Last-Minute 50's Costume Ideas

Updated February 21, 2017

Creating a last-minute '50s costume for a man or woman can be as simple as using jeans, T-shirts and sweaters with some well-placed accessories. In the 1950s, the styles were clean and uncomplicated with figure-flattering silhouettes for both men and women. Leather and pencil skirts were popular. Shoes were simple and monochromatic. The final touch for a great last-minute '50s costume would include a simple but sleek hair style.

White Shirt And Jeans

Whether you're a man or a woman, a simple pair of jeans can be a quick base for your '50s costume. For a man, just add a white T-shirt, a cool leather jacket and a pair of motorcycle boots for a great "greaser" look. Add a slicked back hairdo as the finishing touch. For a woman, take those simple jeans, roll up the bottoms for a slight cuff and add some bobby socks with penny loafers. A great complimenting top would be a white button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a small gauzy scarf tied sideways at the neck. A bouncy ponytail would complete this look.

Preppy cardigans

The antithesis of the greaser look was the clean-cut, preppy look that hinged on the use of a great cardigan. A male can wear flat-front chino trousers with a plain button-down shirt and a v-necked cardigan. Accessorise with a pair of penny loafers and sleekly combed-over hair that has a touch of gel for a shiny finish. A female might borrow her boyfriend's cardigan to wear over her white button-down and push up the sleeves. Add a pencil skirt or cuff jeans on the bottom and complete with a pair of saddle shoes or ballet slippers.

Pencil skirts

For the stylish, ladylike '50s look, start with a plain, tight pencil skirt that comes to the knee or just below. Choose a plain, while blouse but top it with a crew-neck, button-up cardigan and a skinny belt on top of the cardigan. Finish the look with a pair of peep-toe, slingback pumps. A great, sophisticated hairdo would be the classic shoulder-length bobby with the ends flipped up and straight-across fringe.

Poodle skirts

Poodle skirts were hugely popular in the '50s and are not that difficult to emulate with today's fashions for a costume. Choose a very full A-line skirt, preferably with a flat waistband instead of elastic. Opt for a solid fabric skirt if possible and add a crinoline (available at many dress and bridal shops) under the skirt so it will stand out more. A simple, crew-necked cardigan set worn with either ballet slippers or penny loafers will complete the look. For a great complimentary hairstyle, style a shoulder-length bob with a flip at the bottom and add a soft headband.

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About the Author

Kimberli Nalven has been writing for more than 15 years and freelancing for over 10 years. She's experienced in the fields of computer and cellular phone technology, integrated medicine and health and fitness. She writes a monthly column for a local paper and posts daily Internet content in the area of elementary-years parenting.