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Dressing for the Decades: Feminine 1950s Fashion

Posted by Natali on Oct 1st 2014

A Lana Lobell Catalog selling fashionable dresses in the 1950s

A Lana Lobell Catalog selling fashionable dresses in the 1950s

1950s fashion signaled a return to embracing femininity. Christian Dior’s “New Look” that came about in the late 1940s, took off at this time. The war time mentality of rationing was gone, replaced by the flirty fun of dresses with cinched waists and full skirts.

The pencil skirt became popular in the 1950s too. What fashion concentrated on was the hourglass figure that clothing conveyed. The mood of 1950s fashion shifted from previous decades in that people were more willing to break fashion barriers, especially in comparison to the subdued wartime looks of the 1940s.

1950s fashion had a youthful approach. In fact, teenagers were starting to have more of an impact on pop culture in general. 1950s fashion played with fresh colors and different fabrics that diverged from prior fashion. The 1950s also saw an emergence of bright prints. From stripes to bold florals, prints were definitely a must-have for any chic outfit.

Style Icon Audrey Hepburn

Style Icon Audrey Hepburn

Gloves and hats were a popular accessory in the 1950s. While there were larger hats available, a smaller style prevailed. Gloves were generally worn year round, except for the most casual occasions. The length of the glove generally varied based on weather. As for jewelry, most women chose simple, subdued pieces. Pearls were a popular choice. Women favored small, simple watches and shied away from flashy rings and earrings.

The fashion icons of the era were Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. Both Hollywood actresses inspired the popular fashion designers of the 1950s. Hepburn was a muse of Givenchy. Hermes designed the famous “Kelly” bag to help Grace Kelly conceal her baby bump from the press. Both actresses were known for their simple, elegant styles. They are both revered as chic fashion icons even today.

To get even more 1950s inspiration, or to just stock up on fabulous vintage finds, head to!

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