'50s Themed Clothes

Written by tabitha harwell
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'50s Themed Clothes
The tank top was a common outfit for men in the '50s. (Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

The '50s evoked style and glamour in the everyday dress for both men and women. Women craved fashionable clothing and made several pieces for themselves and their children because of limited fabric available to clothing manufacturers after WW II. Men, like women, also craved a stylish approach to fashion; however, their options were much more limited than the ladies and children.

Women - Dressy

Women of the '50s wore dresses everywhere, including at home and out running errands. Their options for dresses ranged from the shift dress and trapeze dress to the empire waistline dress. In addition, they often wore suits with cinched waists that included a skirt to the knees and a coordinating jacket. While wearing dresses and suits, women wore stockings in a flesh-tone colour to conceal any unwanted marks on their legs. Shoes consisted of peep-toe heels or strappy sandals.

Woman - Casual

Casual dress was minimal and typically only worn at home during housework time. Shirts were fashioned in a button-up style with rolled sleeves and came in several different colours and patterns. During the '50s monogramming was a trendy option that women placed on their shirts to display initials or a particular design. Women also wore shorts and capri pants in a variety of colours and patterns that coordinated with their shirts.

Men - Dressy

The standard two or three button suit was manufactured in dark blue, dark brown and charcoal because darker suits rarely showed dirt or grime from the daily commute to work. Under the suit, men wore solid colour dress shirts and ties in a dark shade to coordinate with their suits. Other dressy options for men included slacks in black, charcoal and khaki with a tank top or cardigan.

Men - Casual

When not in suits, men wore patterned and solid button-up shirts with jeans or khaki trousers. During the warmer months, men work shorts and short-sleeve shirts with hats. Towards the end of the '50s pink shirts and ties, and cowboy-inspired attire, became the trendy items to wear.


Children's attire consisted of hand-knitted cardigans for both boys and girls during the cooler months. Boys wore a button-up shirt and trousers or shorts to both school and play. Girls wore button-up shirts and shorts or skirts to play and dresses to school.

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