Vintage Style Guide

1950s Fashion History

Fashion during the post-war years saw a return of French haute couture. Broad, square shoulders and straight silhouettes of the 1940s, was soon replaced by Christian Dior's soft and feminine "New Look."

1950s Dress

In the 1950s two distinct styles emerged for women's dresses:

Wiggle Dress: Dresses with a normal waistline with narrow slim skirts ending mid calf (or shorter).

The New Look Dress: In 1947, Christian Dior decreed skirts should rise only 12" or 15" off the ground with a nipped in waist and a curved bust that he called the "New Look." So the full skirt persisted in the 1950s, just shorter this time, often at or above the knee. Bustlines were accentuated, waistlines were high and in evening dresses, strapless was preferred for both short and long ball gowns. Sheaths, capris, pencil skirts and cardigans were popular, and so was the wide circle skirt, often stiffened. To view our selection of 1950s style dresses, click here.

1950s Hair


Fifties hairstyles were soft and curly. Straight hair was out and short hair was in. Young women often tied their hair back in a ponytail and circled it with a pretty chiffon scarf for day.


An accessories revival of crinolines provided a more traditional style for evenings. Gloves were worn both long and short. Lucite purses were the rage. To view our 1940s and 1950s style accessories, click here.

1950s Fashion Icons

Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe

Audrey Hepburn                                  Marilyn Monroe

Fashion icons of the day included Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. The iconic black cocktail dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's fetched £410,000 at a recent Christie's auction house in London.

Gorgeous 1940s and 1950s dresses, full swing skirts, curve-hugging wiggle dresses, dainty gloves and classic icons of the past have inspired us here at Unique Vintage and our selection of fabulous vintage-inspired clothing aims to brings a little slice of this fashion nostalgia back to life

Shop 1950s
Shop 1950's Style Clothing