Men's & Boys' Clothes of the Fifties

Written by carol stanley
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Men's & Boys' Clothes of the Fifties
Men dressed conservatively in 1950. (Stockbyte/Retrofile/Getty Images)

The fifties was a time of fashion change for both women and men, and styles were strictly adhered to. The war was over -- there was more money to spend on clothes and more free time to enjoy life. Though business and dress attire were conservative for boys and men, casual clothes were more colourful and flamboyant.

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Men's Dress Clothes

Men's choices for work and evening clothes followed basic rules that included conservative styles, and dark and muted colours. Though less structured than previous decades, jackets were generally single breasted. Shirts were white and starched and ties were thin and in conservative colours. Cuff links and tie pins became popular during the 1950s. Trousers became narrower and more tapered toward the ankle. Hat brims became smaller, but were still a must for work and evenings out.

Men's Casual Clothes

The '50s was a time of abundance, which brought more leisure time for men. Men wore open-necked shirts and rolled up their sleeves to their biceps. Instead of dark and sombre sport coats, cardigan sweaters were popular for daytime wear. Practical drip-dry knit polo shirts made their debut for family outings and afternoon events. Hawaiian shirts in bright and bold colours were popular with some men of the '50s. Men also wore long-sleeve button-down shirts for casual and daytime wear. Toward the end of the decade, jackets became longer and less structured, in plaids and tweeds.

Boy's Casual Clothes

Polyester and acrylics were added as new synthetic fabrics. However, these fabrics also appeared blended with cotton and wool for more absorbency. Boys wore khaki and dark-colour trousers to school with woven shirts in prints, plaids and plain colours. Boys took to wearing jeans for casual wear, copying their movie idol, James Dean. To follow the "bad boy " look, boys often wore plain white T-shirts with cigarettes rolled up in their sleeves. Boys generally tucked in their shirts and their outerwear consisted of black leather jackets. Boys proudly graduated from short to long trousers upon reaching the age of 13 to show their manhood.

Boy's Dress Clothes

Dress-up clothes for boys included starched shirts in a variety of bright and pastel colours. Pastel-colour suits made the fashion scene for date night. Suit trousers were generally pleated and baggy during the '50s. Ties were patterned in garish colours. Boys with generous clothing allowances wore V-neck cashmere sweaters with collared shirts and wool trousers -- to take their girlfriend out in the evening. Dress-up shoes were often patent leather loafers worn with dark, plain socks. Along with their female counterparts of the 1950s, young boys often emulated their favourite movie icons.

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