillion dress or the ever popular poodle skirt, the crinoline completed the 1950s fashion look.
Fifties halter dresses featured form fitting bodices with straps around the neck allowing the bosom to be accentuated. The most famous of these was Travilla's provocative gown worn by Marilyn Monroe in "The Seven Year Itch."
Classic pencil dresses were appreciated on fashion runways, sought after in major department stores, and sewn by fifties housewives. The female form was emphasized with an open neck, cinched waist, and narrow hip.
A fashion trend that continues today began when fifties designers introduced their polka dot lines. Movie and television costumers began to dress their stars in the popular spotted fabrics with Lucy's TV closets full of polka dot dresses.
The most enduring of all 50s dress styles would have to be the Chanel inspired sheath dress. A shapely silhouette was celebrated in the waist nipping and hip hugging 1950s style that has remained a fashion designer favorite and wardrobe staple for decades.
These fun '50s clothing styles continue to be popular and can be found in many vintage dress shops.
Hey! Want to be a part of Living Fifties Fashion? Just tell us what you like about those gorgeous retro dresses from the fifties. Personally, my favorite are the polka-dot dresses. They are just so much fun. Then again, those halter dresses sure are pretty. And what about those shirtwaist dresses that were patterned after Dior's New Look. Maybe you prefer the sleek sheath dress or the cute wiggle dresses. Too hard to decide? Tell us what you like about each. Submit a retro dresses themed piece and you can join the Living Fifties Fashion fun.
Hi! My name is Rita. Now that alone tells you I am a child of the fifties. I was named after one of the most beautiful stars during my Mama's day, Rita Hayworth. This site is an examination of all things fifties. You may read about the real me and my 1950s life in my About Me page. Feel free to visit anytime.