Celebrating 1950s Fashion

Aug 5, 2014
The 50s were a hopping decade in America that brought the official end of WWII, Elvis Presley, the discovery of DNA, an the creation of the polio vaccine.  During this decade Truman leads the United States, Churchill’s prime minister, and Princess Elizabeth becomes queen at the age of 25.  Our nation saw the introduction of color TV, Velcro, Legos, and car seat belts. This era also brought fashion staples many people still think of today.

Today's post is in honor a very fashionable 50s  girl, my grandmommie, Barbara Walker Drahozal. Having been between the ages of 17 and 27 during the 1950s my grandmommie was in the thick of the fashion. Always one to carry lipstick and pay attention to trends, Barbara Walker Drahozal was beautiful and elegant until the day she left this earth.

Many styles from the 1950s are still alive and present in today's fashion world. You may be surprised to find that we still wear many trends that were started in the 1950s, and that the staples of 50s are very similar to today's staples. Take a look...

Staple Number One:
The Shirtwaist Dress

Although its design is based off of a menswear staple, the shirtwaist dress' emphasis on the waist, small rounded shoulders, and the bust is anything but masculine. Both casual and dressy versions of the shirtwaist dress were staples in a woman's closet from the time Dior introduced the "New Look" silhouette in 1947. 1950s shirtwaist dresses were worn with petticoats underneath to increase the skirt's volume, and girdles to make the waist even smaller, creating a very dramatic look. They could also be worn more casually without any petticoat, such shirtwaists were referred to as house dresses.
Here's how you might find the shirtwaist dress or "shirt dress" today:

Bayfront Bliss Dress by ModCloth

Olive and Oak's Navy Blue Shirt Dress
Take to the Wind Dress by ModCloth

Staple Number Two:
The Cardigan Sweater
Cardigan sweaters have never really been out of style because they're so practical, but in the 1950s cardigans became a staple since they could be worn well with any style skirt. Cardigans became more decorative and elaborate with lots of beading details, specialty buttons, and designs. Helen Bond Carruthers and Bonnie Cashin were two designers who were known for their show stopping cardigans.

Cardigans have pretty much stayed true to their 1950s style.

Old Navy Lightweight Cardi

Staple Number Three:
The Wiggle Skirt (aka The Pencil Skirt)

The sexier option for women's dress was the wiggle or pencil skirt. The shape of the wiggle skirt is high and tight pleated waist, form fitting through hips, and slightly tapered through the knee.

Yup, the pencil skirt made it's debut way back in the 1950s! Here's the modern version:

Vince Camuto Stretch-Knit Pencil Skirt

Modernizing the 1950s Classics:




Do you wear any of these staples?


  1. Great post! I love the throwback. Reading from the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

  2. Such an iconic time! I have to admit, I am not loving aspects of the 90s fashion that seem to have made their way back. High waisted cut offs are just not doing it for me haha

  3. Love this post! Love these outfits. My #1 staple is a cardigan and I'm wearing a shirt waist dress right now (I need more!!). I haven't gotten into the pencil. I feel like it might make my shape look funny but I also hear that it's flattering.

  4. Love all of these! Totally my style. I am not into the 80s and 90s fashions that are coming back either. No thank you!

  5. I love this post! I never realized that these styles started back in the 50's. I own quite a few of those staples, and I plan on wearing them for a long time :) Thanks for this post!

  6. I love how old trends come back with a new twist! this post was great!

  7. Your grandmother sounds so chic! I love a good pencil skirt for work. They’re so flattering!

  8. What a neat post! Thanks for sharing :)

  9. Cute stuff. I love fashion from the 50s.

  10. I adore 50s fashion! And it looks like your grandmother was a style icon in her own right. :)

  11. i love 50s fashion! such a great post, not many people are into it!

  12. Great post!! Your grandmother was one stylish lady.

  13. Loved this! Especially the pictures of your grandmonther :) Pencil skirts are my favorite.. so classy and woman-ly (if that's a word?!)!

  14. I love 50s fashion! I find that the silhouettes really suit my figure!

  15. Fashion back then looked so nice, I'm glad that at least some of it has made it here today. I love cardigans, I can't get enough of them.


  16. I love that time period! And I want aaaall those clothes! ;)



Designed with ♥ by Nudge Media Design