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Throwback Outfits: All About 50s Outfits


As we all know, “fashion comes in cycles”, our fashion trends often come back. Today we are going to talk about throwback outfits. I will divide this series into four parts according to the progression of years: 50s, 80s, 90s and 00s! Please stay tuned.

When working on the theme of this series, I couldn’t help but think of a TV series from a few years ago, Why Women Kill. This TV series happened to be divided into three very representative time points, allowing people to directly feel the difference in clothing of the era.


TV series: Why Women Kill
TV series: Why Women Kill


50s Fashion

Beth Ann of Why Women Kill lived in the United States in the 1960s, and the fashion of that era was very similar to that of the 50s. But when it comes to TV series set in this era, from the drama The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, we can also intuitively see the fashion of 50s throwback outfits.

Why Women Kill Beth Ann
Beth Ann, Why Women Kill

The story of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel takes place in the United States in the 1950s, and the entire show is filled with the exquisite atmosphere of a retro celebrity. It is said that in order to truly restore the feeling of the year, the crew customized nearly 5,000 sets of costumes, which can be said to have set off a small wave of retro trends to a certain extent.

50s clothes: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

We might as well take a closer look at the fashionable elements of the 1950s. Cocoon coats, sailor suits, sweetheart necklines, waist-cinching dresses, etc. were all popular fashion keywords at that time. I believe many people will notice that Mrs. Maisel’s clothing is colorful and bright. That is because the United States experienced the post-war period and the clothing got rid of the dullness and restraint during the war.

Women during the war took on some of the men’s jobs, abandoning their pretty skirts and wearing work clothes.

Women wearing work clothes in 1950s

Until 1947, the “NEW LOOK” created by Mr. Christian Dior once again aroused women’s longing for beauty. It must be said that Mr. Dior influenced the entire fashion field of the 1950s.

Dior NEW LOOK- 1950s fashion trend

The characteristics of the “NEW LOOK” series of clothing are: tight-fitting tops and jackets, slender waists, bulging arms, A-line skirts that are longer than the knees, and discounted thick material skirts. The fashionable and elegant styles are instantly popular. World trend.


50s Shoes Trend

In the 1950s, black and white saddle shoes became popular among teenagers. Of course, how could girls let them go? After all it looks perfect with a skirt and jeans. Other casual shoes include white lace-up flat sneakers (Ked classic), black ballet shoes, lace-up Oxford shoes, etc. In summer, girls prefer to wear sandals or canvas shoes.

1950s women shoes

For semi-formal events, girls will wear “Outing Shoes”, small thick heels made of light and soft materials. Or you may wear kitten heels with a heel height of 1.5-3 inches (also very popular nowadays). Many shoes have decorative elements on the toe box, such as bows, crystal clips, or fun painted designs.

1950s women shoes Outing Shoes

For evening high heels, choose stiletto heels. Strappy high-heeled sandals are also fashionable evening shoes, especially in black, but teenagers prefer clear dance shoes, like Cinderella. Wedge shoes, popular in the 1940s, were equally popular in the 1950s.


1950s women shoes stiletto heels


50s Bags Trend

Before talking about bags, let’s take a look at the gloves that go with bags. In the 1950s, there was one indispensable item, and that was gloves. Gloves were usually sold with bags, belts, hats, wallets and other items.

You must know that at that time, women did not dare to go out without the perfect combination of accessories.

1950s gloves that go with bags

Among the famous popular bags of the 1950s, the first one was the Chanel 2.55 bag. The 2.55 handbag was founded in February 1955 (hence the name 2.55). This bag has been popular since the day it was born, and is known as “a must-have bag for women in their lives.”

Chanel 2.55 handbag

The second bag from the 1950s that has become popular today is the Hermès “Kelly”. In 1956, Grace Kelly, the Oscar-winning actress and Princess of Morocco, was photographed by a magazine wearing an Hermès travel bag to cover her pregnant belly. Since then, this Hermès travel bag has been called “Kelly”.

Herms vintage Kelly shoulder bag

The last one came from Jacqueline Kennedy, the fashionable presidential wife who was also a fashion icon at the time. Gucci’s hobo bag is very popular with Jacqueline, and she has been photographed by the media carrying this bag many times. This led Gucci to rename it the “Jackie” bag in the 1960s.

Gucci's Jackie bag

Of course, in addition to these three famous bags, the 1950s was a styling era that was also reflected in the bags. In order to adapt to the NEW LOOK, bags in the 1950s reduced their size but increased their internal volume. These bags are stiff and stylish, and are also called granny bags.

1950s purses handbags granny bags

Another very important factor that affected bags in the 1950s was the application of new materials. In the 1950s, bags made of various materials appeared, such as transparent plastic models, rattan woven models and other different materials. The invention of fasteners also gave bags more room for styling. Various tubular styles Bucket bags, round can bags, hexagonal bags and other styles.

1950s transparent plastic bag and other bags

In the late 1950s, summer bags showed a new trend, and picnic bags became the fashionable style of the season. Available in various sizes, it is suitable for women to carry on vacation. It can also be called a beach bag. There was also an interesting bag shape in the 1950s, with fixed drawstring pockets and a visual collision between soft and hard.

1950s picnic bags


50s Dress

First of all, let’s introduce the most frequent appearance among Mrs. Maisel. The waist-cinching A-line dress has become popular since “NEW LOOK”. We may think it is not suitable for daily wearing now, but the shirt-style waisted A-line dress was the most popular style at the time.

1950s dresses

Daily waist-cinching A-line dresses are usually made of cotton, with patterns such as florals, polka dots, plaids, and stripes printed on them. The sleeve length is about 3/4 of the arm and is designed with large pockets, belts, collars and other parts. This kind of skirt also needs to be worn with a light petticoat.


50s Tops

In the 1940s, women’s tops were mainly white or ivory. In the 1950s, rich colors became the personal style.

Women’s exclusive ruffles or lace tops are gradually being replaced by men’s button-down shirts. Button-down shirts can re-outline women’s body curves, bringing a more casual yet elegant visual effect.

The characteristics of the 1950s top style design are: a fitted waist shape that fits the body shape but is not tight. Sleeve lengths vary, and sleeveless, short-sleeved, and long-sleeved are all common. However, the puffy sleeves that were popular in the 1940s became outdated in the 1950s.

1950s tops throwback outfits

Bows were the most popular element in the 1950s. In the early 1950s, various pleated laces or fine pleats were more popular as decorations on tops. Shirt buttons were generally smaller and usually white. For more advanced ones, pearls were used as buttons.

Popular colors are pink, teal, red, light blue, etc., and prints are plaid, stripes, fonts, polka dots, flowers, etc. In the 1950s, the way to wear a summer shirt style top was to tuck the hem into the bottom or tie the hem crosswise with a bow, and open 2-3 buttons from the collar to expose the collarbone.

1950s tops with bows


50s Bottoms

Bottoms are divided into skirts and pants. It is said to be a skirt, but it is actually similar to a dress. The most popular skirts in the 1950s were either very full or very close-fitting.

A continuation of NEW LOOK, the full A-line skirts include sun skirts, layered cake skirts, pleated skirts, and poodle skirts with special prints. It is mainly made of cotton or wool felt fabric and usually needs to be worn with a wide belt.

1950s bottoms throwback outfits

The representative of close-fitting is the pencil skirt. Pencil skirts are generally made of solid color, plaid or houndstooth fabrics. It can perfectly show the charm of women’s curves, but it will be very inconvenient to walk. Some styles will have a pleat on the back skirt to facilitate women’s movement, but women who love to dance rarely wear pencil skirts.

Shorts are called “short shorts” and are the most popular style of retro shorts among retro enthusiasts now. Length is about 6 inches above the knee, has the classic 1950s high-waisted silhouette and side zippers, and usually has small slip pockets or patch pockets. The waist and hips will be tight to the body shape, and the hem of the pants will be wide at the foot.

1950s bottoms skirts throwback outfits


50s Evening Dress

Dior’s NEW LOOK is inspired by the clothing of the Victorian era in the mid-19th century. However, compared to the heavy cake skirts and hoop skirts of the Victorian era, the evening dresses of the 1950s were based on the silhouettes of the Victorian era. Use tulle, silk, lace and other materials combined with embroidery, beads and other techniques to create evening skirts.

1950s evening dresses throwback outfits

The most representative dress in the 1950s was the cocktail dress. This kind of dress usually left the shoulders and chest relatively exposed, with a V-shaped or heart-shaped neckline; an A-shaped or H-shaped skirt, and calf-length skirt; Between casual and formal, you can attend an earlier party or a formal dance in the evening. Because the clothing design is compact and casual, it can make the wearer look younger. Therefore, it is loved by women from all walks of life.

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