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1950s Fashion Trend: Dress Like Cast of Mad Men

Updated on March 21, 2013

2010 RTW Runways

This 2010 RTW (Ready-to-wear for fashion novices) season was *ALL* about the va-va-voom. From Louis Vuitton to Dolce & Gabbana, there was cleavage and hips flying about everywhere. It was a break through for curvy Victoria Secret models who, for once were able to model outside the commercial realm in names such as Chloe and Givenchy. It was about time the fashion industry embraced the hour-glass figure! It makes complete sense that the fifties style was in this season, due to the abundance of voluptuous figures.

Going back to the fifties we think of Dior's A-Line coats and Givenchy's "Sack", but what we don't remember is that the empire waist was also invented during this time. Thus, the waist-nipping skirts and voluminous dresses.

Today, the look is supremely appealing because it's can be classic and modern, lady-like and masculine and risque and modest all at once! The fifties were all about being "lady-like", which happened to enhance femininity with fashion. So naturally, everything from the fifties highlighted a woman's curves and form. The fifties were the go-to source of inspiration for designers this year, embracing swingy dresses and curves!

The Remake of the Dior A-Line Coat

One of the most popular ways designers are channeling the 50's, is using the inspiring A-Line Coat by Christian Dior. The look today is a bit more baggy, less structured and sometimes more masculine than feminine!

Compare the photo above and the modern take below:

Modern, long A-line coat
Modern, long A-line coat

The Swing Skirt Still Swings

The fifties are generally defined by the iconic swing skirt. (Picture skirt with a poodle) The revolutionized or modernized version is a bit shorter and not as full. As seen below, the skirt Katherine Hepburn wears is very voluminous and full of drama, whereas the modern runway model for Prada looks way edgier and sexier while still embracing the swing-style.

The 1950's Bustier

The idea of a bustier from then to now is drastically different. But, no worries, it's a trend that's here to stay. Back in the 50's the bustier look was more of an implied idea through tighter fabric and an emphasized chest. Now, the emphasis of the chest is the main focal point. That and really heightening and showcasing the um.. girls.

Fifties Pencil Skirts

The fifties pencil skirt. This is my personal favorite 50's trend. This is the one trend that is not only 'in' from various season to season, but for all time. What woman in this day and age does not own a pencil skirt? or 5? In the fifties, the pencil skirt was feminine, sleek and went down to your calves. Today, the pencil skirt can be various lengths, colors, designs etc.

50's Pencil Skirts: Then & Now

Fifties Makeup: Dark Lips

Women were getting rebellious in the fifties. What better way to show this edginess than dark lipstick! Back then, the lips still maintained a muted and natural look; Often paired with delicate, neutral and light-colored clothing. Today, anything goes. Think black lipstick with a magenta skirt and lime green heels. Hey, I'm sure it's been done!


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    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 7 years ago from California

      Hey Dolores,

      I also am obsessed with 50's fashion. I watch Breakfast at Tiffany's just to look at the outfits!

      Grace Kelly is gorgeous!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I really enjoyed this and love the fashions, especially the A line coat. 1950's fashions were classic and beautiful. I just watched the movie 'Rear Window' and Grace Kelly wore such beautiful clothes!

    • yenajeon profile image

      yenajeon 7 years ago from California

      I also love the pencil skirt. There's nothing sexier than being covered up and still looking like a woman!


    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 7 years ago from Utah

      Love the style of the fifties. Back is the "figure", you don't have to be half naked to be sexy. Love the pencil skirt. Voted up, marked useful / beautiful and shared.