1950s Clothing Style Tips

When you think of the 1950s clothing style, it’s all about feminine charm, glamorous silhouettes, and elegant prints. From clothing to accessories, shoes, the vintage style of the 50s are still relevant now.

From a fashion perspective, this was when ‘ready to wear’ clothing took a significant spotlight. Mass manufacturing of clothes was done with better cloth fabrics than in the 40s.

The 1950s was also the time when fashion became more age-suited. For instance, full skirts and 1950s swing dresses were mainly advertised to young women as jive or swing dancing became popular.

The ‘sweater girl’ look was ideally promoted towards more mature women with a conical padded bra that pushed the bust upwards.

Iconic Style Tips of 1950s Clothing

Start with Foundation Garments

For vintage clothing, it’s all about getting the essentials right. For a 1950s clothing style, you need to find pieces that are cinched in the waist area, just above the belly button.

Pieces like pencil skirts, a swing dress, the right knickers are absolutely essential. Opt for feminine colours like pink, red and black (you can never go wrong with black!).

The Right Shoes

Just like vintage clothing, you need the right vintage shoes to complete the look. Actually, you can transform one dress into different looks just with shoes.

Invest in a pair of stilettoes. They aren’t the most comfortable, but for a 1950s look, you absolutely need a pair of stilettoes.


We cannot stress enough how essential vintage accessories were during this particular decade. A few vintage scarves, gloves, belts, and jewellery are important for achieving that 50s glam.

Wide belts are a must-have vintage accessory to create a tiny waist with a full skirt of a 1950s swing dress. Belts emphasise the waistline that was in demand during this time.

Investing in Scarves

It is one of the most useful and versatile vintage accessories. Period.

vintage accessories scarf

A classic 1950s clothing look is never complete without beautiful printed scarves. They are simple and super easy to style. Tie around the hair or at the back of your ponytail, and it can instantly jazz up your outfit.

There are satin scarves, short chiffon scarves and if you want to indulge, get an authentic vintage silk scarf. We guarantee it will be a style statement wherever you go!

Makeup—The Red Lip

The classic red lips made a mark during the 50s.

Red lips are very lush and elegant. Whether it’s a regular outfit or a special occasion, a signature red lip cannot go wrong, EVER!

But be sure to use a red tone that suits your skin tone. For pink-toned skin, go for blue-based red lip colour. Choose warm red for yellow-toned skin.

To give your lips a fuller appearance, we suggest using a lip pencil and then adding the colour.

Some Key 1950s Clothing Essentials

Full Skirts and Petticoats

Wide circular swing skirts with pleats are iconic women’s clothing items from the 1950s. The day dresses were mid-calf with cute prints and maybe a puffed sleeve.


The evening skirts were a little shorter, mostly in lace, silk, or satin. Some women used to wear petticoats for extra volume. Petticoats were made of many layers of net and starched to give stiffness.

The Tight Sweater

The sweater girl look was born during the 1940s. It was an emphasis on the thrusting conical-shaped busts and was always worn with bullet bras.


Most vintage dresses from this era complimented the look, and every woman aimed for this shape of bosoms.

The sweater later evolved from a turtleneck to a twin set during the mid-1950s.

Pencil Skirt

Another 1950s classic fashion staple, a pencil skirt, fell naturally from the waist, gradually cinching down the knees.

Pencil skirt aged very well as it is quite popular even now. It is very sophisticated and gives a more mature look.

We hope you have got the style tips you need to get started with the 1950s vintage clothing style. Earlier, this would have been a major challenge as there was only a handful of vintage fashion stores online. But courtesy of stores like Banned Retro, you can get everything from a single store.

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