Rock Your Retro Look with Womens 1950s Fashion

Are you a fan of retro style? Do you love the glamorous, feminine fashion of the 1950s? If so, you’re in luck because women’s 1950s fashion is making a comeback! From full skirts, nipped-in waists, and polka dots to cat-eye sunglasses, red lipstick, and victory rolls, this era had a distinctive look that still captivates fashion lovers today. Whether you want to incorporate a few vintage-inspired pieces into your wardrobe or go all-out with a head-to-toe retro look, we’ve got you covered with tips and tricks for rocking your 1950s style.

Rock Your Retro Look with Womens 1950s Fashion
Rock Your Retro Look with Womens 1950s Fashion

The Rise of Womens 1950s Fashion

The 1950s was a decade that saw a lot of changes in fashion. After the World War II, the world was embracing prosperity and femininity. Women were no longer confined to the constraints of wartime fashion, and they were eager to express their creativity and individuality through their clothing. This resulted in the emergence and popularity of womens 1950s fashion.

Reasons for the Emergence and Popularity of 1950s Fashion

There were several reasons why 1950s fashion became popular:

  1. Influence of Hollywood: Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly were the ultimate fashion icons of the 1950s. Their style was emulated by women all over the world, and designers were quick to capitalise on this trend by creating clothing that was similar to what the stars wore in their movies.
  2. Technological Advances: The post-World War II era saw a rise in technological advancements, and this included innovations in synthetic fibres and fabrics. This led to the creation of new materials such as rayon and nylon, which were used to make clothing that was more durable, lightweight, and breathable.
  3. End of Rationing: With the end of World War II, rationing of clothing materials was lifted, and this meant that people could buy more clothes than they had been able to during the war years.
  4. Embracing Femininity: The 1950s saw a return to traditional gender roles, and women were encouraged to embrace their femininity. This was reflected in their clothing, which became more form-fitting, with nipped-in waists, full skirts, and dresses that accentuated curves.

The Iconic Womens 1950s Fashion Pieces

The 1950s was truly a revolutionary decade in terms of fashion. Women’s fashion went through a major transition from the conservative and traditional clothing styles of the post-war era to a new and more liberated look. The fashion of the 1950s was glamorous, stylish, feminine, and chic, and many of the styles and pieces from that era continue to inspire designers, fashion enthusiasts, and retro fashion lovers today.

The Poodle Skirt

If there is one iconic fashion piece that comes to mind when people think of the 1950s, it’s the poodle skirt. This full, swingy skirt was usually made of felt and featured a colorful applique of a poodle or other design. The poodle skirt was often worn with a tight-fitting sweater or top, a scarf tied around the neck, and a pair of white ankle socks and saddle shoes. Today, the poodle skirt remains a popular piece for 1950s themed parties and events, and retro fashion enthusiasts still enjoy wearing this classic piece.

The Circle Dress

The circle dress, also known as the full skirt or the swing dress, was another popular style during the 1950s. This dress featured a fitted top and a full, circular skirt that flared out at the waist. The circle dress was often made of colorful and vibrant fabrics, and was usually worn with gloves, a clutch, and a pair of high heels. This classic dress style continues to inspire designers today, with many modern versions featuring updated prints and fabrics.

  • The Wiggle Dress

The wiggle dress was a form-fitting dress that hugged a woman’s curves and emphasized her hourglass figure. This dress was usually knee-length and featured a sweetheart neckline and a pencil skirt. The wiggle dress was often made of stretchy fabrics like cotton and silk, and was worn with a pair of high heels and a small clutch purse. Today, the wiggle dress remains a popular vintage style, with many modern versions featuring updated prints and materials.

The Cat Eye Glasses

Accessories were an important part of the 1950s fashion look, and one of the most iconic accessories of the era were the cat eye glasses. These glasses featured a distinctive upsweep at the outer corners of the frame, giving them a cat-like appearance. Cat eye glasses were often worn with a scarf tied around the head, and were an essential accessory for any woman looking to complete her retro 1950s look. Today, cat eye glasses remain a popular vintage accessory, and can be found in a range of materials and colors.

The fashion of the 1950s was truly iconic, and the timeless pieces and styles from that era continue to inspire fashion today. Whether you’re a fan of retro fashion or simply appreciate the classic beauty and elegance of 1950s fashion pieces, there is no denying the enduring appeal of this unforgettable fashion era.

The Womens 1950s Hairstyles and Beauty Trends

The 1950s era was known for its classic, sophisticated beauty style that still captures the hearts of many women today. From curly and sleek glamourous hairstyles, to bold lipsticks and cat-eye glasses, the 1950s was the decade that defined the golden age of Hollywood beauty standards. Here’s a rundown of the hairstyles, makeup, and beauty trends that defined the 1950s look for women, and how you can bring that retro beauty look to life.

Hairstyles Trends of the 1950s

The 1950s era was known for introducing a variety of hairstyles that many women still wear to this day. Classic hairstyles, such as the “pageboy,” were popular. Another classic style was known as the “short back and sides,” which entailed short haircuts in the back cascading down into longer, curly tresses on the sides and the front.

For longer hair, the loose and wavy “Marilyn Monroe curls” were the go-to look. Women brought out their hot rollers to create these shiny curls and then brushed them out for a voluminous yet soft and wavy effect. Another iconic hairstyle was the “updo,” which remains popular today. This elegant hairstyle involved pulling the hair up and styling it into a sleek bun or chignon, often with a headband or decorative hairpiece. Women also adorned these updos with a single long strand of pearls, creating an elegant and timeless look.

Makeup Trends of the 1950s

The 1950s makeup trends were all about defining the features. Bold red lips, perfectly winged eyeliner, and rosy blush were the staples of the era. Women’s eyebrows were neatly shaped and defined with pencil or powder in a natural arch. Highly pigmented matte red lipstick was the must-have color, drawing attention to the lips. Pairing this bold look with cat-eye shaped eyeliner made for a powerful yet feminine look.

However, not all the makeup trends were bold and colorful. Many women also embraced a more natural look with subtle shades of beige or pink lipstick and mascara. Soft eyeliner and pastel eye-shadow also were popular looks for the more casual beauty days.

Beauty Accessories of the 1950s

The 1950s style was all about adding an extra touch of glamour with the right accessories. The beauty accessory of the era was cat-eye glasses, made fashionable by many iconic women like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. These glasses helped frame the face while giving the wearer a sophisticated and polished look.

Another popular accessory was the scarf. Women often wore scarves loosely tied around their neck, draped over their shoulders, or tied into their hairstyles as a decorative accent. Headbands, hair clips, and hats with delicate veiling were also popular accessories that adorned many women’s heads in the 1950s.

In conclusion, the 1950s era was known for its classic style, sophistication and timeless beauty looks. These beauty standards still inspire women today, as they are versatile and have truly stood the test of time. You too can bring the 1950s’ retro look to life with these hairstyles, makeup and beauty trends that defined the era.

How to Create a Vintage Outfit with Womens 1950s Fashion

Womens 1950s fashion is a popular style today as it revisits classic pieces that exude sophistication and femininity. Here are some tips on how to create a vintage outfit using key pieces and accessories from the 1950s fashion era, and add your own flair to create a truly unique look:

1. Choose the Right Dress Style

For a 1950s inspired dress, choose from styles like the swing dress, shirtwaist dress, or the pencil dress. A swing dress has a fitted bodice and a flared skirt that drapes away from the waist, giving a flowy and playful feel. The shirtwaist dress is trapeze-shaped and has a cinched waist, with a button-down front and collared neckline. The pencil dress is more fitted than the swing or shirtwaist dress, accentuating curves, and is often paired with a jacket or cardigan to create a complete look.

2. Accessorize with Vintage Jewellery

Vintage jewellery is an essential element in a 1950s outfit. Choose pieces like pearl or diamond drop earrings, a brooch, or a necklace with a pendant. Adding a touch of bling to your outfit will elevate it to the next level.

3. Add a Timeless Jacket

A jacket can complete a 1950s outfit, especially when paired with a pencil dress. Choose a timeless jacket like a tweed blazer or a leather jacket to add a touch of sophistication and edge to your outfit.

4. Play with Hairstyles

Experiment with different hairstyles like the classic pin-up style, the beehive, or the French twist. These styles will complement a vintage outfit perfectly.

  • For a pin-up style, curl your hair in loose waves and pin the sides up, leaving the top and back loose.
  • For a beehive, backcomb and tease the crown of your hair to create volume. Pin it up and smooth out the sides.
  • For a French twist, start by making a ponytail. Twist the tail and secure with pins, tucking in any stray hairs. Pull out a few strands at the front to frame your face.

Now that you have the tips to rock your retro outfit with womens 1950s fashion, have fun putting together your perfect look!

Where to Find Womens 1950s Fashion Pieces Today

The 1950s was an iconic time for fashion, with popular styles such as the swing dress, high-waisted pencil skirts, and kitten heels. If you’re looking to rock the retro look, there are plenty of ways to find authentic or vintage-inspired pieces today.

Vintage Shops

One of the best places to find genuine 1950s fashion is at vintage shops or thrift stores. Take some time to browse through the racks and see what catches your eye. Don’t be afraid to try on different styles and sizes, as vintage clothing often has different measurements than modern apparel. If you’re lucky, you may even find some pieces from iconic fashion brands such as Dior or Chanel.

Online Retailers

If you don’t have any vintage or thrift stores in your area, don’t worry! There are plenty of online retailers that specialize in vintage or retro-inspired clothing. Websites such as ModCloth and Unique Vintage offer a wide range of 1950s-style dresses, skirts, and accessories. You can also check out popular online marketplaces like Etsy or eBay, where individuals sell vintage clothing they’ve collected over the years.

Specialty Stores

There are also specialty stores that focus on vintage or retro fashion. These stores often sell reproductions of 1950s fashion pieces, which are made to look just like the real thing. The advantage of buying reproductions is that you can get the 1950s look without having to worry about stains, tears, or other damage that vintage clothing may have accumulated over the years. Some popular stores in this category include Pinup Girl Clothing and Bernie Dexter.


If you have some crafting skills, you can also try making your own 1950s-inspired clothing. There are plenty of sewing patterns and tutorials available online that can guide you through the process. Making your own clothing allows you to customize the style and fit to your liking, ensuring that you end up with a unique and flattering piece.


Finally, if you’re only aiming for a one-time 1950s look, you may want to consider renting your outfit. Rental stores that offer vintage clothing are becoming increasingly popular, as they give you the chance to wear something truly unique without committing to buying it. This is also a great option if you’re attending a themed party or event and want to dress the part without spending a fortune.

Caring for Your Womens 1950s Fashion Pieces

Womens 1950s fashion is iconic and timeless, and with proper care, you can keep your retro pieces in excellent condition. Follow these tips to ensure your vintage wardrobe lasts for years to come:

1. Store Your Pieces Properly

The way you store your 1950s fashion pieces is crucial in preserving their condition. Keep your garments in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight. Avoid hanging heavy pieces like jackets and coats to prevent stretching and misshaping. Instead, fold them neatly and store them in a drawer or on a shelf. Use acid-free tissue paper to stuff sleeves and give shape to skirts and dresses.

2. Learn How to Wash Your Retro Clothing

Cleaning your vintage wardrobe can be tricky, as many pieces require special care. Always read the care label before washing your garment, and follow the instructions carefully. For delicate items like silk, hand-washing in cold water is recommended, while wool can be washed in cool water on a gentle cycle. Use mild detergent and avoid bleach and fabric softeners, which can damage the fabric.

3. Pay Attention to Stains

If your retro garment has a stain, deal with it as soon as possible. Blot the stain with a clean cloth or paper towel, and avoid rubbing, which can make the stain worse. Use a gentle stain remover or a solution of white vinegar and water. If you’re unsure how to treat a particular stain, take your garment to a professional cleaner.

4. Keep Your Retro Accessories in Good Condition

Accessories like hats, gloves, and handbags are essential to completing your 1950s fashion look. To keep them in top condition, store them in a dedicated drawer or box, away from direct sunlight. Don’t crush or fold hats and use a soft-bristled brush to clean them. Clean leather and suede accessories with a damp cloth and a specialized cleaner.

5. Be Gentle with Your Vintage Jewelry

1950s jewelry is delicate and can easily tarnish or break. Store your pieces in a jewelry box or a dedicated compartment in your wardrobe. Avoid exposing your jewelry to water, perfumes, and hair sprays, which can damage the metal and gems. Clean your jewelry with a soft cloth and a specialized cleaner, and handle it with care.

6. Bring Your Garments to a Professional Cleaner

Some retro garments require specialized cleaning, and taking them to a professional cleaner can ensure they stay in excellent condition. Look for a cleaner that specializes in vintage clothing and has experience with delicate fabrics and embellishments. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and make sure the cleaner understands your requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions Answers
Can I wear 1950s fashion today? Absolutely! Fashion from the 1950s has a timeless quality to it, and many of the styles have become classics. You can easily incorporate vintage pieces or retro-inspired looks into your wardrobe today.
What are some key elements of 1950s fashion? Some key elements of 1950s fashion include full skirts, fitted waists, and bold prints. Accessories like cat-eye glasses, pearls, and scarves were also popular.
Where can I find womens 1950s fashion today? You can find vintage 1950s fashion at thrift stores, vintage shops, and online marketplaces like Etsy and eBay. There are also many modern brands that offer retro-inspired styles.
How can I style 1950s fashion pieces? To style 1950s fashion pieces, try pairing a full skirt with a fitted top and a pair of heels. Add accessories like a scarf or a string of pearls for a complete retro look. You can also mix and match vintage pieces with modern items for a more contemporary outfit.
What was the style of womens shoes in the 1950s? In the 1950s, women’s shoes had a pointed toe and a high heel. Styles like pumps, slingbacks, and loafers were popular. Some shoes featured decorative elements like bows or buckles.
What hairstyles were popular in the 1950s? In the 1950s, women’s hairstyles often featured soft waves or curls, and were typically worn in a bouffant or beehive style. Ponytails and pixie cuts were also popular. Accessories like headbands and hair scarves were common.

Thanks for Reading!

We hope you enjoyed learning more about how to rock a retro look with women’s 1950s fashion. Whether you’re a vintage enthusiast or just looking to add some classic pieces to your wardrobe, incorporating retro-inspired styles can add a fun and unique touch to your personal style. Remember to check back for more fashion tips and inspiration!

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