Types of Dresses in the 1950s

The 1950s were a fun time for clothing. Women’s clothing in the 1940s and earlier mostly focused on feminine shapes and light colors, designed to keep women at home as they run the household. However, when the 1950s came around, bright and bold colors became the desired look. Using any fabric, you could create or buy a dress to show off your small waist. The classic look involved narrow shoulders, a slim but natural waist, and either a full or tight skirt, which varied by the personal preference of the woman. A dress was the staple of any 1950s woman, but fashion designers decided to elaborate the styles, creating the iconic 50s-style dresses.

Swing Dresses

Christian Dior helped create a full-skirted swing dress, which is unarguably the most iconic dress of its time. The bodice of a swing dress was fitted to the torso, tailored to the body of the specific woman. Necklines varied, using either a scooped, v-neck, boat-neck, square-neck, or sweetheart neckline to accentuate curves. Full skirts extended from the natural waistline of the bodice. Most of the time, seamstresses added fullness to their dress by gathering or pleating the fabric, which could take about five yards of lightweight material. Some women chose to add a petticoat beneath the skirt for additional fullness.

Summer Nylon Wrap Dresses

Some women preferred a less tailored look, which resulted in the wrap dress. The fabric was left to drape around the natural curves of the woman’s body, wrapping across the chest or around the sides. A wrap dress could have any sleeve length, or no sleeves at all. Due to the way the wrap dress was styled, you would usually end up with a v-neck, but the depth of the neckline was dependent on each person. These dresses would look great with a single strand of pearls along the collarbone, or long necklaces that draw attention to your bosom.

Sheath Dresses

If you preferred a dress with a slimmer fit, then a sheath dress was the way to go. The torso of a sheath dress was similar to that of a swing dress, with a fitted and tailored top. However, a sheath dresses skirt stayed relatively straight and close to the body, showing off the natural curves of the hips and thighs. A sheath dress’s skirt could be angled straight down, or it could cling to your figure. This dress became iconic at many awards shows during that time.

Dresses Today

The iconic shapes of 50s-style dresses have translated to modern looks over the years, adapting to the needs and cultures of each decade. Designers in the 1950s were unafraid of any neckline, shape, or color, which helped to pave the way for many designers of the 21st century. However, retro fashion has been revived in recent years, making these styles available in many stores nationwide.

Tatyana is an online clothing store, in which consumers can select from a variety of 50s style dresses, shoes, accessories, and other options. Clothing is available for women, men, and children.

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