50s Fashion for Women


Women could choose from many fashionable looks for daily wear, such as housewife attire, and bright casual styles, such as sheath dresses or capri pants that reached mid-calf height. Capri pants could even be layered up overskirt dresses for added depth.

Blouses featured an assortment of patterns ranging from gingham to small polka dots. Sleeve lengths ranged from sleeveless to 3/4 sleeves, and many had vertical pintucks, small bows, or white or pearl buttons for embellishment.


Women were known to favor shirt-style blouses during the 1950s. Made of light fabrics such as organdy, chiffon silk, or cotton with a small collar made up of organdy, chiffon or silk, many featured embroidery, lace trim, or bows, while others had short or wide sleeves with either short or long cuffs – and could be worn both formal or casually with pants and skirts or jeans for an effortless look.

As material rationing ended, hemlines became ground-sweeping or calf-length, with floral and gingham prints becoming common. Sleeves also became less formal; cap and jewel necklines became popular daytime dresses.

Christian Dior’s New Look style, popular during this era, emphasized feminine forms with sloped shoulders and tiny corseted waists; due to a baby boom, maternity clothing was also in demand.

Cardigan sweaters were an effective way to stay warm during the fifties. Many were worn alongside dresses or skirts to form twin sets; these outfits became incredibly fashionable during warmer weather when worn alongside khaki chinos or Bermuda shorts.

Flannel and plaid button-down shirts were an iconic men’s style during this era, usually worn with wingtip oxford shoes or penny loafers to complete a preppy look. Ivy League fashion was also very prevalent during this time with its more textured wardrobe of wool sweaters or cardigans worn over Oxford shirts and plaid skirts or slacks, an early form of today’s preppy fashion.


One of the hallmarks of 50s fashion was its skirts, whether full or fitted, and many boasting patterns or prints. They could range from complete to fitted styles with vibrant patterns; many even featured prints or designs to complete this timeless look that was worn year-round; in Spring, pastel block cotton dresses were especially popular as these would feature tight-fitting bodices with full skirts that nipped at waistline; matching shoes and handbags would complete their ensemble perfectly. As time progressed, more tailored looks emerged using short skirts in neutral tones;

Trousers were another popular option. These fashionable pants ranged from tight-cropped capri pants to wider-leg styles. They could feature anything from tight cinched capri legs or wide leg styles with side slash pockets that zipped up at the back rather than a front for an informal but intelligent casual appearance. They could also be tucked into blouses to complete this bright casual look.

As the decade progressed, teenagers gradually separated themselves from their mother’s styles to adopt rockabilly and beatnik fashions. This trend was partly shaped by music’s impactful role in youth culture.

Christian Dior made waves in fashion when he unveiled the revolutionary New Look in 1940. This look featured a tight-fitting top half with padded busts and a full skirt that fell just above the knee – adopted by many women at that time as it emphasized a natural waist and gave flattering figures.

Popular skirts during this era included the poodle skirt. Crafted from felt, this style could feature one color or a pattern similar to dog poodles. As intelligent casual attire, they were worn with blouses tucked into them and flat or saddle shoes, perfect for beach trips, picnics, or dates!

Shorts & Trousers

In 1954, fashion changed dramatically. Women began seeking out softer silhouettes that showed off a well-proportioned bosom and more relaxed waistlines with drapery or belts accenting hips to emphasize hips or raise them nearly two inches higher on their busts – which led Christian Dior to introduce his H-line that did just this.

Trousers came in many fabrics such as gabardine, linen, wool, cotton corduroy, and flannel; women often paired their pants or shorts with a blouse tucked into it; the neckline could range from boat necklines to classic round ones; sleeves were generally 3/4 length with small ruffles or embroidery or pintucks at their ends, and typically two-inch wide wrist cuffs were standard for wrist cuffs; for an added touch some blouses featured embroidered buttons and bows or flowers as details – all ideal.

Casual wear during this decade was known as capris and was initially quite loose, becoming tighter over time. Pants and skirt lengths also decreased as we moved deeper into the decade; pedal pushers, clam diggers, and Bermuda shorts became increasingly fashionable during the later part of the 1950s.

Overall, the look was one of sophistication and femininity. Many girls wore matching outfits with their mothers or sisters – including younger children! This trend was encouraged by fashion press publications; many women were inspired by what they saw on film stars; many had their hair styled to match what was being worn at that time; additionally, some would add tiny hats for special events only.

Evening Gowns

Women wore dresses for special events like church services or dinner parties, such as evening wear or special occasions like dinner parties. Dress styles ranged from full skirt styles, fitted sheaths, or strapless with bustier tops; typically made of silk, but man-made satin was becoming an option as well. Some designs featured embellishments like flowers, bows, or beading, while others came with various patterns and patterned decorations such as flowers bows or beading; many designers experimented with new silhouettes during this decade: De Givenchy made gowns featuring structured collars, while Charles James created his incredible “Four Leaf Clover” dress among many other noteworthy creations of this decade.

The “New Look” was still the dominant fashion of this era, though with an altered waistline. Where pre-war, hourglass shapes dominated, this time they took on more fluid lines; hourglass-shape was replaced by an elongated narrow sheath style featuring high v-neck bodices and slim skirts; short sleeve length was often seen among formal designs while muted color palettes became trendy as well as bright-patterned ones.

Although some women criticized the New Look as being backward and outdated, others embraced it to show their feminine charm and exude femininity through dress attire – something dresses proved essential in doing. Dresses became staples of any well-dressed woman’s wardrobe.

Ladies dressed appropriately during this era were expected to complete their ensemble with matching costume jewelry and gloves, boxy purse or clutch, and dainty flat pancake hats for spring through fall or veiled fascinators, pillbox hats, or Juliette caps in wintertime. She may also add a matching fabric or fur cape as warmth against the cold. Take a look through your family photos to see if there are dresses from that period that would be considered appropriate!


Stoles were an integral component of 50s fashion, worn from around the shoulders to the hemline of dresses with fur cuffs or shawl collars and sometimes sporting fringed edges to complete their overall look. Stoles could also be worn casually with jeans and blouses for more relaxed occasions.

Pants for women became sleeker and strappy during the ’50s. Capri pants featured mid-calf length; pedal pushers were slightly longer; Bermuda shorts reached knee length, while tight three-quarter length trousers with ankle cinching were popular as practical alternatives to full skirts; these tight three-quarter length trousers could even be tied around the waist with wide belts, reminiscent of denim jeans; this style became known as Greaser style and made an adorable outfit!

Young girls and teenagers typically opted for the “Sweater Girl” look instead, opting for tight cigarette pants with ballet pumps (or men’s shoes paired with layers of net petticoats for an authentic Beatnik aesthetic) paired with ballet pumps or men’s shoes worn with tight-fitting cigarette pants and ballet pumps (or even men’s shoes) instead of stiff corsetry; wearing tight cigarette pants, ballet pumps (even men’s), layers of net petticoats held out by layers of net petticoats as part of an iconic Beatnik look. Shirt dresses were very popular with teenage girls, especially ones featuring floral prints, white collars, and cuffs reminiscent of Lucille Ball. Housewives would often pair these items as part of twin set outfits which featured cardigan sweaters as part of twin sets featuring both dresses/ skirts as part of twin sets to match cardigan sweaters as part of twin sets featuring matching cardigan sweaters as part of twin sets featuring twin sets consisting of dresses/skirts/shirt dress/skirts/commonly worn as twin sets featuring both cardigan sweaters/shoes//wearable sandals/man’s shoes to achieve Beatnik-like garcon Beatnik look/

Women’s footwear in the 1950s was an array of choices. Saddle shoes, heeled sandals, kitten heels, and Mary Janes were among those available, along with patent leather or fabric flats. Hats remained an integral component of women’s attire during this decade – these included pillbox hats with dainty fascinators attached and flat pancake hats; additionally, visors and scarves tied around the neck completed the ensemble; whether silk or chiffon were popular materials for such scarf ties.