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To maintain the tiny waist needed to look good in most styles, women wore girdles. A girdle could fit slightly above the waist or just to the waistline. Some girdles extended down to the thigh. Girdles were worn with dresses, skirts, and pants to create a smooth, slim look. Long hair, often worn by young girls, was drawn up into ponytails, or pulled into a French twist for formal occasions.

Short hair was curled at the ends with bobby pins, appearing in fashion magazines for a sophisticated yet free look. While Christian Dior gave birth to 50s fashion with his New Look in , many other designers influenced the decade. Movie stars stood as fashion icons of the 50s, wearing clothing on and off the movie set created for them by fashion designers.

Audrey Hepburn , whose look inspired Givenchy, created an air of youthful grace. With her slim figure, unusual in a time that celebrated a mature hour-glass silhouette, Audrey became a fashion icon still admired and copied today. Grace Kelly 's classic clothing style came across wonderfully in films like Rear Window. Her elegant yet natural style reflected an inner beauty. Hermes created the famous Kelly bag for the actress-turned-princess in order to shield her "baby bump" from the press.

Barbara Billingsley, or as the world knows her, June Cleaver, was a housewife who wore pencil skirts and pearls to clean her home. The iconic 50s TV mother can be seen in reruns for a great look at how women were supposed to dress.

Doris Day symbolized a healthy, girl-next-door beauty combined with a perky kind of sensuality and was often portrayed in films and movie magazines wearing the casual clothing styles that became so popular in the 50s. Much like bohemians of other eras, the beatniks stood against mass consumerism and the conservative ideals of the day. Female beatniks rejected fashion trends and wore their hair long and natural.

They did not use makeup. Unlike the bohemians and later hippies who played with historic styles and clothing concepts, the beatniks wore modern garments in an austere manner.

Beatniks were often portrayed in media as cute, funny characters who wore black turtlenecked shirts and played bongos. In the movie Funny Face, Audrey Hepburn portrayed a beatnik kind of girl who worked in a bookstore. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. Though the famous old hotel was purchased by a Chinese firm to be turned into condominiums and a smaller hotel, they claim they will maintain the archives. Why don't you contact the archivist and see what you can find. Before you do, learn as much as you can about your aunt's store. But as you have a name and general date, you should be able to learn something from them.

Hi Anita - glad you enjoyed! I too love those classic 50s designs but sure would not want to have to wear girdles or wear gloves all the time.

I enjoy your fashions from different decades. Thank you for the vintage fashion reels. The 50's seem like the best time, or one of them, to be an American! So wholesome, innocent, and lovely fashion with beautiful, exciting movie stars like Audrey, Marilyn, Grace, etc.! Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages and Hubbers authors may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.

To provide a better website experience, bellatory. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so. For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: Historical Context of s Fashion.

Pencil Skirts and Big Skirts Tailored suits appeared very feminine, with tight waists and accentuated hips. Popular Prints of the s After the austere colors of the s, prints came back in a big way. Fabric and Technology of the s New advances in mass production allowed for more garments to be manufactured at greater speed and in greater quantity than ever before.

Women in Pants When women pulled on pants to work in the factories during World War II, they discovered a new kind of freedom and comfort.

Accessories of the s Gloves. Short gloves worked with suits or long-sleeved garments and were also worn in warmer months. Undergarments A well dressed woman wore a variety of undergarments including a bra and panties.

Hairstyles of the s Long hair, often worn by young girls, was drawn up into ponytails, or pulled into a French twist for formal occasions.

Bangs, worn with both short and longer hairstyles, were worn short and curled. Influential Fashion Designers of the s While Christian Dior gave birth to 50s fashion with his New Look in , many other designers influenced the decade. Clare McCardell, an American designer, had introduced a casual country-girl look to clothing in the 40's using denim and gingham.

She continued to design clothing throughout the 50's. His designs offered a looser style that released women from stiffly structured tailored garments. Caftans Kaftans for Women. Resort Wear with Sleeves. Short Sleeve Plus Gowns. Long Sleeve Plus Gowns. Plus Size Peignoir Sets. Plus Size Casual Dresses. Plus Size Dresses with Sleeves. Plus Size Sundresses and Summer Dresses.

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