This is a question I get asked A LOT.
What makes an outfit 1950’s styled ?
I would love to know what makes music, furniture and cars definitively 50’s but I’ll leave that to people who are WAY more qualified to answer that.
We’re talking 50’s style and it’s usually about what I’m wearing and I want to share with you what I know about 50’s inspired styling.
Well that’s just it….. it’s 50’s styled. It’s how you wear an outfit. How you accessorise. Yes, you could just wear true vintage 50’s clothing but that on it’s own doesn’t make how you look 50’s. It is all about how you style it using jewellery. Decorating your hair with silk flowers or wearing head scarfs and hair bands. How you style your hair. How much make up you wear and how. What shoes you wear and the handbag you have too.
In the 1950’s style was about an hour glass figure, or creating the illusion of one using a petticoat under a dress or skirt, the full circle skirts, nipped in waists, petticoats, sweetheart necklines, seemed stocking, kitten healed shoes. Holllywood wave hair styles, as worn by the film stars, and now recreated for a pin up look, think Dita Von Teese. Victory rolls were still very popular, but mainly, ladies had short(ish) hair, set with rollers to create curled hair. Fabric gloves, short beads, simple jewellery all add up to the key pieces of clothing and accessories that were worn in the 50’s. Not forgetting the iconic red lipstick.
I don’t actually own a single piece of true 50’s clothing. Not all my wardrobe is vintage and retro inspired brands either. I own lot’s of modern high street brands and even supermarket branded clothing and still get complements on my 50’s style.
OMG, I know! There’s 2 reasons why I don’t own any true vintage clothes. One is because none of it would fit me. All the women were a lot slimmer back then. And two, I wouldn’t want to wear it as I would be to scared I would spill something on it or I would mess up washing it. Well 3 actually, finding and buying true vintage 50’s clothing is time consuming and can be really expensive. So that would make my 2nd reason even more of an excuse not to wear it. And lets face it, beautiful clothes are meant to be worn, so I’ll leave the true vintage for the braver ladies to wear.
So what makes my style 50’s?
I love the rockabilly look, it’s a more relaxed casual 50’s style, a bit of a throwback to the 40’s ladies working in the factories. It’s denim jackets, skirts, high waisted jeans and a cropped cardi or jumper. High waisted pencil skirts and shirts. Full circle skirts and blouses. Dresses I can put a cropped cardi with. Of course wearing cherry print, my favorite print. I very often wear my hair in a head scarf. I barrel curl my fringe and sometimes put a flower at the side, not a huge one, just so I look less Hilda Ogden and more Rita Rivet.
This look is perfect for me as I don’t have lot’s of time to set my hair and to wear a pin up look every day. I save this more glam look for when I’m going out, or on days when I do have more time.There are lot’s of ladies who wear 50’s glamour every day and they look FABULOUS.
So next time you are out shopping, have a look at the outline of a dress. Would it create a shape you can then accessorise it to style it 50’s? Is the cardigan cropped and can you wear it with high waisted trousers?
Start with one item of 50’s styled clothing and grow your 50’s inspired style from that. The more you look, the more you will find and the easier it will be to spot 50’s style among the rails.
Happy 50’s styling.