A Day in the 50s: A Guide for Monday’s Dress Up Day

By Nizhoni Richards, Kirsten Ahlrichs, Anthony Delachevrotiere, and Gerry Zhu

Did you ever pine for the “good ol’ days”? Wish things could be more like they used to be? Well we do too! But starting on Monday, Central kicks off their homecoming with the fabulous fifties. Students can get a glimpse of fifties fashion and life when it certainly seemed much simpler.

What Made the Fifties the Fifties

The 1950’s gave birth to a newer and much different era of fashion compared to the 1940’s. After the end of World War 2, where rationing had affected fashion, larger quantities of items like fabric and threads were available. This ushered in a radical change in fashion.

During the 1950’s fashion was affected by the need for conformity. The need to look alike and to be the picture perfect “good American” citizen was the power that drove the fashion of the 1950s, particularly for men. People’s clothing was usually similar but with different patterns or colors.

Women’s Wear

Young ladies wore full skirts, including the world famous poodle skirts, and tight fitting blouses. Usually it’s tied together with a wide belt and paired with flat heeled shoes.

Photo courtesy of Bess Georgette on Flickr.
Photo courtesy of Bess Georgette on Flickr.

Men’s Wear

In the 1950’s, suits were popular to the point where even teenagers were wearing them and if they weren’t, they were wearing a cardigan sweater. The proper clothing for the 1950’s leisure wear was more relaxed. Polo shirts, cardigan sweaters, Hawaiian shirts, short shorts, trousers, and jeans were the major components of the 1950’s leisure fashion. One has to note, however, that jeans were more commonly reserved for “extreme” sporting.

Photo courtesy of Paul Townsend on Flickr.
Photo courtesy of Paul Townsend on Flickr.

The Accessories

In the 1950’s, sunglasses were becoming increasingly popular—primarily due to key, popular figures wearing them. So get some sunglasses and put them on!

While sunglasses were popular in the 1950’s, the “hat” was even more. It wasn’t just an occasion; it was nearly a necessity to have a hat on a man’s head else you weren’t properly dressed. Common hat styles worn during the 1950’s included the: fedora, trilby, porkpie, straw hat, and the men’s walking hat.

Bad Boys

The “Grease” style of clothing wasn’t very common the 1950’s. The bad boy look was uncommon and few teenage boys really wanted to look like one. However, if one does want to imitate that, one would need to be wearing a white T-shirt, a leather jacket, and jeans. Other rebellious get-up would mean you’d wear dark clothes, refuse to iron anything, and just look rough on purpose.

All in all, the fashion of the 1950s seemed to be conglomeration of many different styles. The decade’s fashions were heavily influenced by television and was reflected in the way people dressed. The proliferation of TV helped mass market fashion. We hope that the Central Cobblers have a BLAST with this dress up day! GO COBBLERS!