After the hardships of the wartime years, the 1950s exploded in a riot of colour. Women embraced the hourglass figure of Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’ and wore big petticoats to make their skirts larger, and for the first time teenagers developed their own fun sense of style.

Jean Patchett drinking a glass of milk

Jean Patchett drinking a glass of milk

The stunning 1950s model Jean Patchett reading and drinking a glass of milk (or perhaps a White Russian?) photographed by Irving Penn in 1950. I wonder what she was reading..? Either way, doesn’t she look wonderful?


Marilyn Monroe lighting up

Marilyn Monroe lighting up

If you think how fashionable (and common) smoking was in the 1950s it was pretty inevitable for Marilyn Monroe to smoke, but you very rarely seem to see photos or footage of her smoking. Here’s a photo of her lighting up with Edward R. Morrow, who I think was an American Journalist in the 50s.


Bright scarlet lips and white fingertips

1950s Vogue

Gosh, I’m a poet and I didn’t know it! This is such a lovely cover. It’s from Vogue January 1952 and the colours are beautifully vibrant. Her manicure is wonderful too, I just don’t have the manual dexterity to manage somthing like that! Does anyone know who the model is?


Norma Jeane DiMaggio’s army ID card

Marilyn Monroe's army ID card

Norma Jeane DiMaggio’s (better known as Marilyn Monroe of course) US Department of Defense ID card from 1954. This was presumably issued when she was on a tour entertaining the troups in Korea. You can see photos of her USO tour here and here, which she claimed “was the best thing that ever happened to […]


1950s colourful capri pants

1950s fashions: capri pants

The colours in this 1950s outfit are fabulous aren’t they? I love how much people enjoyed colour in the 50s, I wonder whether it was part of the celebration after the austerity of the war years. Still, hot pink, purple and green all in one outfit? Wowsers!


Marilyn Monroe looking the perfect 1950s lady

Marilyn Monroe 1950s

Marilyn Monroe looks fabulous in this costume test photo from 1954 doesn’t she? I wish I could dress like this, but I guess even in the 1950s only the most well-to-do women had hair, diamonds and furs like this so it would have been far from typical. Still, doesn’t she look wonderful? Does anyone know […]


Marilyn in long leather gloves

Marilyn in long leather gloves

Marilyn photographed wearing very long leather (I think?) gloves and a rather pointy top. I have to say she’s looking smashing though…


Pretty 1950s circle skirt

Pretty 1950s circle skirt

A beautiful flower-print 1950s dress with a big circle skirt on the cover of the 1958 Spiegel Catalog Cover. I love the fact that she’s got a sweater with a matching pattern to the dress!


A 1950s evening gown photographed by Cecil Beaton

A 1950s evening gown photographed by Cecil Beaton

A simply wonderful 1950s evening gown photographed by Cecil Beaton.  I particuarly like Beaton’s fashion photographs, they are always so soft and alluring – absolutely beautiful! The photo was taken in 1953.


Marilyn Monroe’s wiggle

Marilyn Monroe

The one and only Marilyn Monroe and the walk that helped make her famous. What a killer wiggle eh?


Time-lapse train journey: London to Brighton in 1953, 1983 and 2013 side by side


  In 1953 the BBC created a time-lapse video of the train journey between London and Brighton. 30 years later in 1983 they did exactly the same again, and again 30 years later in 2013. This video shows you the 3 journeys side by side showing how much Britain has changed since the 1950s. It’s […]

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