The 1950’s were iconic for fashion and so play a big part in Goodwood Revival costumes. The war ended in 1945 after seven long years and much of the 40’s was spent dealing with the aftermath. However the 1950’s saw a new era and rather than being concerned about rationing and survival, it was a time of celebration and freedom.
Many designers tried to take on the task of redesigning fashion for the world and many succeeded in changing the style. For men, this decade was shaped by different subcultures of teddy boys, greasers and rockers.
The teddy boy trend arose as income increased post war. The subculture was inspired by Saville Row tailors trying to increase their revenue and customer base after the war. The look started in London and rapidly spread across the UK, becoming associated with American rock and roll. The style was very much that of the Edwardian era with tapered trousers, long jackets and fancy waistcoats. This was where the name ‘Teddy boys’ came from, as Edward shortens down to Teddy. Whilst other groups had tried to distinguish themselves from others the Teddy’s were the first to manage this, differentiating themselves as teenagers and helping to create a youth market.
So what exactly is the teddy boy look? The teddy boys was all about swank and exhibition. Teddy boy clothing included dark drape jackets, sometimes distinguished with a velvet trim collar and pocket flaps. The typical look also included high waist drainpipe trousers which would expose the socks. The favoured footwear included polished Oxfords, brogues or any other suede shoes. Underneath the suit they would wear a white shirt, a narrow ‘Slim Jim’ or western ‘Maverick’ tie. The preferred hairstyle was long, moulded and greased-up up hair with a quiff at the front, then side combed back. The 1970’s also saw a revival of the Teddy Boy look, inspired by designers like Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm Mclaren.
Another popular look for the 1950’s was the Rocker look, later to be known as the Greasers. This was centred around the bikers subculture. Up until the World War Britain held a prestigious position and was associated with glamour and wealth. From the 1950’s Brits were able to afford to buy motor cars, the poorer of society would drive motorcycles.
If you are attending the Goodwood Revival this year then give us a call at Mad Hatters on 01580 830757 for help in finding the perfect outfit. You can also visit our website on www.madhattersfancydress.com