Vintage 50’s Costumes

Posted by Jen on 20/07/2012 in 50's fashion, Fashion Ideas, Goodwood Revival, War and Peace Show |

Following the end of the World War in the late 40’s, designers went all out searching for new fashion trends.  With rationing of materials, the war had meant that fashion had become a bit lost and was in desperate need of revitalising. This task was taken on by the Paris fashion houses which included designers such as Christian Dior and Cristobal Balenciaga.  These designers helped to shape 1950’s fashion by defining women’s changing silhouette. 

Post war, women’s fashion was very tailored and elegant.  The new fashion meant that whilst the top of dresses was still very tailored, the skirt was very full, usually being puffed out with a petticoat. Waist belts accentuated the silhouette and were very popular with dresses.  Fitted and tailored outfits still remained popular, but again were finished off with waist belts to ensure the correct silhouette was achieved.  Cocktail dresses were generally worn for posh parties and evening parties with shrugs or bolero’s worn over the top.  From the mid 1950’s an alternative look to the full skirt was created with A Line dresses.  The A Line dress was simply a dress which isn’t fitted.  The new style provided a wider range of clothes for women to fashion. 

Taking the 1950’s fashion’s into account, we really believe in the phrase ‘bigger is better’.  Due to this we recommend a dress with a full skirt or a top and swing skirt.  The tailored look started in the 1940’s so we think it defines the 40’s rather than 50’s.  The 1950’s was also the decade of Audrey Hepburn, who loved swing skirts and tight waists.  An alternative to this is the A Line dress which has remained popular since it’s launch.  As the 1950’s was very ‘big’ the accessories can really finish off your outfit, whatever fashion you choose the look will really be completed with red lipstick and stockings.

The 1950’s saw the introduction of the Teddy Boys look.  The Teddy Boy style was inspired by the Edwardian period and was defined by ‘drape’ jackets and drainpipe trousers with exposing socks.  The Teddy Boys were the first youth group to differentiate from the youth.  Other than the Teddy Boy look, suits were very popular.  The suits were generally broad shouldered and double breasted.  Whilst the film Grease was released in 1978, it was set in the 50’s so you can get ideas from the outfits in the film.

The 1950’s were iconic for British fashion as new materials were used and for the first time teenagers became the force of fashion.  There are lots of outfits for hire on the Mad Hatters website if this is the look you want to recreate.

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


Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Copyright © 2012-2021 Goodwood Revival Fashion All rights reserved.
This site is using the Desk Mess Mirrored theme, v2.5, from