Post World War II- when women had to be tough and resilient- the fashion world saw a revival of the feminine, glamorous style. It was a rebirth of beauty, richness and grace brought on by Christian Dior’s New Look. His revolutionary collection lead to an actual resurgence of Parisian couture- and changed the fashion world forever!
Moving away from the stern fabrics and silhouettes of the 40’s, Dior ushered through the era of ample dresses and fitted tops, wasp waists, rounded hips and busts. In short, he helped shape the 50’s style as we know it- a style I constantly turn to for inspiration. So let me take you through the top 5 50’s fashion trends that inspire me:
The 50′ were undoubtedly a time of glamorous femininity in women’s fashion. And to me, few things look as timelessly elegant and feminine as midi skirts.
Two distinctly different silhouettes were popular at the time- both of which I adore. Hip hugging pencil skirts followed women’s forms very closely, while ample circle skirts created a very flirty (or a very dramatic) look. The common denominator was the waistline though: it always hit right at a woman’s natural waist- or even a bit higher- and cinched it tightly! This helped create the very sought after hourglass shape.
Darling shoes and bags
I think anyone who’s ever scavenged a flee market or vintage shop and ran into a pair of 50’s shoes, fawned over their indescribable cuteness. My personal favorites? The pumps of course! You know I’m a sucker for heels- and ruby red or royal blue ones were among the time’s darlings- and favorites of mine.
And not only were the shoes sweet, but 50’s bags were also swoon worthy! One of my favorite bag trends of the time is the structured purse. Box bags, whimsical and fun creations, polka dot or beaded bags were all the rage- and I can’t help but feel like a quirky little purse can still liven up our modern looks.
And since the 50’s style rules demanded shoes & bags to match, I obliged, of course
Polka dots and stripes
Again, if you come here often enough, you know by now that I’m a fan of prints! Florals, polka dots, stripes, animal prints– I love and collect them all equally. And why not, since they can provide an eye-catching element to any look?
The 50’s were also a great period for print lovers, with many of the more famous costumes of the time being cover in polka dots or lined in sailor stripes. A red top with thin white stripes would not have been out of touch at the time. And a red and black combo would have been totally spot on, chromatically speaking, for any 50’s babe!
Although let’s face it, 90′ babes are not too shabby either 🙂
Pin up hair scarves
Another one of the 50’s fashion trends that inspire me most is their choice of pin up hair scarves! I absolutely love pin up looks- to me they are, in many ways, the epitome of sultry femininity. And one of these looks’ dead giveaways are scarves tied in a bow around locks gathered in a bun.
While my headband is not really from that time period, I feel like it does a pretty good job at evoking those rock’n’roll vibes. Must be all the polka dots!
Makeup: red lips & cat eyes
Ah yes, last but not least- one of the most easily recognizable 50’s trends! The red lips and cat eye makeup look is a staple of that period. And for good reason! The Hollywood divas at the time couldn’t get enough of this glamorous look, and turned it into a trademark. I mean… Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren or Elizabeth Taylor anyone?
It trickled down to the masses, and even though its popularity came and went with the times, I think it’s safe to say it’s now full-on popular again! It also happens to be one of my favorite looks- regardless of being trendy or not- because of the feline-esque, elegant but still bombshell appeal it gives off.
I’m curious to hear where you get your style inspiration from! Do you draw some of it from bygone times? Are there any other 50’s fashion lovers out here? I’d love to know!
Photos by Natalia Bylok, edited by me
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