1950’s: How To Get The Look

posted on 7/30/13

Are you going to a rockabilly party sometime in the near future? Maybe a vintage car show filled with giant steel death traps that did not come equipped with safety belts? You don’t really need an excuse to dress up like it’s the 1950’s. Besides fashion trends, there were plenty of things that were good about the 1950’s, like a stable U.S. economy, lower crime rates, and credit card debt hadn’t even been invented yet! But there were also some pretty nasty things like unbridled racism, sexism, homophobia and polio. We all know that none of those terrible things exist today… well, maybe not polio at least.

Be that as it may, there are tons of people who choose to live their lives like Lucy and Desi in the year 2013. Those longing for a simpler time, before we were all glued to our smart phones and laptops, have integrated the 1950’s style into their everyday wardrobe in an effort to impede the march of time into the scary digital future. Or maybe they just think they look good in cat eye glasses? No matter! We’ve got you covered with all the tips for creating a fashionable 1950’s look.



Women in the 1950’s had many polished style icons to choose from. Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn were all making a big splash on the big screen. These Hollywood stars had perfectly coiffed hairstyles that women would adapt for their own looks. Ponytails were a very popular hairstyle during the 1950’s. Women would often use scarves around the base of the ponytail to accentuate the hairdo. Short bangs were made popular by women like Audrey Hepburn and Bettie Page. A slicked back and artificially wavy hairstyle, as worn by Grace Kelly, was another prevalent look. Stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe eschewed perfectly neat hairstyles in favor of more wild, untamed tresses. Lucille Ball brought red hair into vogue, which made her stand out amongst all the other blondes and brunettes of the era.

Make Up

There wasn’t much variation in the makeup styles of the 1950’s. The trend back then was pretty simple: black eyeliner, black mascara, and red lips. You could do your eye makeup heavy, light, or keep it natural, just so long as your lips were red, red, red. There were varying shades of red, from dark to light. Some red lips were cooler in hue, some were warmer. But they were always, always red. No exceptions. Another popular makeup trend was the application of a false beauty mark to imitate the one made famous by Marilyn Monroe.


Where to begin? The 1950’s was a very exciting time in the world of fashion accessories. Glasses were made sexy with the advent of the cat eye glasses frame. Women were wearing all manner of gloves to hide their delicate lady hands. Who can forget the elbow length pink satin gloves that Marilyn donned in her iconic “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” performance? Handkerchiefs and scarves were an endless source of inspiration for trendy looks. Women could put them in their ponytails, around their whole head, or tied around their necks. Très chic! Pearls were a very popular jewelry choice for necklaces and earrings. On their feet, women wore black and white saddle shoes for their casual looks and for dancing the night away at sockhops.

Armed with this fashion ammunition, you are well equipped to go out into the world and show them what a 1950’s pin up looks like in the flesh. Please use this power responsibly.

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