Women's Outfits In The 50S: A Nostalgic Fashion Journey

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What Did Women Wear in the 1950s? 1950s Fashion Guide


The 1950s was an iconic era for women’s fashion. The post-war period brought a sense of optimism and a desire for elegance and femininity. Women’s outfits in the 50s were characterized by hourglass silhouettes, full skirts, and tailored looks. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore the fashion trends of this beloved era.

The Iconic Silhouette

One of the most recognizable features of women’s outfits in the 50s was the hourglass silhouette. This shape was achieved by cinching the waist with a wide belt or a tailored jacket, creating a defined waistline. The emphasis on the waist was a departure from the boxy styles of the previous decade and celebrated the natural curves of a woman’s body.

The Full Skirt

The full skirt was a staple in 50s fashion. Women embraced the feminine look by wearing skirts that flared out from the waist, creating a voluminous and graceful silhouette. These skirts were often paired with petticoats to add even more volume and movement. The full skirt was perfect for dancing and twirling, capturing the spirit of the era’s upbeat music and social gatherings.

The Classic Dresses

Dresses were a go-to choice for women in the 50s. They were versatile and could be worn for various occasions. The most popular styles included the shirtwaist dress, the pencil dress, and the sheath dress. Shirtwaist dresses featured a button-down bodice and a full skirt, while pencil dresses hugged the body’s curves. Sheath dresses were more form-fitting and accentuated the natural silhouette.

The Polka Dot Craze

Polka dots were all the rage in the 50s. This playful pattern adorned everything from dresses to blouses and accessories. Women embraced polka dots as a way to add a touch of fun and whimsy to their outfits. Whether it was a polka dot dress or a polka dot scarf, this print became an iconic symbol of the era.

The Sophisticated Tailoring

Women’s outfits in the 50s were known for their impeccable tailoring. Clothes were made to fit perfectly, accentuating the body’s curves and creating a polished look. Tailored jackets, high-waisted pants, and pencil skirts were common choices for women who wanted to exude sophistication and elegance.

The Accessory Game

Accessories played a vital role in completing the 50s look. Women adorned themselves with gloves, pearls, and hats. Gloves were considered a must-have accessory and were worn for both formal and casual occasions. Pearls were the go-to jewelry choice, adding a touch of elegance to any outfit. Hats were also popular, with pillbox hats and berets being among the favorites.

The Footwear

Heels were a staple in 50s fashion. Women wore pumps and stilettos to complete their outfits, adding height and sophistication. Kitten heels, with their lower and more comfortable heel height, were also a popular choice. These shoes were often adorned with bows and other decorative details, adding a feminine touch.

The Suits and Separates

While dresses were the preferred choice, suits and separates also had their place in 50s fashion. Women wore tailored jackets with matching skirts or pants, creating a coordinated and polished look. Suits and separates offered versatility and allowed women to mix and match pieces for different occasions.


The fashion trends of women’s outfits in the 50s continue to inspire and captivate us today. The hourglass silhouette, full skirts, and tailored looks created an image of elegance and femininity. The 50s fashion exuded confidence and celebrated the beauty of a woman’s body. Looking back at this iconic era reminds us of the timeless charm and sophistication that defined women’s fashion in the 50s.