In many ways, the 1950s took a big step back, especially for women.
During World War II, while the men were away, women began to gain an independence that was rare before the war. They left their homes to work in offices and factories, earning and managing their own money. Clothing was heavily restricted throughout and just after the war. Everything from the length of skirts to the size of collars was regulated. This resulted in a slim, straight silhouette.
Women wore comfortable clothing like suits and shirtdresses, and even began to regularly wear pants, especially to work. They had to ‘make do and mend,’ buying or sewing well-made clothing that had to last and fixing garments that were past their prime.
The full look of the 1950s was mature, glamorous and very put-together.
Dresses, skirts and undergarments were constricting, but a wide range of new ‘leisure clothes’ allowed people to dress casually at home. Women were expected to be impeccably dressed and groomed in public or when their spouse was home, always with coordinating hats, shoes, bags, belts, gloves, and jewelry.
In privacy, women dressed much simpler, more comfortable. Eventually, these casual fashions became public clothing as well.
These beautiful snapshots show fashion styles of a young lady during the 1950s.