Clothing for Teen Girls in the 1950s

Written by michael larkin
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Clothing for Teen Girls in the 1950s
1950's fashions (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

With the rise of film and television, the 1950s saw a rise in teen fashion interest. Nationwide trends like long white gloves would sweep the nation if young girls saw their idolised movie stars wearing them. In general, teen girls still dressed conservatively, but had a different look for every occasion.


School dress was much more formal and conservative than it is today. Girls would wear petticoats and long skirts. Skirts were expected to at least reach the knee, usually fully covering them. Girls would also occasionally wear a jumper over a cotton blouse. The look of the outfit could be changed by changing the blouse.

Going Out

Heading out for an afternoon at the soda shop would usually mean donning a poodle skirt, often with a sweater over the top. The shape of the poodle skirt could also be changed by what was worn underneath it. Another popular look for girls going out in the 50's was the sailor look: blue dresses with big, red bows and wide, flat, white collars. A nautical hat would top off the ensemble.

Staying In

The only time a teen girl would dress a bit more casual was when she was staying in for the evening, possibly talking on the phone. Shorts were not as commonly worn then as they are now, but girls often slipped on pedal pushers or jeans rolled up to mid-calf. A cotton button-up shirt usually rounded things out and could be tied at the waist.


Shoes started to make a dramatic change for girls in the 50's. Big, clunky shoes gave way to slim stiletto heels. Girls might wear a short heel, though long heels were reserved for grown women. Teens would also often wear a variety of loafers, saddle shoes and flats with ankle socks. Another trend that caught on in the 50's was the use of ballet slippers with dresses.

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