One of my favorite all time decades has to be the 1950s, if I could time travel I'd go back and visit the late 1800s, 40s, 50s and the big hair 80s (just for the fashion). Now I don't own a Delorean but let's take a virtual trip back in time, a time when the American economy was on the upswing, the Korean War and the beginning of the Cold War created a politically conservative atmosphere. Juvenile delinquency was at epidemic proptortions for the time and racial segregation was still about although the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s would soon be brewing.
On a more upbeat note, there were radical times filled with the Dudes, the Hipsters, Gloria Swanson, James Dean, it was the first introduction of B-movie Westerns on television, Abstract Expressionism had started to gain worldwide influence and it was the creation of two of my favorite novels, Fahrenheit 451 and The Catcher In the Rye. There were all kinds of musicians jamming out like Hank Williams, The Chordettes and the rockabilly kings like Bill Haley and Johhny Cash. And who cannot forget the drive-ins that were filled with young couples and teen films like Rebel Without a Cause, The Blob and I Was a Teenage Werewolf.
I always look back at many things from this devine decade, but one thing comes to mind: the cool style and fashion. There was a driving force of 1950s society which embodied youngsters, during this decade the term teenagers was conceived. There were a ton of influences in the eyes of these radicals including daring films, rock music and magazines like American Manhood and TAB. These youngsters with owned fashions and music and roamed the streets filled with cafes and milk bars. There was certainly a generation gap between the conservative parents and their wild offspring during this time, I always think of Ward and June Cleaver.
Even European teens were influenced by America! You had the greasers and preppies of course, greasers followed the standard black leather and denim jeans set by Marlon Brando in The Wild One, these actors and Rock 'n Roll gods like Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis were setting the standards without even knowing it. On the other end of the spectrum you had the preppies who were neat as a pin. The teen girls wore full skirts with large appliques on their clothing or had the pressed pleated polyester skirts which helped maintain that slimming look. On top they wore scoop neck blouses, classy cardigans and would often knot a scarf and pull it to the side. Such a sassy look I'd say.
Far right: Fall 2006 Men's Comme Des Garcons by Rei Kawakubo. Model features a Teddy Boy ensemble with two-tone rebellious attitude.
For the guys, you had the Teddy Boys or Neo-Edwardians, who worn the sported Drape long knee length single breasted wool jackets with plenty of pockets. They'd match them with narrow trousers, stiff shirts and suede shoes. The boys had sideburns and slicked back their hair often busting out with the switchblade comb. The rocker style was born from the Teds, who wore Drapes at weekends but leathers on their bikes. Their chicks wore plenty of eye make up and took every fashion over the top, a fav ensemble was a close fitted black sweater and a calf skirt, toreader pants or circle skirts matched with a low cut top to show off the goods when cutting the rug. Now if I ever had a chance I'd snag me a man that had that real rebel look, Johnny Depp comes to mind from Cry Baby or even Richie from The Wanderers.
With all this talk about time travel and hot attire, I found some real gems in the etsy community and wanted to share some retro finds to doll up you, your man or even home, let's walk down memory lane shall we…
~ 1) These Vintage Sleek Sexy Black Cat Eye Spectacles from Third Granny are perfect to spice up any outfit, match with a special cardigan, pencil skirt and simple pearls and you got a match made in heaven.
~ 2) Roll the odds with these Mini Black Dice Stud Earrings from GrOglmann, add a little swagger in you step. Can the Rat Pack tag along?
~ 3) Pink and Black Diner Saucers from Bohemienne are just waiting for a strawberry milkshake to top them off. Mmmm.
~ 4) Oh Sandy baby! This original 1950s White Shelf-Bust Strapless Metallic Chiffon Couture Cocktail Prom Wedding Dress is to die for! Stop by Timeless Vixen for femme fatale fashions from the 1870s to the 1970s.
~ 5) Cut up a rug in these Vintage Red and White Low Heel Lace Up Shoes from Zaas Vintage Boots, mix and match these 1970s shoes with a hot pencil skirt and you will be hot to trot.
6) A modern twist on the charming poodle skirt, add some whimsy with this Vintage Poodle Charm Pendant from Mimi's Vintage Shop.
7) A 1950s Classic Bow Tie in black from Elizabeth Wren Vintage, it is a simple pleasure of seeing any man dress so handsomely.
8) Killer Wild West Cuff Links by Brehan Todd, a perfect rockabilly accessory for any chase on the streets.