Sock hops became popular in the 1950s when the dances were held in high school and college gyms, and strict rules forbade shoes, requiring socks only on the shiny wooden floors. Some young men termed "Greasers" wore sexually suggestive tighter clothing while others or the "Preppies" wore more collegiate wear. However, most young men followed the more casual trends of men's fashions of the decade.
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Prized by every guy's girlfriend, a guy's letterman jacket or sweater was always welcomed at a sock hop. If the guy were available, he would wear it himself, but if he had a sweetheart, she wore it.
The black leather motorcycle jacket with the colour turned up was the trademark of the '50s Greaser. The more conservative man might sport a blazer with a knitted pullover sweater or cotton vest under it, or maybe a cardigan sweater.
The more daring man would have worn a pair of denim jeans with tapered legs, while the less daring might have worn cuffed jeans. A more conservative man would have worn a nice pair of pressed slacks.
The Greaser wore white T-shirts with sleeves rolled up to accommodate the occasional pack of cigarettes and the accompanying pad of matches. The Preppie, on the other hand, might have opted for a button-down shirt, white or coloured, with or without stripes. Chances are these long sleeves would get rolled up before the night was over.
An occasional long-sleeve cowboy shirt or a colourful long-sleeved button-front or a short-sleeve checkered or plaid broadcloth shirt might have been seen.
Thick white wool athletic socks were perfect for those hard wooden floors.
Black or white converse tennis shoes were worn by the guys just to get to the party. Off they came before the wearer got onto the dance floor. The more conservative man might wear penny loafers or oxfords but these also were shed once inside the door. Occasionally, a young man came to the hop in either two-toned blue or other coloured suede shoes, white bucks or saddle oxfords.
Although wider ties were more accepted in the '40s, the 1950s Preppies donned slimmer ones if they wore ties at all. The occasional nerd would show up wearing a clip-on bow tie.
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