Following on from last week’s guide to getting yourself a 1940s-themed outfit for Goodwood Revival, I’m moving onto one of the most popular decades for vintage: 1950s today. Perhaps one of the most recognizable decades, the Fifties were the decade of Dior’s New Look with its full skirts and nipped-in waists as well as the super-sexy wiggle dress and some very elegant tailoring.
Ladies – don’t forget that a hat and some gloves will finish off any 1950s outfit to perfection!
Fit and Flare
The iconic silhouette of the 1950s is a nipped in waist and full skirt. You’ll find this in infinite variations: from poodle patterned teen dresses to smart belted jackets with full skirts. Think of your fashion inspiration: do you want to dress like Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe or Sandy from Grease?
Smart tailoring was ever popular in the 50s, with the popular pencil skirt being worn with a nipped-in jacket. Don’t forget your hat and little white gloves!
50s Fashions for the Men:
There are so many different fashions for men to choose from if you’re looking for a 1950s look. Who do you want to be? James Dean or Elvis, Frank Sinatra in the Rat Pack or Gregory Peck? If you’re at a loss, go for a smart tailored suit or some retro racing overalls (teamed with a flat cap or racing goggles) and you’ll look fabulous!
The main thing to remember was that the Fifties was a decade of enjoying fashion after the austerity of the war years. So whether it’s bright beautiful colours, fun prints or decadent elegant full skirts the idea is to have some fun with it!
Where To Buy:
There are no rules saying that you have to go for an original vintage outfit rather than a reproduction or fancy dress outfit, but original vintage does look WAY better. Fancy dress always does LOOK like fancy dress. The problem with buying original vintage is that it’s harder to find something in your size which is why it’s good to start looking as early as possible.
Here are some of my favourite places for buying 1950s vintage: the vintage section of Etsy is a great place to look, as is eBay (although that can be a bit like trawling through a flea-market). Independent stores which have a great selection of 50 vintage are The Best Vintage Clothing (they ship from the USA so make sure you leave enough time for delivery). Other great stores which sell vintage or repro 1950s clothing are 20th Century Foxy and Heydey Vintage.
Next up will be how to dress in 1960s fashion for Goodwood Revival so don’t forget to check back or subscribe so you don’t miss out!
Photos copyright and used with kind permission from Matt Hind at Men’s File.
Oh my! I admire (and am intimidated by) the woman in the blue suit and red hat–stunning. All of these photo are marvelous. Isn’t it fun to see 1940s and 1950s real people wearing real colors–black and white photos are cool, but color fires the imagination.
Absolutely, she does look rather formidable doesn’t she! The colours really make everything spectacular…
Some of these are breathe taking. Wow. My two faves are girl with fur collar and mixed skin bag and the green dress with lace ‘coat’. Can’t wait to see this years pics, helene @revivalvintage x
I’m looking forward to this year’s pics too. I’m hoping I’ll get my photo taken for the ‘best dressed’ this year. A girl can always dream 😉
I just love this post and your blog!! I’m finally embracing my love of all things vintage and incorporating it into my personal style and home. I’m looking to gradually make my life vintage. Do you have any advice on how I can slowly introduce vintage into my personal style and home? Thanks!!
Hi Leigh, thanks so much it’s great to hear you love my blog! Try this article for ideas on starting to incorporate vintage into your wardrobe: http://weheartvintage.co/2013/05/04/starting-to-wear-vintage-6-tips-for-vintage-virgins/
Hope it helps! 🙂
I am very lucky to be returning to Goodwood revival yet again in 2011. I am struggling to find a breathtaking outfit due to covid, I presume. Do you have any advice where I might look – online would be preferable.