Clothing Patterns in the '50s

Written by ekaete bailey
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Clothing Patterns in the '50s
There are several '50s clothing patterns still available for purchase today. (Steve Baccon/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Thinking about the clothing style of the 1950s may bring to mind poodle skirts, saddle shoes, low backs and "V" necklines. The clothing patterns in the '50s were designed to portray a classic, sensible and stylish look. Two of the main manufacturers of clothing patterns in the '50s were McCalls and Anne Adams. Now considered vintage clothing, there are several '50s clothing patterns still available for purchase today.

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The Full Skirt

The full skirt represents the iconic style of the early 1950s. Placed on dresses as well as single skirts (like the poodle skirt), the full, pleated skirt was the style for both girls and women alike. The Rare Walkaway Dress, the Deep "V" Neckline Dress, and the Blouse Skirt Cummerbund Dress pattern exemplify the best of full-skirted dresses.

The Slim Two-Piece

Women rarely wore wear trousers in the '50s, so two-piece blouse and skirt clothing patterns were the closest thing to be found for casual wear outside of casual dresses. Anne Adams made a French-inspired, slim two-piece dress in the 1950s that was hugely popular.

Coat Dresses and Bolero Dresses

Coat dresses were unique, in that most were full-skirt dresses, with a long sleeved, button-down top. Most often coat dresses were worn in cool weather under coats. Bolero dresses were also full-skirt dresses made with a small, Bolero (waist high) coat to match the dress.

Low-Back Slim Dresses

Slim dresses were also in style in the 1950s. Clothing patterns for low-back sundresses, halter dresses and sporty dresses can be adjusted to fit the size and measurements of the wearer. The low-back feature was signature in 1950s fashion. Slim dresses flatter the figure, and create a sophisticated, tailored look.

The Empire Waist

1950s clothing patterns celebrated the empire waist. McCall's had a full or slim empire waist dress, and Advance Patterns created an empire midriff dress. The empire waist elongates the legs and slims the frame.

Speciality Dresses

The 1950s had its share of cultural icons. The full skirted Audrey style dress by Advance Patterns and the Rockabilly dress pattern are examples of speciality dresses in the 1950s. Keyhole necklines were also a speciality item in the 1950s.

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