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What Are the Different Types of 1950s Vintage Clothes?

Man in a 1950s leather jacket.
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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 05 September 2014
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By today's standards, 1950s vintage clothes would be considered quite conservative, but it was also a time for change. Women, for the most part still wore dresses or skirts, although trousers began to be more acceptable, especially among young people. Men typically wore suits or slacks with button-down shirts, as well as hats. Teenage boys, however, began to wear jeans and t-shirts more often, and a leather jacket often helped complete a rebellious look.

When most people look at 1950s vintage clothes today, they would view the outfits as quite conservative. Today, for instance, it is not unusual to see men or women wearing jeans or slightly revealing outfits. Although most of the clothing from this decade was somewhat conservative, younger people at this time began to rebel against their parents' ideas of fashion.

Most 1950s vintage clothes for women typically involve dresses or skirts. Fitted sheath dresses were especially popular during this time, as were full skirted dresses. If skirts were worn, they were typically paired with a button-down blouse. Scarves and cardigan sweaters would also often be worn to complete an outfit.

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One of the most easily recognizable pieces of 1950s vintage clothing is the poodle skirt. This type of skirt was typically knee length or slightly longer, and it was often made from felt. Poodle skirts were aptly named, since they usually had a poodle applique attached near the hem. Other images were also sometimes used, but poodles were typically the most common. These types of skirts were particularly popular with teenage girls, since the cut of the skirts allowed the material to swirl around them as they danced at sock hops.

Although skirts and dresses are common types of 1950s vintage clothing for women, trousers also began to become somewhat popular. Younger women especially began to wear cropped pants known as peddle pushers or capris, which ended either at mid-calf or just below the knee. These pants were typically worn during recreational activities, however, such as bike riding.

Men's 1950s vintage clothes might also be considered somewhat conservative, compared to men's clothing today. Most men wore suits, or at least slacks and a button-down shirt. A hat was also a common accessory for a man in the 1950s.

Well-mannered teenage boys of this decade also wore slacks and button-down shirts. Some of the more rebellious teenage boys, however, often tried to give off a rugged macho air. Blue jeans and plain t-shirts were common. Black leather jackets are also common types of 1950s vintage clothes, and these were often worn with the collars flipped up.

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