How to Nail the Classic Look: 50s Fashion Womens Guide

Travel back in time and indulge in the glamour of 50s fashion. Whether you’re a vintage enthusiast or simply want to add a touch of classic elegance to your wardrobe, the 50s fashion womens guide can help you nail the look. From the iconic circle skirt to the timeless kitten heels, this style encapsulates femininity and sophistication. This guide will provide you with everything you need to know about 50s fashion and recreate the icon vintage look for yourself.

How to Nail the Classic Look: 50s Fashion Womens Guide
How to Nail the Classic Look: 50s Fashion Womens Guide

The History of 50s Fashion and How It Influenced Modern Style

The 1950s were a decade of significant change in the fashion industry. Gone were the conservative styles of the previous decade, replaced by a new sense of freedom and experimentation. The youth culture of the time influenced fashion in a big way, with rebellious youths looking to express themselves through their clothing. Read on to learn more about 50s fashion and how it has influenced modern style.

The Evolution of 50s Fashion

The 1950s began with a continuation of the post-war clothing styles: a focus on practicality and comfort. But as the decade progressed, the fashion industry became more experimental and daring. Women’s clothing started to emphasize the waistline, with figure-hugging dresses and pencil skirts becoming all the rage.

A significant shift took place in the mid-1950s, with the introduction of Christian Dior’s “New Look” collection. This collection featured full, voluminous skirts, tiny waists, and an overall feminine silhouette. It quickly became the new standard in women’s fashion, ushering in an era of extravagance and opulence.

Key Elements of Achieving a Classic 50s Look

If you’re looking to achieve a classic 50s look, there are a few key elements to keep in mind. Firstly, emphasize the waist. This can be achieved through high-waisted skirts, dresses, or pants, or by cinching in the waist with a belt. The hourglass silhouette is key to nailing the classic 50s look.

Secondly, think about the fabrics you’re wearing. The 50s were all about luxurious fabrics like silk, satin, and chiffon. These fabrics have a beautiful drape and can add a touch of glamour to any outfit. Additionally, the use of patterns was popular in the 50s. Think polka dots, stripes, and gingham for a touch of retro nostalgia.

Finally, consider your accessories. Pearls were a popular jewelry choice in the 50s, as were gloves, scarves, and hats. These accessories can add a touch of sophistication to any outfit.

Getting the Perfect Fit: Tips for Shopping for 50s Clothing

Shopping for vintage clothing can be a daunting task, especially when trying to find the perfect fit. When it comes to 50s fashion for women, it’s essential to get the right size and fit to achieve that classic look. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping for 50s clothing:

Know Your Measurements

One of the biggest mistakes people make when shopping for vintage clothing is not knowing their measurements. It’s essential to measure yourself before making any purchases, as vintage clothing sizes vary from modern-day sizes. You can easily measure yourself with a measuring tape and take note of your bust, waist, and hip measurements.

Check the Condition of the Clothing

When shopping for vintage clothing, it’s important to check the condition of the clothing. Look for any signs of wear and tear, such as holes or stains, as these can affect the fit and overall appearance of the clothing. It’s also essential to check for any missing buttons or broken zippers before making your purchase.

Try it On Before Purchasing

It may seem obvious, but it’s essential to try on any vintage clothing before making a purchase. This is especially true for 50s clothing, as the fit can be tight and constricting. Trying on the clothing before purchasing allows you to ensure that it fits well and is comfortable to wear. You can also experiment with different styling options to see how the clothing fits into your wardrobe.

Look for Reproduction Clothing

If you’re having trouble finding vintage clothing in your size, consider looking for reproduction clothing. Many vintage-inspired clothing brands create clothing with classic 50s silhouettes that are designed to fit modern-day sizes. These pieces often have the same look and feel as vintage clothing but are made with modern materials and construction techniques.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect fitting 50s clothing to nail that classic look.

Key Wardrobe Staples to Achieve the Classic 50s Look

The 50s fashion is iconic and timeless. It’s all about the nipped-in waistlines and full circle skirts, charming prints and patterns, bold lipstick, and cat-eye glasses. Want to master the classic 50s look? These are the key wardrobe staples you need:

1. A-Line Dress

The A-line dress is the quintessential 50s style dress. It’s fitted at the top, flares at the waist, and falls just below the knee. The dress can be a solid color or a fun print, and it’s perfect for any occasion. Pair it with a cute pair of flats or pumps, and you’ll have an iconic 50s outfit.

2. High-Waisted Pants

High-waisted pants were incredibly popular in the 50s, and they’re back in style today. These pants sit at the natural waistline and elongate the legs. They look great with a tucked-in blouse or shirt. For the full 50s look, choose a pair of pants in a bright, bold color.

3. Circle Skirt

The circle skirt is a major player in the 50s wardrobe. It’s a full skirt that flares out from the waist and has a circular silhouette. The skirt is usually knee-length or above. Pair it with a tucked-in blouse or cute cardigan for a cute 50s outfit. These skirts are often made of cotton or wool, and some have fun prints like polka dots or cherries.

  • Look for high-quality cotton or wool fabrics for a timeless look.
  • Accessorize with a belt to accentuate the waistline.
  • Try pairing a circle skirt with a petticoat for extra volume and bounce.

Accessorizing for the 50s Look: Tips and Tricks

Rocking a 50s inspired outfit isn’t just about the clothing; accessories are just as important to nail the classic look. Here are some key accessories to consider when putting together your perfect 50s outfit:


Jewelry played a big role in 50s fashion, particularly statement pieces like chunky necklaces and large earrings. Pearls were also a popular choice and can add a touch of elegance to any outfit. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different jewelry styles to find a look that works for you.


For a touch of glamour, consider adding a hat to your outfit. Pillbox hats were a popular choice in the 50s and can add a vintage touch to any outfit. A wide-brimmed hat can add a touch of elegance, while a simple beret can give your outfit a more casual vibe.


Shoes are an important part of any outfit, and the 50s were no exception. Choose shoes with a classic style, such as pumps, loafers, or Mary Janes. For a touch of glamour, consider a pair of kitten heels or slingbacks. Don’t forget that the right pair of stockings or tights can also make a big difference.


A vintage style handbag can be the perfect finishing touch to a 50s inspired outfit. Look for a classic shape and style such as a clutch, satchel, or top-handle bag. A colorful or patterned bag can also add a touch of fun and personality to your look.

Tips and Tricks

When it comes to accessorizing for the 50s look, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t be afraid to mix and match different accessories to find a look that works for you.
  • Keep your accessories in proportion to your outfit. Small accessories can get lost in a large outfit, while large accessories can overwhelm a simple outfit.
  • Consider the occasion when choosing your accessories. A daytime outfit may require more casual accessories, while a formal event may call for more glamorous jewelry and accessories.
  • Have fun with your accessories! The 50s were all about playful and colorful fashion, so don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with your look.

Makeup and Hair for the 50s: Achieving the Iconic Look

For many women, the 1950s conjure up images of classic glamour and elegance. From the bold red lips to the perfectly coiffed hair, the 50s look is an iconic style that continues to influence fashion today. Whether you’re dressing up for a special occasion or simply want to try out a new retro look, achieving the perfect 50s makeup and hair is a fun and exciting project that can be easily done with the right tools and a bit of practice.

Makeup Tips for the 50s Look

The 50s makeup look is all about emphasizing a woman’s natural beauty with classic makeup techniques. Start by creating a flawless base with a matte foundation and setting powder. Next, add a pop of color to the cheeks with a soft pink or peach blush. The eyes are where you can really let your creativity shine – go for a classic winged eyeliner look, or experiment with bold statement eyeshadow in shades like navy, emerald, or gold. Finally, complete the look with a bold red lipstick and some false lashes for a truly glamorous effect.

Hairstyles for the 50s Look

The iconic 50s hairstyles are all about volume and curls. To achieve the classic 50s look, start by curling your hair with hot rollers or a curling iron. Next, backcomb the crown of your head to create height and volume. Pin the sides of your hair back and incorporate the rest of your curls into a glamorous updo, or leave your curls loose and flowing for a more casual look. Don’t forget to finish off your hairstyle with a classic hair accessory like a scarf or headband.

Essential Tools for 50s Makeup and Hair

  • A matte foundation and setting powder
  • Pink or peach blush
  • Eyeliner in black or brown
  • Bold eyeshadow in navy, emerald, or gold
  • Bold red lipstick
  • False lashes
  • Hot rollers or a curling iron
  • Hair spray and backcombing brush
  • Classic hair accessories like scarves or headbands

Style Inspiration: 5 Influential 50s Fashion Icons to Follow

The 1950s was an era that left an indelible mark on the way women dressed, and it continues to inspire modern fashion. Here are the top 5 influential 50s fashion icons:

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe is arguably the most iconic and celebrated fashion icon of the 1950s. Her style was feminine, glamorous, and sensual. You can draw inspiration from her iconic white halterneck dress, which remains forever modern and chic. Pair it with red lipstick and a pair of high heels, and you will be sure to turn heads.

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly is known for her sophisticated and elegant style. Her high-necked, long-sleeved wedding dress designed by Helen Rose inspired many fashion designers. To rock Grace Kelly’s style, opt for a knee-length dress with a fitted waist and flared skirt. Add a pair of sleek pumps and a clutch, and you’re good to go.

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn’s style was elegant and classy. Her little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is perhaps the epitome of timeless fashion. To recreate Audrey’s look, find a classic black dress and pair it with pearls and oversized shades. You will make a chic statement with minimum effort.

Bridget Bardot

Bridget Bardot’s style was fun and flirty. She was not afraid to rock bold prints, high-waisted skirts, and off-shoulder tops. To capture Bridget Bardot’s style, invest in a gingham dress or blouse with a high-waisted, A-line skirt. Accessorize with a headband and flats for a playful look.

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor’s style was grand and lavish. Her love for glamorous outfits was apparent both on and off the screen. To channel Elizabeth’s style, opt for a floor-length gown with a plunging neckline and bold prints. Add some statement jewelry like a diamond necklace and earrings, and you will be ready for a red carpet event.

Jane Birkin

Although not as popular in the 50s, Jane Birkin became a style icon in the 60s and 70s, thanks to her effortless, bohemian chic style. She epitomizes the perfect blend of a carefree spirit and elegant fashion. To capture her style, go for a simple white t-shirt, high-waisted jeans, and a basket bag. Add a pair of Birkenstock sandals, and you have got a laid-back, yet stylish look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions Answers
What are some key elements of 50s fashion? Key elements of 50s fashion include high-waisted bottoms, fitted tops, full skirts, and accessories like cat-eye glasses and pearls.
What hairstyles were popular in the 50s? Popular hairstyles in the 50s included the bouffant, beehive, ponytail, and victory rolls.
What type of shoes were worn in the 50s? Women in the 50s often wore pumps or saddle shoes for everyday wear, and high heels for more formal occasions.
What makeup was popular in the 50s? Popular makeup looks in the 50s included red lipstick, cat-eye eyeliner, and rosy cheeks.
What type of fabrics were commonly used in 50s fashion? Common fabrics used in 50s fashion included cotton, silk, wool, and denim.
Can 50s fashion be incorporated into modern fashion? Yes, 50s fashion can be incorporated into modern fashion through mixing and matching vintage pieces with contemporary styles, or by finding modern clothing with vintage-inspired elements.

Thanks for Reading, Come Back Soon!

We hope you found our guide on nailing the classic 50s look helpful! With the right combination of high-waisted bottoms, full skirts, and vintage accessories, you can bring the 50s back in style. Remember to have fun and experiment with different looks until you find what works for you. For more fashion tips and inspiration, be sure to visit our website again soon!

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