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The Ultimate Guide To 50s Women’s Fashion

by Starryqueen 17 Jun 2021 0 Comments
The Ultimate Guide To 50s Women’s Fashion

The 50s was a time of change when fashion began to spread in different directions, with better silhouettes, and new colors.

Fueled by the industrial revolution and with better technologies, the fashion scene was quite diverse in the 50s.

To understand the different styles available in women’s fashion, let’s look at the different clothes worn by women in the 50s.

Fashion dresses

The fashion world was turned upside down in the year 1947 when Christian Dior presented the world with the “New Look”

This utterly feminine look was big and very bold.

The skirts were long and padding was added to the bust to emphasize a small waist.

Victorian-era influences can be seen in the fashion during this time, but were more fashionable, sexier, and shorter, being modest at the same time.

During the 50s, women were mostly homemakers, wives, and mothers, who wanted to look beautiful fulfilling their roles.

Reflecting the success of their husband’s wealth, women spend more time dressing up and shopping.

Wiggle dress and the swing dress are two of the most important dress styles in the 50s.

Everyday dresses

Mothers, wives, and homemakers dressed up in swing dresses that were full-skirted containing simple patterns, checks plaid, and prints, which had buttons in the front.

They were ¾ thin in length, had a matching belt, a collar, and pockets, and petticoats were worn inside to give a full look and an apron was worn to keep the dress clean during work.

Accessories such as hats, pearl necklaces, gloves, purses, earrings, and earrings were added while accompanying their husbands.

Formal dresses

Pencil dresses or swing dresses were the common types of formal clothing, which were made from heavier fabrics so that women felt comfortable in them.

Cocktail dresses

These were the dresses worn by women when they went out for a party or dinner. Made from richer materials like silk, velvet, lace, etc it was glamorous, classy, and comfortable.

Black was the main color choice, coupled with shiny jewelry and a beautiful hairstyle, it was irresistible.

Unlike everyday dresses, part dresses were devoid of collars and bets and had deep cuts.

Hostess gowns were the go-to style if there was a party at your house, which was a mix of capri-pants, skirts, and a dress.

How to dress like the 50s?


To get a 50s skirt all you have to do is chop the top part of your dress.

Circle skirts are those full lengthed skirts that were made from one single huge piece of fabric, and many layers of petticoat were worn under these to add fullness.

Another popular trend was the plaid skirts, which were ideal during winter and fall.

For springtime, the skirts were produced with pastel shades, with hidden pockets that were also quintessential 50s style.

Tuck the shirts into the skirt and wear a belt to attain the perfect 50s look.

Another option is the poodle skirt, which is another variety of round skirts but was available in materials other than felt.

Pencil skirts by pairing them with a cardigan sweater or matching suit jacket or long sleeve blouse are another trendy option to try out.

Shirts, tops and blouses

Button-down blouses paired with pants and skirts were common in the 50s, they were usually tucked into the pantyhose to get a snug fit.

Try getting blouses with classic, or peter pan or boat neck collars.

Even then there was a wide variety of sleeves including full sleeves, full wrist sleeves, ¾ the sleeves, and puff sleeves.

You could also try the knit tops which were seen as an alternative to the conventional tailored blouses.

Coats and Jackets

Although the sweaters were thin and light, the coats were bulky and thick.

Winter coats made from wool, and cashmere were long and had to fit over the long skirts.

If you are looking for a shorter, yet still trendy option go for the tent-like princess coat or swing coat.

Another short option to pair with your pencil skirts is the box coats, which were half the length of the long coats.

A jacket with fur collars, mid-level hip, and a big pocket is a less bulky yet stylish alternative to the overcoat.

Bomber jackets were also gaining popularity in the 50s

Pants and shorts

50s fashion is much more than just skirts.

You can try wearing high-waisted, wide-leg pants which were popular in those times.

Cigarette pants were slim-leg pants that fit above the ankle with a high waist and came in many different colors.

Capri pants with a thin belt at waist pants which came up to mid-calf is also a very attractive option.

The teenage girls mostly wore denim jeans with t-shirts or shirts.


Saddle shoes paired with denim pants and circle cotton skirts could give you the 50s adventurous style that you’re looking for.

Usually, in black and white, they were popular among teenagers.

Sandlas and espadrilles were the go-to options during the summer.

Those looking for formal footwear usually went for the heels or pumps, which were around 1.5 to 3 inches.


The silhouette look of the 50s was not naturally attained, it was supported with a petticoat, slips, and bras.

Bullet Bras was the common type that came with a cone shape.

Bust pads and falsies were worn to give the women what they lacked.

Cotton and silky panties were worn to maximize comfort while wearing these layers of clothing.

Pajamas, babydoll nighties, and robes were common and came with a matching pair of mule slippers.


Hats were a common accessory in the 50s.

Felt hats and small flat straw hats were decorated with bows, feathers, and flowers.

To hide the bouffant hairstyle, hats were usually made from light materials.

Fascinator hats were smaller hats with veil were common among women in the 50s.

Tall round-edged pillbox hats were popular among upper-class women.

Gloves and handbags

No 50s look is complete without a glove and handbag to accompany the dress.

White gloves were preferred in the summer and black ones during the winter.

Novelty bags made from and unique material was often accompanied by women to the markets and everyday use.

For formal occasions clutches or small wrists, clutches were preferred, smaller purses to hold essential items were also popular.


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