1950s Clothing Ideas

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Poodle skirts and glasses were one fashion trend during the 1950s.
Poodle skirts and glasses were one fashion trend during the 1950s. (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Like any era, the 1950s had its own sense of style and fashion. Trends ranged from conservative to rebellious, with cultural icons such as Elvis Presley and Marlon Brando adding their own influence on the way people dressed. If you are looking to duplicate a specific 1950s look, try browsing through your closet or a vintage store to find the appropriate attire.

The Suit

If you're a man looking to duplicate the clean-cut conservative look of the 1950s, invest in a gray flannel suit, which became an archetype of male fashion during the era. Generally, these suits were charcoal gray and lacked a back vent. The suits were single breasted and contained two or three buttons which were widely spaced from one another. To complete the look, obtain a crew cut and hide it underneath a fedora hat, also gray in color. Accent your feet with a penny loafer, a style of shoe that slips onto your foot.

The Ladies

Although it originated in the 1940s, the "New Look" -- created by Christian Dior -- continued to gain popularity in the 1950s. If you're a woman looking to recapture this look, invest in a form fitting billowing dress with soft shoulders. The waist should be tight to accent the hour-glass figure look. Add stiletto heels and wrist length gloves to complete the look. If you wish to wear your hair out, keep it long and curled. If not, wear a tiny hat with feathers and a veil.

The Rebel

Both James Dean and Marlon Brando had a huge influence on the look and style of teenage boys, especially those looking to rebel against the "establishment." If you're looking to recapture this rebellious look, purchase a white T-shirt and tuck it in to your form-fitting blue jeans. Add a leather jacket, leather boots and grease back your hair to complete the look. If so inspired, cuff the bottom of your jeans, allowing the gray interior to be seen. Elvis Presley also influenced the teenage male, causing them to slick back their hair in a duck tail -- instead of the more conservative crew cut -- while sporting brightly colored suits and unbuttoned shirts that were loose. The shirt collar was typically turned upwards.

The Teenage Girl

Teenage girls during the 1950s dressed in a conservative manner, at least compared to some of the female fashion trends of 2011. If you're looking to recapture the look of a 1950s teenage girl, invest in a pleated skirt. The skirt should be tight around the waist, brightly colored and billowing out towards the bottom. A striped peppermint shirt -- fully buttoned -- and a leather cinch belt will accent the look. For the feet, slip into black and white saddle oxfords and wear ankle-high white bobby socks. Put your hair into a ponytail, allowing it to whip around as you hit the dance floor.

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