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Make me a… 1950’s Sexy Housewife December 7, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Advice, Fashion, Makeup/Cosmetics, Vintage.
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The fourth in my series helping modern girls to wear the fashions of their ancestors, this week I address the wonderful vintage fashion of the sexy 1950’s (apologies as this article is long overdue). These will contain clothes (both vintage, vintage inspired and direct repro), makeup and more, to help you achieve that distinctly vintage fashion style!

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This week I tackle the hourglass shape, sexy halter-necks and uncompromising love of polka dots that characterises the bright cheerful 1950’s.

 Rebelling, perhaps, against the classic and refined styles of the war-torn 1940’s, the 1950’s were a period of fun, frivolity and glamour. The American housewife style is the most popular and recurring theme, and this is the funky look that I am going to concentrate on. Best of all, this style works for a suprising number of body shapes, is immensely flattering, and is still quite modern.

1950's Fashion Vintage Dress

1950's Fashion Vintage Dress

  To begin, the dresses. For anyone who has even the vaguest inkling about 1950’s fashion, the wide skirted petticoat dresses are perhaps the most enduring mental image. As are the halternecks, bright colourful prints and combination of pretty little apron with feminine dress. In fact, 1950’s dresses couldn’t get more feminine if they tried, as women rediscovered their curves and celebrated their bodies. If you want to go authentic a full skirt, sweetheart neckline and full petticoat are essential for the look, with something like this blue vintage dress. alternatively, modern incarnations are rife, and the Vivien of Holloway’s ones are some of the most spectacular on the market. Any shape can wear this, just adjust the size of the petticoats to balance out your hits (thin if you have big hips, full if you have none!) and get a shape that suits your bust.

Funky Modern Petticoat Perfect for 1950's Fashion

 It is worth shelling out on an underskirt if you can, but bear in mind that these never get cheap. Vintage ones are likely to have damage in the lace, but you can get modern equivalents. To update the look, choose a bright colour and have it peeking boldly out underneath. You can even go a bit Gothic with a contrasting black petticoat.

Patent 1950's Inspired MaryJanes - Modern!

To really make the 1950’s look work for you, think hard about the shoes. If you are a true vintage enthusiast you can opt for some vintage pairs, although this will only work if you have incy teeny-weeny feet! The look generally leant towards thicker heels, kitten heels, and satin or leather heels that you could dance in. The modern equivalent are those sky-high MaryJanes, that I think look stunning with the vintage styling. Try some originals like this, or opt for something a bit different an unusual like this MaryJanes from Barratts.

Fifties Style Makeup

 

For hair and makeup, you might have to plan in advance. Rollers, hair pins, copious amounts of chemical hairspray – soft floaty curls were what it was all about. Whilst it was always about short curls and short hair, modern girls have the luxury of choosing whether to have it long ot short, tied up or straight down. Pair this with dark arched eyebrows and a peachy perfect complexion and you will be well on your way to channeling that 50’s vibe!The rules are a lot more flexible with 1950’s fashion than they are with other eras, perhaps because it is so flexible. Anyone can wear it, and there are a million and one different ways in which people feel the style should be worn. All that really matters is that you feel good and what people think can follow-up last.

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Comments»

1. White Rabbit - December 10, 2009

I adore the 50’s! The silhouette of the dresses is so feminine and as in Dior’s vision women looked like flowers:)

Love your images , very well put together!

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6. Tamara - December 10, 2009

The 50’s era is by far one of my favorites! Great post!

Lauren Cooke - December 10, 2009

Thanks Tamara!!!

7. IFB Presents: Links a la Mode | dramatis personae - December 11, 2009

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11. K8 - December 11, 2009

This was such a great read! I’m not sure that I would necessarily go all out with the ’50’s style, but this definitely provided great ideas to work elements into a modern outfit. Well written, and researched :) You’re very vintage savvy.

12. Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup | TheWorkingWardrobe.com - December 11, 2009

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13. Lauren Cooke - December 11, 2009

Hi K8. That is generally what I think – I don’t want to wear it all, but I love to incorporate vintage bits and mix eras. It is more fun that way! Thanks for the compliment :)

14. Midnight Cowgirl - December 11, 2009

Great post! 50’s dresses are so beautiful.

15. Links a la Mode – It’s back! - December 11, 2009

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16. Links à la Mode: Choices, Choices! | Style on a String - December 12, 2009

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17. Meg - December 14, 2009

I love fifties-style dresses so much!

Lauren Cooke - December 15, 2009

Aren’t they goregous Meg?! I want them all, so am having to be very restrained currently!

18. Links à la Mode : Choices, Choices! | THE COVETED - December 14, 2009

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21. Ralph - December 27, 2009

Entertaining post. I like that you added a historical perspective which explains a lot. “Mad Men”, while technically a little past the 50’s (it actually portrays the early 60’s) captures some of the allure of these fashions.

22. IFB Links à la Mode: December 10, 2009 – Brunette and Pink is in it! « Brunette and Pink - February 10, 2010

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23. Links à la Mode : The IFB Weekly Roundup | Midtown Girl - March 19, 2010

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