Hello dears, Charlotte here! Today we get to cover my most absolute favorite era, from beginning to end: the 1950s. Why do I love this era so much? Well, at the start of it you have adorable designs that still harken back to the 40s; the middle has the absolute splendor of huge skirts and eccentric details; and then at the later end, the conservative, ever-classic fashions of the 60s start trickling in (think Dick Van Dyke style)… Oh how I do adore this era! Anyhow, we get to be inspired today by these gorgeous fashions for our holiday outfits, so let’s dig in, shall we?
In the early part of the 50s, like I mentioned above, you may find skirts, dresses, and blouses all fairly similar to those of the late 40s, which shouldn’t be of any surprise. The skirts hadn’t yet reached their fullest point for the average lady, and you almost get a sense of a more laid-back, less business-like shape and structure.
Definitely the most practical way of wearing vintage for modern day is by combining classic separates like wool pencil skirts with plaid blouses. I think that the most marked difference between the 50s and 60s is the hem line. The 1950s were more mid-shin, while the 60s started creeping up higher to the knee and above. If you really want to be accurate, then go with a very full skirt. This era was known for its very full circle and dirndl style skirts.
If you have the ability, one of the sweetest ways of pulling off the 50s, is to make yourself a classic dress or jumper. Or, if you’re lucky enough to find one, buy a frock that fits in with this era. A very youthful, school-girlish way of styling this era is by layering a white blouse under a sleeveless dress or jumper.
Shoes are my favorite. Why? because they are SO simple! Just a cute mary-jane flat or heel makes for the perfect 50s shoe. These are so easily found these days, and can be quite inexpensive, depending upon the brand you choose. Black is definitely the most accurate, though if you wanted to bring in a bit more modern flair, you could choose a colored shoe.
The basic recipe for the 1950s holiday style would be this:
Combine 1 plaid blouse, or simple cardigan, with your wool skirt of choice (preferably a circle skirt, though below the knee pencils will do). Add to this ankle socks (or tights, or long stockings) with your favorite pair of mary-janes (be they heeled or flat). Finally, a couple sweet items of jewelry (something that is wintery or Christmas-y is best) that retain sweet, nostalgic details, such as snowflake earrings, or a crystal necklace for extra glamour. Laid-back is key with the 1950s, so don’t fuss too much over your clothes, and you will do just fine.
As you can see from this collage, I went with the recipe I stated above.
To the left you find a simple polka-dot sweater with a full, pleated skirt. Add gold beads (find these at Chronically Vintage), and plain black flats, and you are perfectly suited up for a 1950s Christmas.
To the right, I basically created the same outfit, only with a few changed details. Instead of a pull-over, I used an authentic vintage cream cardigan paired with a full plaid skirt. By adding some lovely, simple earrings and cozy velvet slippers, you have the epitome of laid-back holiday style. The color scheme of this outfit is the main element that makes this outfit 1950s christmas-inspired. The 1950s were known for the kitschy holiday color scheme of blue (think turquoise), pink, and white. By incorporating this combination into your outfit, you add just another element to retro flair. It’s all in the details. 🙂
Something that all of the vintage eras are known for are their whimsical, novelty pieces. My little reindeer necklace (courtesy of A Pocket of Whimsy) illustrates this style perfectly.
Alright, now that we’ve covered fashion side of things, let’s take a look at some interesting facts of Christmas in the 1950s:
- White Aluminum trees were first introduced in the 1950s
- Real trees became available once again after they were restricted during WWII
- Plastic ornaments dominated the previously popular glass ornament market.
- White Christmas (the film) was released in 1954
CREDITS // Author: Charlotte Boyer; Photography: Charlotte & Brigid Boyer; Graphics: Charlotte Boyer; Photos edited with VSCO Presets