In the wake of the Second World War, fashion as was known then took a U-turn, and therefore fashion in the 1950s' was decidedly different from the earlier decades. Silhouettes in this decade became more tailored and fitted. If you take a look at the fashion in the 1950s' by reading up fashion history, you will see what an impact the trends from this era have had on the clothes we wear today. Most trends from the 1950s have seen a revival in the recent past with celebs like Christina Aguilera and Scarlett Johansson often sporting 1950s' fashion.
What Women Wore in the Fifties
While the 1940s was all about short skirts and wide shoulders, fashion in the fifties experienced a sea change with hourglass silhouetted clothes becoming the trend of the decade. The patterns of skirts became very different from the earlier decades with the most popular patterns being the poodle skirt and the circle skirt for younger women. Pencil skirts became a favorite with older women. Dress patterns also changed quite a bit with strapless dresses with full skirts becoming quite a rage. The popularity of this pattern of full skirts could also be credited to the advent of swing dancing. Another dress pattern that was widely worn was the chemise dress that was straight cut and did not have a defined waist. This allowed the woman wearing the dress to decide what part of her waist she wanted to define by tying the dress with a belt. The belt could be worn as high or as low as the woman pleased. Chemise dresses were flattering on most figures and therefore were worn by most women in the '50s.
Fashion for women in the fifties also saw a switch in styles of warm clothing. Women stopped carrying shawls and started wearing coats. Long coats that flirted with the knees and had loose sleeves became the clothing item to possess. Coats for evening wear were often made of silk and trimmed with fur. With fur becoming a status symbol, which was affordable only for the rich, a whole new market of imitation fur opened up to cater to the increasing demand. Many designers also used feathers in their designs. The long-lasting popularity of animal prints, especially leopard prints can also be traced to the fashion trends of the 1950s. This was the era in which necklines such as halter necklines, shawl collars, and round collars caught on. Amongst sleeve patterns, short sleeves, kimono sleeves, and rolled up sleeves were very popular.
There are many fashion trends from the fifties that have come back into fashion today and are a huge hit on the runway. Chief among these trends are checked clothing. Tartan and gingham are also hugely popular today and are definite to be around for a while. Floral patterns are a big trend from fifties fashion that will give you a huge thumbs up on any style meter. Fifties' fashion trends were revolutionary in a way that it changed the manner in which people dressed up and presented themselves. It was in this decade that individuality, which became the keyword for 60s fashion, started gaining prominence.
What Men Wore in the Fifties
1950s' fashion for men placed comfort much above trends. Therefore, most clothing for men from the 1950s was structured and easy to manage. Tweed and flannel became very popular, with men wearing jackets made of tweed very often. Suit jackets with stripes became as much in demand as plain colored jackets. While for formal wear, the trousers remained fitted and creased, it was in this decade that bell bottoms made their first appearance. Even denim jeans were more structured and much in line with what trends dictate today. Fashion trends saw an emergence of shorter and narrower shirt cuffs that made them more comfortable. Sleeves were not baggy but well fitted. The colors that were popular shirts were mostly light colors and many people stuck to white. While till the 1950s, bow ties were pretty prevalent, neckties started gaining prominence now.
There was a huge influence that Elvis Presley's style had on men's wear. Leather jackets became a huge rage, thanks to the King. For casual wear shirts that were chosen often had embroidery. The clothes were hugely influenced by Westerns and cowboy movies. Shirts were often short, loose, and with short sleeves. Hats lost the edge that they had enjoyed till then. Most male students preferred wearing pants made of Khaki, and plaid and checkered shirts. Oxford button downs were also popular with students. T-shirts had still not caught on and were generally worn as an undershirt. Celebs like Presley and Marlon Brando pretty much dictated clothing in the fifties.
Apparel in the fifties underwent a huge departure from the earlier years, and this was a decade that was known for fashion that was largely wearable. Trends from the fifties are some of the most classic trends that have withstood the test of time and have retained popularity till today. Even today, there are clothing items from the fifties that are big trends all around the world.