Sunday, 21 February 2016

My Favourite 1950s' Looks

The style of the 1950s has become synonymous with 'vintage', but the mainstream seems to have focused mainly on full circle skirts, neglecting some of the other style staples of the decade.  I do love 1950s' style, but I have to admit that my favourite silhouettes from the era don't actually include circle skirts - shock horror!  Here are my top three fifties' favourites.

1) The skirt suit
Moving on from the 1940s, the 1950s saw suit jackets being even more nipped in at the waist, and skirts moving from a-line to pencil.  In my mind, the '50s suit is always perfectly demonstrated by the many heroines of Hitchock films of the era, in particular Kim Novak in Vertigo in that grey suit.  I tried to recreate that Hitchock heroine look, with a couple of suits that I own.  The first grey one isn't that old, but the green one is original vintage.  See the full Hitchock Heroine post here.

Suit: St Michael (probably '90s, bought at antiques centre)
Shoes: Clarks
Hat: Vintage (early 1960s, bought at church sale)

Fall Photo Contest
Suit: Vintage (30s-50s, not quite sure!)
Beret: Accessorize
Shoes: Hobbs

2) The pencil skirt/dress
Epitomised by Marilyn Monroe's on-screen wardrobe and guaranteed to put a wiggle in your walk, the pencil skirt or dress is perhaps second in popularity to the '50s full skirt.  Dior's 'New Look' started off with hemlines 12 to 14 inches from the ground, but I have to admit that it's hard for me to find skirts and dresses that long on my tall frame.  That would mean a skirt length of 31", when most reproduction clothing is around 27" (and some even shorter).

Le Chat Noir
Skirt: Dorothy Perkins
Shoes: Clarks, reissue of original 1950's style
Top: F&F

Wish You Were Here: Polkadots and Cherries
Headscarf: Vintage, via car boot sale
Dress: Next
Flats: George
Bag: Car boot sale!

3) The cropped trouser
In the 1940s trousers were wide and long.  In the '50s, they're more figure-hugging and cropped, quite the departure.  We all know that Audrey Hepburn wore black capris, but Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe both wore jeans rolled up to cropped length.  I love this look for the slightly warmer months, I think there's something timeless and effortlessly chic about it.

Jeans: Vintage, via charity shop
Sandals: House of Fraser
Shirt: F&F
Bag: Gift

Gingham capris and little gold palm trees
Top: TU
Bag: Vintage, via charity shop
Capris: Primark

So there you go, my top three 1950's looks don't even include a full circle skirt!  What I love about 1950s looks is the versatility - capris one day, fitted pencil suit the next.  A great balance between dressed-up formality and casual practicality.  The 1950's look has to be one of the easiest to recreate from the high street too.

What do you love about 1950's style?  Are you a die-hard fan of circle skirts??

This post is my entry to become the face of the 1950s for the charity Oxfam, who are running a contest for vintage fans.


  1. Agree that while I like circle skirts, they're probably not top of my list either. Also love a pair of crops and a wiggle :) I love swing coats too, just can't wear them myself...

    I was wondering what happened to Oxfam after they were in touch at Christmas... But I didn't get the memo about the comp so I either wasn't good enough or they forgot me!! :( good luck to you though - if it can't be me, it should be you! To be fair you're a much better thrifter than me anyway xxx

    1. Drop Oxfam an email, it's not too late! I don't think thrifting was a requirement. Xx

    2. That was a good call, they've now sent me the invite. And now to write a post that isn't identical to yours ;) I would love to go for a 'rarer' decade, but my heart isn't in it... xx

  2. I have got to say that I am a die hard circle skirt fan ~ I adore the pouff of a good crinoline, and the ease of wearing a nice floaty circle skirt. That being said, all these looks are stellar on you lady, and I do have to say, that I am also certainly a fan of the capris pants, or cuffed jeans. Also super easy to wear, and dare I say it, sometime more practical than a skirt! :D ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

    1. I think maybe because I live in a windy climate I'm less inclined to have excess fabric!! But I do love a bit of a big poofy skirt if I'm indoors at a nice event xx

  3. Great outfit all are so stylish of the 1950's, though personally myself I do like a circle/swing dress or skirt as well!

  4. That vintage suit is a total dream, and it fits you so well!! You are really good at knowing your siluette and what suits you, I am just too lazy, and wear circle styles most days because I know there comphy for work. I love the Capri pants look but I am very much pair shaped, which can make that and wiggle skirts a struggle. Wide hips, and wider/ shorter legs! It makes it interesting to see how clothes I can't get away with fit on your frame that's so different to mine.


  5. Very beautiful all the clothes you have chosen! The gray suit is fantastic, as well as the fabric of the green, and then you have some really nice bags!


  6. Love seeing these favorites of yours! You look amazing in all these looks! I love 50's style: full skirts, pencil skirts, pencil suits, wiggle dresses, capri pants! I have all of these styles in my closet though I do find myself reaching for the full skirts the most out of comfort. The last time I tried to wear my capris I couldn't figure a top for it and it reminded me of why I dislike pants so much usually. Seeing this post though it reminds me I should try and branch out into my wardrobe more and give some of the clothes in there a chance to come out and play. :)

  7. Ah, you look so good in cropped trousers! I always look like a nanna on a cruise holiday, though I have decided to live with that this summer and wear crops anyway - I shall just have to make sure I have extra-funky accessories to compensate. Your suits are wonderful too - there's a rough dating guide to St Michael labels online somewhere.

    Have you seen Clarks new 1960s-repro range. Oh, how I covet them...

    1. Oo that's handy to know about the St Michael labels, cheers for the tip!

      Yes, seen the V&A selection at Clarks, they're pretty frickin' incredible, heads and shoulders above all the other '60s styles on the high street. Let me know if you buy anything.. xx

  8. 1950s skirt suits are too dreamy, my favorite 50s look by far! The grey suit above is particularity chic. I'm such a pencil skirt devotee too that I am having to consciously try hard to branch out and add other shapes :)

  9. You are killer in all these great looks.

    I'm a sucker for a fit and flare dress. I just find them the *most* 1950's. They always remind me of either my Mom or Betty Draper.


  10. You look amazing in all your outfits! Got to say though I'm loving the suits, and sort of want one too now! ( All I can do is check the local charity shops, that aren't very good, to try and find things or eBay with the probably this is vintage price tag) I was getting impatient the other day for spring and summer to get my crops out! Enjoying your blog x

  11. Ahhh I LOVE that suit - I'm going to see Vertigo on the big screen in a few weeks and I'm wondering whether I should wear a rendition of an outfit worn in the film!

    I honestly can't say there's a 50s look that I don't adore - sure there are certainly some styles that I don't like on me (wiggle dresses, capris) but I love seeing them on others :D

  12. loving all your outfits! that red polka dotted dress is so gorgeous!


  13. All wonderful outfits. I think the first suit is my personal favorite - love those lines! Thanks for linking,


  14. The green suit is my favourite on you, it fits beautifully and the colour is stupendous.
    I'm not a 1950s fan normally but do like your grown-up interpretations of the era.
    Good luck! xxx

  15. What a great recap - and I have to say that even though I like them all, that first picture is FAB, it looks like a shot for a film.

  16. I am a massive fan of the Hitchcock heroines and their fab suits. The grey one in vertigo is incredible! I love all 50s looks but admit a full skirt is super impractical so rarely comes out. The wiggle styles are just better for day to day. And I never could resist a Capri pant!!!

  17. I think the reason why the circle skirts get all the glory is because they're so easy. Easy to make, easy to fit (since they really only need to fit in one spot), easy to find. The more fitted looks are so fabulous, though, and absolutely worth searching for. A good suit can make you feel perfectly pulled together, the pencil skirt is the most amazing thing to show off your curves, and the cropped trousers are so cute and practical. I love the reminder of how fabulous the less common styles can be.

  18. So many amazing looks! I love full skirts but I really love wiggle dresses and tailored trousers too. Your suit is an absolute dream and I love those gingham trousers! x

  19. These are probably my three favourite looks from the fifties and I wear capris for lounging around the house all year round. I do also love the unusual shapes designers explored during this time like the trapeze dress and the cocoon coat. They were so different from anything that had come before and must have felt really modern at the time. xx

  20. Such different looks and all of them beautiful on you. It's strange to think they're all from the same decade, but there we go - what an inspiring period! Kx

  21. I love all of these looks, there's so much more to the 50s than just full floral dresses!
    I'm desperate to find a pair of capris this year that fit my stubby legs and curvy hips!


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