In the 1950s, there was a sense of renewal and optimism in the United States, and this was reflected in almost every aspect of American culture, including fashion. According to the Historical Boys' Clothing website, "The 1950s was in fact the last decade before the mass media succeeded in developing a transatlantic children's style." This meant that each country had its own style; U.S. culture had not yet heavily influenced other countries. U.S. film and music influenced U.S. fashion while British boys donned a more formal fashion.
The end of World War II brought in a groundswell of fabricated products. Inventors and manufacturers established new types of products, machinery and fabrics. Denim was one of the most popular materials. Many boys of the era rolled up the legs of their blue jeans to simulate a cuff effect. The rugged and durable texture of denim was a big plus for the moms of the time.
Another well-liked fashion of the 1950s was the button-up jacket. Young boys of the time sported blue denim jackets and brown tweed. According to thepeoplehistory.com, "Christian Dior was one of the most influential designers of the post-war decade, and on into the late 1950s." Dior popularised the wool overcoat, a favourite of both boys and girls of the time.
Two of the most popular subsets of 1950s media were television and music, and boys mimicked the styles of their idols in both. Teenagers donned the leather jackets and white T-shirts of James Dean while younger boys liked to emulate the checkered, button-up shirts of TV cowboys such as Roy Rogers.
Many new and different types of shoes graced 1950s fashion. Chuck Taylors from Converse became the quintessential 1950s shoes for boys. These black and white basketball shoes were ideal for sports or just playing around the neighbourhood. Sandals were another rage at the time. According to thepeoplehistory.com, "Some teens also wore preppy clothes, such as a pair of jeans with a baggy sweater and sandals."
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- Historical Boys' Clothing: Boys' Clothes Styles during the 1950s
- The People History: 1950s Fashion-The End of Solemn Clothing Designs
- Fashion Era: 1950s Teenager's Fashion: C20th Fashion History 1950s
- Wisconsin Historical Society: Boy's Clothing of the 1950s
- 1950s-fashions.com: 1950s Fashions
- Skwirk: Fashion in the 1950s