As we celebrate 70 years of Michael’s Luxury Consignment this year, we decided it would be fun to take a look back at the fashion from every decade we’ve been in business. Our store opened its doors right in the heart of the 1950s in 1954. Some would argue that the 1950s saw some of the most notable moments in fashion history, so let’s take a look for ourselves with our 1950s fashion rewind!

1950's Fashion Styles and Trends

In the 1950s, fashion was a vital component of American culture, representing a post-war era of prosperity and change. The style focused on tailored silhouettes, full skirts, and cinched waists for women, while men embraced tailored suits and greaser looks. Most notably, the rise of youth culture, with icons like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, influenced clothing choices, reflecting a desire for rebellion and individuality. Along with this, the influence of television and film on fashion was prominent, with audiences coveting the glamorous looks of Hollywood stars. Overall, fashion in the 1950s not only reflected societal values but also played a crucial role in shaping the cultural landscape of the time.

1950's Fashion Styles and Designers

Dior's Feminine Silhouette

In the late 1940s, Christian Dior created “The New Look,” a silhouette with an emphasis on nipped-in waists, full skirts, and a return to a more feminine silhouette. The New Look really took over in the 1950s when it reached everyday consumers, so this iconic style not only marked a shift towards luxury and extravagance after the austerity of war, but also symbolized a new era of hope, optimism, and confidence in the future. The innovative silhouette was famously worn by celebrities such as actress Audrey Hepburn, singer Doris Day, and socialite Jackie Kennedy. These famous ladies were able to heighten and expand the reach that this design had on pop culture and the fashion industry as a whole. The New Look played a significant role in shaping the fashion industry and remains influential to this day, highlighting the power of clothing to evoke cultural and societal change.


1950's Fashion Rewind


Self Expression and Rebellion

Later in the 1950s, youth culture underwent a significant transformation as teenagers began to assert their own style and rebellion against societal norms. The emergence of greaser fashion was a notable aspect of this movement, characterized by leather jackets, jeans, white t-shirts, and slicked-back hair. Greasers were often seen as rebellious and anti-establishment, embodying a sense of defiance and freedom that resonated with many young people of the time. This fashion trend represented a departure from the conservative styles of the previous decade, reflecting a desire for individuality and a break from the conformity of the post-war era.

As greaser culture gained popularity among American teenagers, it also became associated with a particular attitude and lifestyle. Greasers were often portrayed in media as tough and streetwise, engaging in activities such as drag racing and hanging out at diners. This subculture provided a sense of camaraderie and identity for young people who felt disillusioned with the limitations of mainstream society. Overall, the rise of youth culture and greaser fashion in the 1950s reflected a desire for freedom, self-expression, and rebellion among a generation coming of age in a period of great social change.


1950's Iconic Fashion and Cultural Influences

1950s Hollywood Glamour

One of the most successful means of influencing 1950s pop culture was the Hollywood craze. In the 1950s, Hollywood glamour fashion was epitomized by elegant and sophisticated looks that resonated with the post-war optimism and glamour of the era. Stars like Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, and Elizabeth Taylor were fashion icons who influenced trends with their impeccable style both on and off the screen. The hourglass silhouettes, full skirts, tailored suits, and glamorous evening gowns adorned with sequins and lace were signature looks of this time.

These Hollywood stars were best known for their roles in iconic films that have stood the test of time. Audrey Hepburn captivated audiences with her performance in "Roman Holiday" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's," solidifying her status as a style icon. Marilyn Monroe dazzled in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "Some Like It Hot," embodying the epitome of sensuality and charm. Grace Kelly's roles in films like "To Catch a Thief" and "High Society" showcased her elegance and sophistication. Elizabeth Taylor, known for her roles in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Cleopatra," was admired for her classic beauty and dramatic performances. 

The fashion of the 1950s in Hollywood not only influenced the style of the time but continues to inspire designers and fashion lovers today. The combination of glamour, elegance, and sophistication seen in Hollywood stars and films of the era remains a timeless source of inspiration for fashion and entertainment, cementing the 1950s as a golden age of Hollywood glamour.

It's clear that we can see that the 1950s fashion has undergone significant evolution over the years, yet its timeless elegance and classic silhouettes continue to influence modern trends to this day. At Michael’s, you can see this influence in pieces that showcase vintage-inspired designs with a contemporary twist, such as full skirts, fitted waistlines, and bold prints. These elements pay homage to the glamour of the past and the era of our first decade in business. We can’t wait to explore the 1960s next!


February 28, 2024 — Andrea Fellman

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