1950's style wedding dresses

Written by carrie tuttle
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1950's style wedding dresses
Lace was an important material in 1950s style wedding dresses. (wedding lace image by Diane Stamatelatos from Fotolia.com)

Wedding dress styles in the 1950s reflected the fashion coming out of Paris, specifically fashion designer Christian Dior's looks. The hourglass shape which included cinched waists and full skirts were all the rage. Floor-length wedding dresses included hoop skirts, the bigger the better. The late '50s welcomes a more silhouetted look in satin, a relatively inexpensive man-made material. To complement the look, brides wore skull cap headpieces to which the veil was attached.

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Tulle and Lace

Tulle and lace were prominent fabrics in 1950s wedding dresses. During World War II, dressmakers and designers had stopped making both fabrics due to the cost, but post-war demand came back for both. Americans wanted to emulate the trendy French styles. They felt that the inclusion of both tulle and lace reflected wealth, so they integrated the materials into many of the wedding dress styles. Ivory was the most common wedding dress colour choice.

Tea Length

In the mid 1950s, modern brides were looking for something different than the traditional floor-length ballgown. Introduced in the 1940s, the tea length or ballerina dress was the perfect response. These dresses were simpler than the full ballgown but could still be worn at both a civil ceremony or a church ceremony. Modesty was still preferred so many brides would have the option of wearing a small jacket over the dress.

Dress with Bolero

The 1950s reflected the virginal and chaste looking bride, but women still wanted to be fashionable. Brides who chose satin wedding dresses enjoyed a fitted, strapless look which they covered up with a bolero jacket during the ceremony. After the ceremony, brides could remove the jacket. It could be worn again as the bride and groom left on their honeymoon. Wedding dress lengths were either short or long, depending on the bride's taste.

Bridesmaid Dresses

Bridesmaids dresses followed the styles of the wedding dresses in the 1950s. Boned bodices, belted waists and sashes were the most requested styles. The dresses were cut short--right below the knees, and they came in blues and reds or floral patterns. Shoes featured simple heels--rounded and open or closed toes.

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