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Where the Fifties is the Present
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1950s Fashion

Disclaimer: This page is controled by Nicole Dyer

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Hair

For women, the fifties hair style was soft and curly. Straight hair was out. Short hair was in. Women often tied their hair back with a scarf, but this was only for casual activities. The fifties look was achieved by a process of pin curling and rolling, there were no blow dryers in the 50's, instead,   these women actually slept in pin curlers and rollers for the perfect curl. Sometimes even that wasn't enough and girls would have to sit in chairs while there Mom drenched there hair with horrific smelling solutions known as a perm.

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For men, fashionable hair was a whole other story. This is where the oh-so-loved ducktail comes in. Also known as the D.A. or the duck butt, this style is achieved by combing the hair to the middle of the head, then making a center part with a rattail comb.  Contributing to the term "greasers" this style required a lot of grease. Sadly, this awesomely cool hair style was worn by few. Most guys took the easy way out and sported a simple crewcut, flat top, or comb over.

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Make Up

The 50's was the decade of the all natural. Peaches 'n cream was the complexion of choice and pastel was the color. Foundation was applied as either a liquid or a powder and reflected the soft femininity of the day. Lips were strictly pastel, especially for younger women. Eyebrows were usually narrowed and blush and eye shadow were minimal...therefore natural and feminine.
Evening was totally different. Women could get away with a more dramatic vivacouse look. Eyeliner was liquid making a sharp highly defined countour and was used manely on the upper lid. Lips were a striking red and were colored lush and full.

The color names of the lipsticks below are:
Lilac Pastel, Apricot Pastel, Honey Pastel, Pink Pastel, Peach Pastel, Strawberry Pastel. And across, Snow Ball of Fire

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Women Fashion


Shirts

The shirt at the right is the basic 50's shirts.  The blouse is simple, the rolled sleeve was popular, as was monogramming.

Below- A young women might wear a halter top, notice how the stomach is barely showing. Unlike today, the look was very discreet. At the right is an example of the many sleeves of the 50's. Including the feminine puff sleeve and the kimono sleeve.

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Dresses

In the 50's women were tought to dress "smartly" from the very beginning. Good grooming and a tailored look was prized. Most often heels and gloves were needed to complete the "every inch a lady" look. Swing skirts and pencil skirts were very popular. The swing skirt introducing the poodle skirt into fashion and the pencil skirt accentuating every curve to obtain an hourglass figure. And yes, a girdle was needed.

At right is an afternoon tea dress with a few feminine touches.

At left, the typical wrap around dress which most moms favored around the house.


Fantasy dresses soon appeared into the mix, inspired by hollywood. In the 50's, every women wanted to be a princess.

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Pants, shorts, and swimwear

Women did not go about casually very often. You did not appear at the store in a pair of shorts. Let alone a bathing suit or a tee shirt. Jeans were present...but only at playtime and around the house. In the 50's no one went anywear looking sloppy. Period.

Oddly, the sailor look was popular. But only the blue outfit would be worn often.

Swim suits were very ladylike, even the most skimyest of two peices covered the belly button.

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Accesories

Gloves were a must in the 50's. Every women had a tons of them. Ladys weren't considered lady like with out them. They completed mostly every outfit.


Scarves were used for almost everything to complete an outfit. They could be worn as a belt, a top, could be tide around your head, and used as a hair tie.



 
Shoes

The saddle shoe is probably the most popular of footwear in the 50's. Everyone had them, everyone wore them. But they were killer on your feet. They were heavy and stiff and you couldn't just throw them in the washer when they got dirty.

The spike or siletto heal became poplular in the 50's. Designed to draw attention to the leg and calf, these things were murder. Gifted with a small heal, business people had to learn how to protect there floors from them.

These shoes were often worn to lunch or shopping.

Flats were appropiate for school. The "ballet" shoe was also pretty popular.

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Undergarmets


Women and teens wore petticoats and girdles. They were uncomfortable, but they were mandatory. Girdles were designed to enhance curves, while petticoats were starched to give skirts, such as the swing skirts, there flow.

The best part of the dat for most women was probably getting all that crap off.

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Men Fashion

The men finally get some recognition. When most people think of 50's fashion for men, they think of people like the Fonz, well...no. The picture at the right shows what it mostly looked like, pretty dull isn't it?
Men didn't really have a wide color choice, their clothes mainly consisted of dark blue, dark brown, and charcoal.

Don't worry though, there were people who looked like the Fonz, but not many. The popular was often called "ivy league" or preppy. Pink was also popular.

Like the sailor outfit for women, the cowboy role was big for the men. And like scarfs and gloves for women, no outfit was finished without a hat.

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And finally...MORE SHOES!

 
References
Fiftiesweb.com
Geocities.com/natalierambo1
Fashion-era.com/1950s_glamour.htm
Petticoatdreams.uk/34865/74102.html
Angelfire.com/retro/lisanostalgia2/50sfashion.html

Where the Fifties is Present to Erik Soderstrom, Sherrill Buford, Kayla Allen, Nicole Dyer and Sara Romine 2005