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How to dress for Grease, Bye Bye Birdie or a 50's Hop

Updated on September 18, 2014

Circle Skirts and Crinolines - Ponytails and Bobby Sox

Are you in a 50's style show and need advice on how to look the part ?

We'll help you dress 1950s style with advice and tips for clothing, hair, and accessories. Get ideas from our links to character lists and costume info for Grease and Bye Bye Birdie. Check out our tips on how to keep your budget intact by using clothing and accessories that you have on hand.

The 50's are fun - Come rock'em with Hey Viv !


Resource List for Grease the Musical

Here's links to costume lists, songs and lyrics and more for Grease the Musical

Synopsis, cast list and links to more detailed info like the songs and lyrics.

Production History, synopsis, cast info and song lists

You tube videos for Grease the musical


Resource List for Bye Bye Birdie

Story, music and lyrics and costume ideas for Bye Bye Birdie the musical

Birdie synopsis, characters, song list and titles, links to useful sites

History, synopsis, role list, song titles

You tube videos for Bye Bye Birdie the musical

Compliment Your Vintage Style with a 50's Hairdo

What can you wear with your vintage outfits? It's easy to recreate a vintage hairstyle that compliments your look.

This is an excerpt - see the full article at

Open any high school yearbook from the 1950s and you'll see all the popular hairstyles including cute Pixie Cuts, carefree Ponytails and piled high Bouffants.

The Pixie Cut, featuring soft curls and shorter hair, was popular in the 50's. Pin curls and rollers set the look and hairspray kept it in place. Here are some variations on the Pixie Cut that you can try. Part your hair on the side and then sweep one side up and hold in place with tortoise shell barrettes or fancy bobby pins. The front bangs can be worn fringed or curled under. A headband can hold the curls back with a smooth combed back front or with bangs. Use bobby pins to hold spit curls in place and arrange them to frame the face. Or try a special bow or tropical flower.

The Ponytail was everywhere in the 50's. It's a youthful, free and easy style and perfect for dancing. You can change the basic ponytail by wearing it with without bangs. The scarf or ribbons holding your ponytail can contrast with your outfit using typical 50's colors combinations like pink with black or red with black or turquoise with white. Try two ponytails high on the head. It's called "the Teeny Bopper" or "Poodle Ears". If you want a casual everyday look wear a scarf over the head tied under the chin with the ponytail peeking out the back and bangs in front.

The Bouffant is a puffed up 50's hair style that later developed into the Beehive. This hairstyle required elaborate styling, most often at a beauty salon using a wet roller set and a hairdryer.

Variations on a beehive are numerous. You can wear your hair piled high with a long ponytail down the back, or on the side. Add some spit curls or bangs for some extra volume. You can sweep the hair up into a high twist and then leave some bottom hair down and curled under to create a contrast. There are "how to" hairstyle videos on and

Your hairstyle can be the finishing touch for a vintage outfit whether you're wearing a 50's circle skirt or skinny Capri's. Have fun with it - or if this all this sound too complicated then try a bouffant flip wig. It's easy on and off and you can skip the hairspray!


Check and for "how to" hairstyle articles and videos has background information, pictures and more has instructions on how to set pin curls

50s Costumes on Amazon - Poodle skirts & crinolines, cateyes & scarves - Amazon has a wide selection of 50s costumes

Sheer Black Scarf
Sheer Black Scarf

sheer scarves in black, pink, red and white

Crinoline Petticoat Net Slip - Teen to Adult Small Size - 23” Length - Hey Viv !
Crinoline Petticoat Net Slip - Teen to Adult Small Size - 23” Length - Hey Viv !

Crinolines child size to plus size in white, black, red and pink

Hey Viv ! Rockin' 50s Retro Clothing
Hey Viv ! Rockin' 50s Retro Clothing

Easy & Inexpensive 50s Style Accessories

This is an excerpt See the full article at

Cute and believable 50s costumes do not need to be fully vintage, or expensive! In fact, most of the items you will need to finish off your look can be found in your closet or your local variety store. Here's how to accessorize your poodle skirt to create a fun, affordable 50s look.

The cinch belt is an essential part of your 50s costume. It will define the waist to create the famous 50s bell shape. Use 2" wide ribbon, black or a color that matches your outfit. Tie the ribbon over where the shirt meets the waist of the skirt, hiding the line. You can tie it in a cute bow in the back, or tuck the ends under the ribbon, to hide them. Use a long strip of netting fabric 2" or more wide, and tie it in the back in just the same way. Accentuate the middle of the bow, or help hide the knot with a pretty pin, or clip on accessory.

Pick the right shirt to go with your skirt! To create a poodle girl look, your blouse does not have to be vintage! Take a look in your closet or local large chain store for fitted t-shirts, button downs, boat-necks, turtle necks, or off the shoulder peasant-tops, in solid colors to compliment or match your circle skirt or poodle skirt. Do you want to be sweet and innocent? Pick crisp white, or light pastel colors. Try strong contrasts like red/black, purple/black, white/black, red/gold, and black/blue.

Help! I can't find saddle shoes anywhere! Real saddle shoes can be hard to find, and expensive, especially for a costume that may only be worn a few times. Here's some ideas. Start with a pair of plain, white or black tennis shoe. Try changing the shoelaces to a color that matches your outfit or use ribbon instead. Or use black paint and sharpies to paint the black part of a saddle shoe onto white sneakers. There videos online that show you how. Ballet style slippers in pastel colors, black, or white, will also do the trick. They aren't the iconic saddle shoes, but they are still a totally authentic, comfortable, and great look for your 50s costume. Keep an eye out for mary janes either flat or with a chunky heel.

How do I add some fluff to my 50s poodle skirt or circle skirt, without a crinoline? Try adding a row of lace or netting to the bottom of your skirt. Pick up white or colorful stiff netting fabric, fluffy lace, or gauzy fabric. You want a strip about twice as long as the circumference of your poodle or circle skirt. Use thread to gather the netting into a long ruffle then sew onto the inside of your skirt, using a running or basting stitch. Use extra netting/gauzy fabric as a scarf for your hair, neck, or wrist! The scarf does not need to be hemmed to look good.

Creating a 50s look does not have to be expensive, or hard, and doesn't need to include all authentic 1950s vintage items. With a little creativity and bravery, you can find most of the things you need in a pinch, very close to home!

Hey Viv ! Rockin' 50's Retro Clothing
Hey Viv ! Rockin' 50's Retro Clothing

Where to find Hey Viv ! 50s retro style costumes -

You can find Hey Viv ! 50s retro style costumes brand products at:

on Amazon - search for the Hey Viv Brand

Ideas and Tips from readers - Share your tips, sources or ideas on putting together a cool 50s outfit.

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