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1950s American Fashion

1950s American fashion began to see a whimsical side with the advent of the poodle skirt, bobby sox and cat eye glasses. Styles for both men and women were taking on a more casual look, owing much of its influence to American television shows such as “I Love Lucy” and “Leave It to Beaver.” Americans were beginning to have fun with their fashions.

Although skirts for women were still worn well below the knee, the styles were changing. Poodle skirts and swing skirts appeared full and some were worn with crinolines underneath to make them appear even fuller. Poodle skirts were aptly named because of the poodle appliqués displayed on the front of the skirts. Rhinestones and sequins embellished the appliqués, making the poodle skirt one of the most popular fashions of the era. Teenage girls would wear either a white short-sleeved blouse or a short-sleeved sweater and a scarf tied at the side of the neck, to complete the look. For footwear, saddle shoes and bobby sox were the craze.

For men, jeans and t-shirts or patterned short-sleeved shirts were worn with the cuffs of both the jeans and the shirts rolled up. Black penny loafers and white socks were considered cool. As the ‘50’s progressed, men also added brightly patterned Hawaiian shirts to their wardrobe. Of course, when going out on a date, men still dressed in a suit and tie, but when just hanging out with friends, jeans, or dungarees as they were then called, and white t-shirts were the uniform in the street.

Women started leaving the dresses and skirts in the closets and opting for dungarees or Capri pants for comfort. Capris were form-fitting pants that went just below the knee, and when paired with anything from an oversized man’s shirt, collar up, to a tight sweater, they were all the rage.

Fashion colours during the ‘50s ranged from the ever popular and hip black and white to the more adventurous turquoise and pink. From Bobby Soxers to Beatniks, the ’50s was a wild ride on the fashion scene.