1950s Fashion: Conservative and Family Oriented

1950s fashion began entrenching itself as the men in the armed forces returned triumphantly after World War II. With their return, America enjoyed a new prosperity. A new conservatism also swept over fashion as women left the workforce to fallback into their traditional roles.

Women wore skirts that were long and either fitted or full. These skirts often reached well below the knee. New attention was paid to the waistlines of these dresses and the look of the shoulders softened considerably. For younger girls, wide poodle skirts and bobby socks became all the fashion rage toward the end of the decade.

1950s Fashion Characteristics

High-class formal wear was still worn well into the 1950s. Evening gowns with full skirts and miles of fabric were popular during the earlier part of the decade. Those dresses with form fitting hourglass shapes became popular as the decade began to end. Wraps were often worn around the shoulders. Toward the latter part of the decade, however, a more casual turn for fashions of the 1950s was noted. 1950s Fashion

Many women wore an A-line skirt or pencil skirt, paired with a fitted jacket, when they were doing business or running errands. For men, a business suit with a conservative tie and hat were the norm for men's fashions of the 1950s. A fedora style hat was considered to be a business essential for most fashionable men.

The cardigan sweater became a popular choice for men when in a more casual situation. A variety of skirts were available for women when they were able to relax. These included full skirts, pleated skirts and fitted skirts. Nylons or bobby socks were often worn as well, depending on the age of the woman, as well as the occasion.

Major Influences on 1950s Fashion

Elvis Presley made his stage debut in 1956 and took the nation, and the conservative 1950s, by storm. His low-slung and tight-fitting pants accentuated his hip-grinding movements. His shirt was opened to show his naval. Elvis Presley helped to usher in the more relaxed fashions of the 1950s.

Joan Crawford and Audrey Hepburn wore the long and full skirts of this time period. Anita O'Day, on the other hand, wore the form fitting hourglass dresses that were also fashionable during the latter part of the 1950s. Lucille Ball, as the first woman to be shown pregnant on television, helped to catapult the idea of maternity wear to the forefront of women's fashion designers imaginations.

The return of the soldiers from World War II ushered in a decade of conservativeness in which the nation enjoyed prosperity. The fashions of the 1950s mirrored that conservativeness until the latter part of the decade. At that point in time, Elvis Presley burst onto the musical scene and helped to usher in a new and relaxed period of fashion for the 1950s.

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