All About Women’s 1950 Vintage Fashion

Vintage Fashion

If you are looking for fresh fashion inspiration, it is always a good idea to look back. There are so many exciting styles and looks from the bygone era that needs to be reinvented. One such iconic decade of fashion is the 1950s vintage clothing.

A lot of 1950s styles have returned and found the spotlight in the high fashion industry. In this article, we will discuss why 1950s fashion is considered timeless and a landmark.

During the 50s, fashion exploded in a new direction, with more contemporary silhouettes and new colour palettes.

The world got time to recover from the after-effects of World War II, and feminine, elegant fashion was reintroduced.

A big pioneer of 1950s fashion was Christian Dior with his “New Look.” The collection was bold yet extremely feminine. Dresses were full, and busts were padded to accentuate a tiny waist. The whole look was inspired by the Victorian era but given a modern, sexy twist.

It should be kept in mind that women returned to their role as housewives after the war. Her ultra-feminine look encouraged the role of a ‘homemaker.’

You will find two dominating styles of retro dresses in the 1950s. The most popular were full-skirted, tea-length dresses, also known as 50s swing dresses. Another was a form-fitted dress known as wiggle dress or pencil dress.

Some of The Trending Types of Women’s 1950s Dresses Are:

Day Time Dresses or House Dresses

During this time, women used to wear simple cotton full-skirted dresses for doing chores around the house. These dresses had small patterns, thin strips, or plaids. They usually had short sleeves with large pockets and matching fabric belts to cinch the waistline further.

vintage clothing

1950’s Sweet Tropicana Floral Midi Vintage Collar Shirt Dress

Sometimes, women used to wear these dresses for grocery shopping or meeting friends for a casual tea party. They adorned the dresses with delicate pieces of jewellery (pearls, hats, heels, hairpins, etc.).

Evening Dresses or ‘Going Out’ Dresses

For more important activities like shopping in the city, meeting with partners, public meets, appointments, and others, outfits had to be more coordinated.

Fabrics were heavier cotton, wool, tweed, knits, or rayon. They were more intricate than house dresses with button details, contrasting colours, pleats, dramatic collars, and bows. Pencil dresses are often preferred for these occasions. The fit had to be nice and sophisticated. Red was a bold choice of colour.

retro dresses

For summers, polka dots, sailor themes, gingham, pastels became the choice of both styles of dresses. The whole 1950s vibe was very youthful, feminine, and charming.

Cocktail Dresses and Ballgowns

Hosting a dinner or being invited to dance meant the materials of the dresses had to be richer, like silk, taffeta, lace, and velvet. Black was the most popular choice. Bouffant haircut became super popular during this time. Cocktail dresses were accessorised with high heels, short gloves, purses, pearls, and diamonds.

For special events like theatre or a ball long, floor-length ballgowns were the preferred choice. These dresses were made of rich fabrics of silk, organza, chiffon, velvet, satin, net, and lace. They had dramatic volume or draped for that classic Hollywood luxuriousness.

Apart from the classic ballgown, mermaid gowns and Grecian gown with empire waistband also became popular among the younger crowds.

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The full skirt of 1950s dresses required multiple layers of petticoats. Especially with ballgowns and evening tea-cup dresses, the volume had to be there!

One of the most famous 50s petticoats was the Crinoline underskirt. These were made of tulle or net and sewed into the form of a hoop skirt. This skirt is then worn underneath the dress to give a better volume. Underskirts were made of layers of nets, starched and dried upside down. Some women used to wear up to six layers of these vintage petticoats to get a maximum volume of the full skirt.

50s petticoats

Nowadays, women who wear vintage-inspired look often ditch the petticoats as they can itch a lot. If you still want that full volume, stores like Banned Retro full petticoats in softer materials that protects your legs from being uncomfortable.

About Banned Retro

Banned Retro is one such women’s vintage clothing and vintage accessories brand which draws inspiration from the past, highlighting the iconic styles of the past, be it the enticing 1920s or the sizzling 1970s. Their retro collections are hand-designed like no other.

View all posts by Banned Retro →

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