The 1950s often invokes thoughts of specific characters, styles and fashions from the era. The Fonz of the hit show "Happy Days" along with John Travolta's and Olivia Newton John's characters in the classic movie "Grease" are images ingrained in the minds of generations of adults and children. Portraying these 1950s icons with costumes is both simple and inexpensive, since most of the pieces can be found in your own closet or a thrift store.
The 1950s Male
For a guy's 1950s costume, there are a few crucial pieces that are pivotal to the authenticity and recognisable quality of the costume. To pull off the classic 50s sleek and cool guy, dress in blue jeans and a plain white T-shirt. The jeans should be less baggy and much more fitted than is popular now, but not so far as the skinny jean, also popular today. The shirt should also be fitted and not baggy. Try a Hanes undershirt for the correct fit.
The signature and crucial touch is a leather jacket, worn over the white T-shirt. Either brown or black will work best. Add a matching belt looped securely over the waist.
For shoes, high-top sneakers or boots will top off the outfit well. Dark dress shoes will also work with the outfit.
Keep a comb in the pocket for a quick hair touch-up. If your hair is long enough, sweep it back to meet in the back for the classic ducktail style.
The 1950s Female
For the girl version of a 1950s costume, choose either a long skirt or dress, or fitted capri pants.
For a skirt or dress, choose a longer length that hits above the ankles. Pair the skirt with white socks and white tennis shoes. For a top, choose a conservative sweater or cardigan. Colours can be warm and cheery, such as pinks, yellows, baby blues or lavender.
If capri pants are chosen, pair them also with white socks and sneakers, or with a peep-toe heel. For a top, a tucked-in off-the-shoulder tank is appropriate for a sexy look, or a cardigan or sweater for a more conservative look.
For the hair, either tie it back in a simple ponytail or hold back tousled curls with a matching headband.