1950s' Fashion: An Overview
During the Second World War, the British fashion market grabbed all opportunities, which was an attempt to capture a portion of the American market and flood it with British apparel. British fabrics were of exceptional quality being made with fine materials and knitted in royal designs. Winter collections like knitted sweater dresses with crew, cowl necks and shirt tabs from Orlon or Lambswool occupied the market. Marks & Spencer earned the name of 'the nation's fabric of 1950'. Jacques Fath's fashion garments included fully loose tent line duster and swing coat types.
Fashion for Men
Men were inspired by signature styles of Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley. Simple casual shirts and pants tailored in fashionable cuts were preferred by male folks. Stripped jackets, waist coats with creased pants were the archetype of this fashion era.
Fashion designers discovered the cowboy look, wherein men decked themselves in checked shirts, skinny pants and high leather boots. Shirts and coats had high rise collars and large buttons. Bell bottom pants on leather shoes looked utterly sophisticated. Conservative business suits became the hallmark of men's fashion of 50s. Their footwear mainly comprised leather shoes, boots and loafers.
James Dean and Troy Donahue emerged as fashion icons of fifties for their much popular hairstyles. Some of the versatile hairstyles were Apache with cropped side cuts, flat on top crew cut, pompadour and sideburns. Rockabilly hairstyles greatly influenced the punk culture. The greaser style was created by back brushing hair and then styling it with gels. Teens and adults were sheer fond of the typical hairstyle sported by Elvis Presley in the fifties. Vintage watches, hats and puffing cigar further uplifted their style quotient.
Fashion for Women
Christian Dior's fashion designs dominated that era and created a history in the glamor world. He designed new pattern of skirts with fitted jackets. Mid length skirts with semi formal blouses were donned by middle age women. In the late 50s full length skirts were teamed with strapless boned tops. Stylish silhouettes with narrow waist and pencil slim tubular skirts established a high fashion statement.
Dior's buttoned up jackets were matched with bibs, dickeys and satin head scarves. Grace Patricia Kelly, Leslie Caron and Audrey Hepburn were perfect models for women's fashion of 50s. Boxy classic suit jackets and line jackets from Chanel's fashion house, hoop crinoline petticoats, whale bone petticoats, single net petticoats and straight silhouettes were much sought after by teens and youngsters. Bodice dresses, tulle boned, frilled and laced full skirts, woolen slub fabrics and tweeds emerged as classy outfits.
Hairstyles to a large extent were influenced by Audrey Hepburn. French plaits and ponytails were also in vogue. The typical kind of poodle, beehive and ducktail hairstyles cropped up in the 50s. Umbrellas, hats, furs, gloves, scarves and corsages were prominent symbols of the eclectic fashion prevailing in the fifties. Women also loved bright and bold makeup and cosmetics, especially from Max Factor. Stiletto heels, flat ballerinas and strapped sandals were the much preferred footwear of the female folk.
1950s' fashion was undoubtedly romantic and stylish. Women dressed elegantly while men poised a smart and classy look. Although it's a well-known fact that fashion keeps changing with time and generation, nothing can surpass the unique style that was established in the 1950s.