Beyond the Poodle Skirt—1950s Fashion

Fashion has changed so much over the years, and the 1950s were no exception.  1950s fashion brought an incredibly diverse group of elements together to form a distinct style that is still examined and replicated today.  If you are interested in vintage 1950s fashion, there are quite a few vintage clothing shops that sell styles from that era even today. 

1950s fashion replications can be found in costume shops.  Many people today choose to have theme parties in which the theme is to dress as though you are living in the 1950s.  And who wouldn’t find this a fun idea?  There are so many diverse elements of fashion included in 1950s fashion; there is something that appeals to everyone.

Innovation of Fifties Fashion

There were many new fashions and styles introduced during the 1950s.  The typical girl wore a tight blouse tucked into a poodle skirt, Capri pants, pedal pushers, jeans, or pirate pants.  Other popular 1950s fashion styles during this time included: petticoats, "can-can" petticoats, peter pan collared blouse, twin sweater set, cinched belt, pleated skirts, gingham dress, motor scooter slacks, stirrup pants, or motor scooter pants.  The bathing suits that girls wore in the 1950s were usually strapless or haltered one-piece suits.  The shoes that were generally worn in 1950s fashion were: penny loafers, white buckskin lace up shoes, saddle shoes, pumps, and the stiletto heel. 

An element of men’s formal wear that gained popularity during the 1950s was the White Sports Coat. In general men’s jackets became longer and looser, with less shoulder padding.  Strapless formal wear became popular for women at this time. Boys typically wore letter jackets over a white t-shirt, which are still popular in many high schools today.  Other popular clothing for boys included leather jackets, bowling jackets, and jeans.

The Iconic Poodle Skirt

One of the major icons of 1950s fashion was the poodle skirt.  The poodle skirt was a full skirt with a motif on it (the motif was the poodle).  Other popular emblems were a record or a musical note.  The poodle skirt was a symbol of freedom; the loose skirts with the flowing petticoats were ideal for dancing. 

The elements of 1950s fashion were very diverse and unique to that time period.  The styles are so distinct that it is easy to look back today and distinguish the time period from all others. 


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