What We Can Learn from the Tailoring of the Fifties

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The 1950s is often cited as an example of the ‘good old days.’ Though the influence and legacy of the Second World War was still very present, employment rates were high and the National Health Service was in full swing.

What are the fifties known for?

There were some major conflicts of the period including the Cold War, the Korean War and the Suez Crisis. Rock ’n’ roll was just getting started, and the dance hall was a very popular place to visit on a Saturday night. Family life was considered very important and there was a huge post-war baby boom.

Innovations of the 1950s included polio vaccines, the first satellites to be launched in space, the plastic Coca Cola bottle, the discovery of the DNA double helix and the invention of the transistor computer.

What was the fashion of the period?

Most gentlemen still dressed in a very conservative way during this decade. However, there was a noticeable difference in tailoring cuts for jackets between the 1940s and 1950s. Fifties gentlemen began to wear jackets that were slightly slimmer cut and showed a waistline. Jacket shoulders remained wide and padded.

Formal jackets featured a little more variety than they had in recent decades. The stylish well-to-do gentleman would have owned a white or off white dinner jacket. Pastel tones were also popular.

The 1950s is also known for the rise of the Teddy Boy. This very British subculture was inspired by Edwardian clothing. It was worn almost exclusively by young people who wore drape jackets, drainpipe trousers, high necked shirts and brocade waistcoats.

What style lessons can we learn from the fifties?

There’s a lot to learn from the 1950s silhouette. We particularly like the lesson that a bit of shaping in a jacket can be very flattering!

If you’d like to see some more vintage style inspiration, take a look at what we can learn from the tailoring of the Belle Epoque.