1950s women’s fashion style was the birth of American fashion. Today, it has become one of the most popular retro trends in your everyday wardrobe. After the end of the Second World War in 1945, the doors of American fashion designers opened, full of fashion opportunities in the 1950s. The transformative fashion history had a significant impact on 1950s women’s fashion, mainly showed in the features of clothing, the styles under designers, the revolution of prints, fabric, and technology from clothes, pants, and underwear, even the appears affected by special cultures in 1950s.
1950s Transformative Fashion History
The impacts of world war II on 1950’s life
In the 1950s, economic growth created a new consumer-oriented society, transforming a family to live a fairly comfortable income. The potential fear of nuclear bombs, the changes caused by the civil rights movement, and the excessive threat of communism have made people want to replace the simple and idealized life of the mass media. Television changed entertainment and news, influenced trends, and gradually disappeared fashion.
The impacts of world war II on the 1950’s women
Women working in military factories during World War II resigned or were fired. When people pursue conservative simplicity, housewives have become the ideal choice for today’s women. Even longer lifestyles seem superficial to some people and have certain restrictions on women, but it must be remembered that people have lived in fear of poverty for more than two decades, and they have just announced The heavy losses of World War II.
The female fashion of the 1950s reflects the complex fusion of conservatism and charm-the the freshness and charming femininity of the girl next door. Women who have spent time in the predicament of the Great Depression and World War II can now afford new styles and accept a variety of styles, from elegant wide skirts to shorts and pants.
The features of 1950s transformative women’s clothing
Hourglass-shaped figures dominate: Hourglass-shaped figures dominated the appearance of the 1950s. Tighten the waist and highlight the hips and chest, this style is definitely a mature style.
The skirt is large, with a skirt or a slim pencil skirt: the large skirt including FULL CIRCLE SKIRTS, SWING SKIRT, POODLE SKIRTS. A slim pencil skirt including sheath skirts, wiggle skirts, fringe skirts, and a mermaid or fishtail skirt.
Women are wearing pants more and more: Despite the mature and conservative appearance of the main designers, as women increasingly wear pants, shorts.
Shirtwaist dress is very popular: The iconic top-dress developed into a reflection of the birth and family life of the 1950s. The movies and TV shows of the period portrayed the professional uniforms of housewives in the 1950s: shirtwaist dress. In the 1950s, magazines, television, books, and movies all had varying degrees of influence on women’s fashion choices.
Hats and gloves often are worn for dress or business: in 1950s Women’s Glove Etiquette, smart women usually wear gloves on trains or airplanes… or any public transportation. On formal occasions, guests and hostess wear gloves at the reception. The hat is either a small pillbox style hat or a large-edged dish-shaped hat.
Transformative Influence on Women’s Clothing from Fashion Designers
The new Look: How Did Christian Dior revolutionize fashion in the 1950s
After adopting utilitarian clothing and implementing austerity policies during the war, perhaps nothing is more novel than Dior’s vision. His first series rejected the modern dressing process established in the 1920s and 1930s, which was designed to free women from the restrictive sculptures and corsets of the early 20th century. Instead, he showed a very feminine image, which was achieved by a tight jacket with padded hips, a small waist, and an A-line skirt.
Dior (Dior) became a rising star in the Paris haute couture world, almost immediately changing the wardrobe of contemporary women. The style of Dior finally fell into the historical name “New Look”, which strongly attracted the nostalgia of the post-war society. Dior does not want to create everyday clothes for pragmatic women of the changing century but dreams of a good time to enable women to afford luxury and deliberately charming. This new look is a rediscovery of prosperity and it has been happily adopted by women of all generations and all social classes.
In the 1930s, due to the Great Depression, women in the middle and upper classes basically wore the same clothes. In contrast, after World War II, Dior’s exclusive luxury clothing became a symbol of the newly divided society.
2.The change of 1950s fashion under Dior’s ‘New Look’
Christian Dior (Christian Dior) launched NewLook in 1947. NewLook has a tight waist, a flowing skirt, and an obvious bust line, which recalls the historical style of the mid-19th century and laid the tone for the next decade. Huge skirts require the support of petticoats made of nylon mesh. Retrieved the 1850s relic hoop (or paper clip cage). Sometimes, the petticoat under the skirt has a beautiful color.
By the early 1950s, fashion and style had really moved forward and were greatly influenced by Dior’s “New Look”. For women, the new design and the austerity and restraint of the 1940s form a refreshing contrast. They are now wearing a sleeker, fuller skirt, a high-waisted silhouette and a smooth silhouette, and a lot of fabrics and embellishments, which contrasts with the practical and economic appearance of the 1940s dress.
There are two kinds of skirts, one is tightly wrapped, the other is a slightly loose pleated flared skirt.
Pleated flared skirts are very expensive, so it was very difficult to promote initially in Europe facing famine, and it became popular first in the wealthy United States. In spite of this, the “new style” has indeed depressed and distressed European clothing after the war, bringing happiness and beauty back into the classic style of fashion. The “Swing Skirt” large umbrella skirt is the most representative female clothing in the 1950s. Most of them use satin and other fabrics to embodies the gorgeous and graceful female image.
3. Cristobal Balenciaga-the leader among masters
Unlike the “New Look” clothing that emphasizes the curvy beauty of women, Balenciaga understands the characteristics and real needs of women of different ages, so that the tailoring of clothing should reflect the natural beauty of women.
In the 1950s when it was subdued by hourglasses, Balenciaga’s unique style brought unprecedented visual impact to women’s clothing.
4. The transformative features of fashion under Cristobal Balenciaga’s design
Cocoon-shaped coats and ball-shaped skirts in the shape of “sleeping bags”, which were artistically contoured while increasing the comfort of wearing. , Fashionable and avant-garde, has been favored by many women.
The Semi-Fitted Suit was born in the early 1950s. The front of the jacket is cut with a waist to make the dress fit tightly with the waist, emphasizing a more natural body curve. However, the back of the jacket is a loose space with an arc shape, showing the front The silhouette of the double-sided jacket after loosening.
Balloon Dress is made of thick and strong fabric with pleated stitching to create a three-dimensional and sleek silhouette like a balloon. Just like Balloon Dress, Baby Doll Dress, which was popular in Paris in the late 1950s, also folds the fabric, making it more fluffy and natural, shaping women’s natural beauty and giving people a new look.
5.Hubert de Givenchy
Encouraged by fashion master Cristobal Balenciaga, 24-year-old Hubert de Givenchy opened his own fashion house “the house of Givenchy” in 1952. In the same year, the first show of clothing featuring the theme of “19th Century Hotel Features” was published.
6. The fashion style from Givenchy
Contrary to the gorgeous style prevailing at the time, Givenchy used ordinary white cotton fabrics, decorated with exquisite embroidery and beading. The main clothing styles were cotton shirts, trench coats, pants, and wool cardigans.
Later, two sets of bowls were created. The simple design combines elegance and casualness, bringing a new sense of spring to the luxurious style at that time.
7. Coco Chanel’s comeback
In 1953, Chanel decided to return to the Paris fashion circle, firmly believe that loose and comfortable clothing can reflect the ultimate elegance of women. In the United States, American women who like a comfortable and casual style, the clothes designed by Chanel are very popular with them. Chanel, who suffered from the indifference of Paris, was not discouraged but continued to create her own new designs.
8. The designs from Coco Chanel
After World War II, Coco Chanel (Coco Chanel) wore wearable clothing and became a designer again. Her loose suit trousers are paired with contrasting interiors and a soft top decorated with cat bows, designed to make exercise easier. In 1955, a world-famous bag was created: Chanel 2.55, and the two-color shoes created in 1957, as well as the tweed suit, creating a “Chanel style” that has a perpetual style.
Revolution of Prints, Fabric, and Technology from the 1950s
1.Popular prints from the 1950s
After the emergence of plain colors in the 1940s, printmaking became popular again. From stripes to prints, prints usually appear in colors on a white background. Bright patterns, flowers, polka dots, and colors have also become women’s favorites.
2. Fabric and technology influenced by War II
New advances in mass production allowed for more garments to be manufactured at greater speed and in greater quantity than ever before. As production speed increased, clothing became more affordable, and off-the-rack manufacturers hurried to copy the designs of haute couture.
Nylon, no longer needed for wartime parachutes, became a fashion staple used to make hose, lingerie, blouses, and sportswear. Though cotton was still a popular choice for summer clothing, Dacron and rayon reduced ironing chores with their no-wrinkle textures. Laundry chores became simpler with the new drip-dry garments. The new fabric blends included two-way stretch materials that offered figure control for swimwear.
Synthetic fibers and blends cut into the wool industry’s market share while freeing consumers from pesky moths that, in the past, could destroy wool garments stored in the closet.
The Discovery of 1950s Pants in World War II
During the Second World War, when women put on their pants and worked in the factory, they discovered a new sense of freedom and comfort. From loose hostess pants to tight-fitting knitted casual pants and short shorts, trousers have been involved in women’s fashion. In the 1940s, out of practicality and necessity, women began to wear pants. By the 1950s, pants had indeed become a fashion choice and a standard part of women’s wardrobes. The wide-leg tailored trousers of the 1940s gave a new style of fitted trousers, plus 3/4 length, and trousers were born. For the first time, shorts have become a fashion choice mainly for young women.
During the Second World War, the number of women wearing pants increased. When men took part in the war and women took over the work, for practical and safety reasons, the women who worked manually chose men’s clothing. Although most women still wear skirts and dresses when they leave home, even at home, there are still some women who want to extend the wear of trousers beyond work.
1950s Underwear Affected by Dior’s “New Look” and World War II
Well-dressed women wear various underwear, including bras and underwear. The bra adds bust support and helps create the hourglass shape of today’s style. Casual shoes are worn under the pencil skirt, and the petticoat helps maintain the shape of the New Look style skirt. The 1950s was the post-World War II period, with a focus on building families and “happiness.” The hourglass’s figure is super feminine, with her waist clamped. Women wear full or fitted pencil skirts to emphasize their curves. Because women need to lift, pinch, and shape, the sales of underwear have increased. Nylon is also easier to buy, which not only makes underwear cheaper but also more colorful.
Transformative Cultures Contrast to the 1940s Women’s Styles
Each subculture and counterculture has its own unique style and style, and style of the 1950s are different. The female fashion of the 1950s surprisingly blended styles from conservative to rebellious, from very charming to plain. In contrast to the relatively narrow styles of women in the 1940s. The various styles worn in the 1950s reflect the social conditions of the decade, both conservative and traditional, but the emerging youth culture and rebellious culture are all related to rebellion and rock. So let us look at some of the main trends of the 1950s and their impact on women’s fashion.
In the social changes in the 1950s, a very new, specific youth culture emerged, with its own corresponding fashion style. The idea of being defined as a “teenager” was born in the 1950s, accompanied by many subcultures, the biggest of which is of course rock.
In the United States, the core of the rebel youth culture in the 1950s was the refueling gun. Some ladies also seem to be “tough”. Leather jacket, pants, and big hair. Rock music itself is a new trend in the 1950s and is an important part of this culture. Although produced in 1978, the film “Grease” perfectly depicts grease and its style. However, not all girls wearing leather jackets with “bad boys” wear this kind of clothing. Many people just wear the “uniform” of the teenagers of the 1950s. A round skirt or swing dress with a curved waist and a certain top or knitted top.
Although there is some disagreement between the fueler culture and the Rockabilly culture, the core difference is that the fueler is more of a general idea that resists tradition and conservatism. On the other hand, Rockabilly culture is centered on the love of the music style itself. Rockabilly is also our most relevant fashion culture with classic polka dot swing dresses or skirts, short bangs, and red high heels. Due to the renaissance of rock and roll fashion in the 1980s and 1990s, it has also become a stereotype that was thought to be in the 1950s, and to some extent is integrated with the style of the 50s ladies pin. As long as you think of Betty Page, you will understand.
Swing dress attracted by the culture
The charm of rock music and rock music attracted the popularity of classic swing dresses in the 1950s. The entire skirt is usually added with a petticoat or a wider petticoat under the petticoat, which is very suitable for waving and moving gracefully when dancing, as we have seen here.
5.Teddy girl from youth subculture
Another youth subculture that appeared in the UK this time was Teddy boys and girls in the 1950s. Teddy boys are a group of young working-class men in Britain. The clothes they wear can be traced back to the Edwardian era, but although they look more conservative, they also want to make their own speeches and betray their own times. Teddy girls are a branch of this category, and as you can see, they wear very similar clothing to men in tailored suits and vintage turtleneck tops.
The culture of “Beatnik”
The name “Beatnik” was created to describe a group of intellectuals, artists, and poets in the 1950s. Just like the Bohemians of other times, beatniks opposed popular consumerism and today’s conservative ideals. They have no makeup. Unlike the Bohemians (and later hippies), they all have a long history of style and clothing concepts, while Beatniks strictly wear modern clothing. In the movie “Funny Face”, Audrey Hepburn (Audrey Hepburn) became a Beatnik girl working in a bookstore.
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