Dress styles of the '50s & '60s

Written by charlotte gordon
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Dress styles of the '50s & '60s
Dresses of the 50s fell below the knees, while the 60s introduced the miniskirt. (George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

Dress styles went from full and flowery skirts in the '50s to short and sassy dresses in the '60s. It was a big leap that the younger generation of the '60s was willing to take, and it surely helped usher in the sexual revolution. Dresses in the '60s were sometimes flowery as well, but the flowers were bigger, bolder and brighter than the light, dainty flowers of the 1950s. The trends empowered a new generation of women to move away from old dress traditions.

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Full-Skirt Dress

In the '50s, day dresses and some night dresses had full skirts. Light-coloured or flower patterned fabric flowed out from a fitted waist, creating an hourglass figure, and skirts always fell below the knee. Other popular patterns for skirts included gingham and polka dots.

Baby Doll Dress

Baby doll dresses were introduced in the '50s. It featured a high waist that gave the dress a youthful and playful look, while the dress still had a long, full skirt like other dresses at the time.

Dress styles of the '50s & '60s
Baby doll dresses had high waists. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Mini Dress

In contrast to the long, full-skirted dresses of the '50s, the mini dress was short, more form fitting and showed a lot of leg. This bold, new style was a staple of the mid to late '60s. Designer Mary Quant produced mini dresses that were 6 to 7 inches above the knee. Dress designs were often clean with solid colours.

Dress styles of the '50s & '60s
Dresses became shorter in the '60s. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Mod Dresses

Mod dresses were A line and mostly shapeless, moving away from the hourglass dresses of the '50s. Some had pronounced collars, and the colours were often bold. Patterns included strong geometric shapes, large flowers and paisley. These dresses fell above the knee and were sometimes worn with tall boots.

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