By Nancy A.
The fifties were a much simpler time.
Fashion and accessories were more understated than
they had been in past years such as the roaring 20’s.
The 1950’s saw an explosion in the making of
costume jewelry. Women were expected to wear
coordinating sets of jewelry. All of the pieces in the
sets matched. The sets usually consisted of a ring,
necklace, bracelet and earrings.
Not only was this true in jewelry, but also in
other accessories such as scarves, umbrellas, gloves,
and handbags. Her shoes, belt, and hat were also
expected to compliment her jewelry and outfit as well.
Though all of these listed above were
considered important, the necklace was perhaps the
most important piece of the entire outfit.
In 1954, Chanel introduced long gold chains
with colored stones scattered along its lengths into
its collection of costume jewelry. These chains were
immediately popular and well sought after.
The 1950’s also saw the reemergence of several
styles from different eras. Art deco jewelry along
with fringe and pendant necklaces became popular once
again, as did fur collars, along with elaborately
jeweled collars. Strands of pearls, tin flower pins,
initial jewelry and chandelier clip-on earrings were
also sought after pieces.
One other “necessity” for the fifties era
woman was an in-style handbag. Clutch handbags, and
beaded purses were the standard along with Lucite
Other accessory “musts” for the
well-put-together fifties woman were cat spectacles
and chiffon scarves.
Cat spectacles were glasses that came to a
point that arched upward on the outside of the lens.
They were often studded with rhinestones throughout.
Chiffon scarves came in various colors and
patterns, as well as styles. A chiffon scarf could be
worn casually or dressy, as the occasion arose.
One thing is certain, women of the fifties
took care in the way that they presented themselves.
Every outfit for each occasion was well thought out
and planned from head to toe. Many of the accessories
that were worn then are still being worn today, which
proves that the fifties were indeed a decade of
fashion trends that would last.