50’s Teen Fashion Flair

By Nancy A. Meadows-Galloway
The Fifties: what a wonderful decade to have been a teenager. When we see the way children dress today it makes us nostalgic for the days when teens actually cared about how they presented themselves. They took the time to dress appropriate for each situation they might have found themselves in be a party, school, soda shop gossiping, an evening on the phone chatting with friends or church.

Most of the styles worn were by today’s standards quite conservative. If a young lady was spending the evening talking on the phone to friends she might sport dungaree’s (blue jeans) with a rolled cuff at mid-calf and a cotton button-up shirt tied at the waist.

For an afternoon at the neighborhood soda shop one might have worn a full poodle skirt with either a light sweater or button-up cotton shirt along with saddle shoes and bobby socks. This was considered the “in” look for the fifties era. Most girls today would never be caught out in a dress, much less one sporting frilly poodles.

If a young lady had an important party to attend she might choose to wear a printed cotton dress with a slightly scooped neck and full skirt with a sewn in petticoat. The shoes she would have tastefully chosen would have been a pump with a low heel appropriate for her age along with nylons or for a younger girl, a ballet style slipper with bobby socks. She would have been fashionably set in this ensemble and ready to party the afternoon in style.

School was also a dress-up situation. Cotton dresses with full skirts and petticoats were the norm along with a low heeled shoe. Shorts and pants were simply not allowed. Proper young ladies would have never considered wearing something so casual to school.

Church was considered a high priority for the right style. Fancier dresses with lace and a full petticoat skirt, with white kid gloves along with dress shoes would have been considered appropriate for this situation.

The nautical look was also in style. Anything with a sailor flair to it was very popular.

Another popular trend was bare-armed dresses with a wide skirt and petticoat along with a flat Italian gondolier type hat.

Fashion during this era was more than just a statement it was a way of life. It was flattering with a conservative flair but also extremely attractive. Who knows maybe one day in the future it will be considered high fashion to sport saddle shoes and poodle skirts once again. Let us cross our fingers.

As the years have shown, the fifties were a memorable era for fashion and life in general. Most people today given the chance to go back in time would choose to land in this decade. It was certainly a high point in our country’s past for fashion and style.





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