Fashion From the 50s: Retro Styles You Can Wear Today

Fashion From the 50s: Retro Styles You Can Wear Today

Fashion from the 50s is back in a big way! Retro styles from the 1950s are making a huge comeback and can be seen everywhere from the red carpets to the high street. In this article, we will explore the iconic looks of the 50s and how you can recreate the classic styles for a modern look. From the glamorous evening wear of the 50s to the casual looks of the day, you'll find the perfect look for any occasion. So let's take a journey back in time and explore the timeless fashion from the 50s.

New look, new you, with vintage 1950s flare. The 1950s fashion trends of the past are now making a huge comeback in modern fashion. If you want to style your own 50s inspired look, you’re in the right place to find inspiration for your new wardrobe. 

1950s Fashion Icons that Inspired Trends

The 1950s was a point of change in fashion as the transition from the post-war 1940s to designer fashion made for the masses. Designers such as Christian Dior, and Givenchy were extremely influential in fashion during the 1950s, but, there were also many other beloved icons that helped to shape the 50s fashion trends. 


Marilyn 50s style icon

One of the world’s most loved sex icons, Marilyn Monroe is still a household name today. It is no wonder that her flirty yet glamorous style helped to inspire fashion trends in the 1950s. There’s no mistaking her platinum blonde hair, red lips, and iconic beauty spot. 

Hepburn: 1950s style icon

Audrey Hepburn, star of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Sabrina often worked with designer Givenchy who created her well-known black dress worn by Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the gold gown worn in Sabrina. 

elvis: 1950s style icon

Who could forget the king of rock and roll? Elvis Presley, the poster boy of the 1950s inspired a generation of rockabilly fashion with his rocker-chic look and guyliner paired with high waist trousers

1950s headwear vintage photo

Both on-screen and off-screen, Grace Kelly’s outfits were some of the most talked-about looks of the 1950s. She was known for her classic and timeless beauty and stunning wardrobe that was emulated by manufacturers for the masses.

The Fun Style Staples of the 1950s 

1950s modern dress

Tea-length swing dresses with petticoats

One of the two main styles of dresses in the 1950s, the full skirt tea-length dress, also known as the 50s swing dress was worn both out and about and at home. Typically these shin-length dresses were worn with a light petticoat underneath to add a little extra fullness to the skirt. 

These dresses can be paired with kitten heels and some jewelry for a casual look. 

1950s womens dresses illustration

Slim sheath dresses and tailored suits

The polar opposite of the 50s swing dress, slim sheath dresses and tailored suits were also popular choices for women in the 1950s. These dresses were a great choice for parties and going out on the town and were often made of silk, lace, damask, velvet, or taffeta.

Pair a cute black sheath dress with a pair of stiletto shoes and you’re ready for anything. 

1950s skirts for women: vintage photograph

The 1950s Skirts

The skirts of the 1950s came in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. The most popular styles being a pencil, circle skirts, and poodle skirts for daring teens. 

Whether they were plaid, pastel, or printed, many of the skirts also featured hidden pockets on the outside which were trimmed with piping.

You can style your perfect 1950s skirt look with a blouse tucked into the skirt band and a wide cinch belt

1950s capris

Capri pants, high waisted jeans

While skirts and dresses were definitely popular in the 1950s, more and more women became comfortable wearing pants outside of the home. High waisted jeans and capri pants were a casual staple for many women as the styles narrowed down at the hip and legs to help show off their womanly figure.

You can easily pair some capri pants with a twin set cardigan or peter pan collared blouse for a casual 50s look.

womens 1950s fashion illustration

Swing coats in winter

Staying warm during the winter months had to be fashionable during the 1950s. While most jackets in the 1950s were light and thin, coats were made to be big and bulky. Long winter coats were all the rage as they were needed to fit over the big fluffy skirts while still maintaining a clean line. 

Most of these coats were made of wool, fleece, camel hair, tweed, fur, and cashmere, but you can find the 1950s inspired coats made out of more sustainable fabrics today. 

womens 50s shoes

The 1950s Shoe Styles For Women

The most popular styles of shoes during the 1950s for women were kitten heels, saddle shoes, and stiletto heels that paired well with trousers, skirts, or dresses. 

50s fashion accessories

1950s Women’s Accessories 

Many women in the 1950s often accessorized using headwear such as hats, headscarves, and hair flowers, while they accessorized their looks with pearls, animal brooches, sweater clips, gloves, and belts.

Each of these accessories can help you to boost your own modern 1950s throwback style. 

ballerina 50s fashion

1950s Lingerie

Lingerie of the 1950s was fairly simple, usually just a buttlet bra, girdle, and back seam stockings.  

mens suits 50s illustration

Men’s slacks 

In the 1950s many men chose to wear slacks made of linen, light wool, or polyester for comfort. 

These slacks were comfortable but fashion-forward enough to allow men to dress down for the office while remaining professional. 

The 1950s men’s style slacks can be paired with a casual jacket or shirt for a comfortable look.

Men’s Belts 

Since close-fitting waistlines meant men no longer had to wear suspenders, thin belts became extremely popular during the 1950s as a sleek yet practical accessory.

50s socks for men

Knee-high socks

Men’s socks became a bit taller in the 1950s as wearing patterned knee-high socks with shorts became a fashion trend.

1950s vintage style photograph men and womens fashion

Men’s 1950s shorts

As casual wear became a staple for many people in the 1950s, men’s shorts got a little smaller and a whole lot more comfortable. These shorts usually hit mid-thigh and were worn with knee-high socks for a fun look.

If you want to style a fun 1950s look for summer, pair a casual polo shirt, shorts, and high tops.

1950s preppy mens fashion

The 1950s Men’s Shirts

Men in the 1950s had a variety of choices when it came to shirts. Knit shirts, which closely resemble modern-day polo shirts were all the rage when paired with shorts or casual trousers. 

However, they also could be found wearing shirt jackets that were a blend of button-down shirts and lightweight jackets and even t-shirts. 

50s retro mens fashion: bomber jackets

Bomber Jacket

With a short waist, ribbed waistband, cuffs, and a front zipper, bomber jackets became an iconic go-to piece in the 1950s.

If you want a stylish jacket to pair with your sleek 1950s look, bomber jackets are a great choice

50s fashion: retro sneakers

Men’s Footwear 

Men’s footwear in the 1950s varied between saddle shoes, blue suede shoes, and even converse. Whether you were looking for comfort or professional, these shoes paired well with all of the iconic fashion staples of the 50s. 

As vintage fashion becomes more and more popular in the modern era, it has become easier to create your perfect 1950s look. Which style is your favorite?

Do you prefer skirts or casual pants? Comment below and share. 

Credit image source: trendspottter


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