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50s Dress

"So, where can you find a full complement of 50s fashions?"

By : Kapriz

Sixty years later, the 50s dress styles are back, with a new tag line – retro

In the fashion world, that old adage, 'What goes around comes around' applies admirably to our choices of avant-garde garments. These recycled fashion trends are now so popular; they've got a new moniker and an attractive price tag. Now we call this fashion 'retro', highly favored by teens looking for a new look not found hanging on the racks at the mall.

The 50s dress styles and accessories aren't a difficult fashion subject. All you need to do is kick back and enjoy some of the many re-runs of popular 50s TV shows, such as 'Leave it to Beaver', and 'Ozzie and Harriet' to see the latest fashions of the urban and suburban Americans of the 50s. For the more provincial takes on 50s dress, catch several episodes of 'Lassie', with June Lockhart as the farm Mom, sporting the less fussy, but still feminine, 50s styles.

In the post World War II era, 50s fashions stepped away from the slimmer cuts, necessitated by rationing of many goods, including fabrics. The new fashion mindset went towards fuller skirts, puffier sleeves, wide belts, and lots of pleats. Patch pockets on the typical, everyday 50s skirts were also large, to accommodate everything from diaper pins to clothespins. Large appliqu├ęs were another signature detail of fashionable 50s dress styles (remember the Poodle skirt?)

Perhaps the 40s femme fatale come-hither looks, intended to impress the man home on leave, were naturally replaced by the more conservative, wholesome and functional 50s dress, better suited to the new homemaker raising a family with her war time hero, now home for good.

Even accessories experienced significant changes. Women's handbags became larger, the better to carry those essentials which the 40s woman had no need to stash away in their tiny, fashionable evening bags. Costume jewellery fit in nicely with the more casual 50s styling, not costing an arm and a leg, yet adding a fun, bright accent to any costume.

So, where can you find a full complement of 50s fashions? Easy. Look on vintage clothing sites, EBay and at your own local 'antique' clothing shops. Oddly enough, fashions dating back to Grandma's time are now considered radical and chic to a new generation of fashionistas.

For the most radical 50s wardrobe, include the shoes, handbags and accessories, which were worn back in the day. With but a modest investment, you'll be the star of the 50s dress styles, reincarnated with great panache for this moment in time. Retro haute couture, yes.


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