An Overview of 1950’s PatternsHannah Greenwood
The 1950’s were a time of ongoing recovery for people all over the world. Those born during the second world war rightly felt something good had to come from what had past, and those born after were happily unaware of how difficult those times were. These varied experiences all mixed up in one lifetime of people produced new fashions and new styles that were both beautiful and different. Those that felt they had enough of loss and deprivation were now to embrace freedom and change. The younger inexperienced generations, perhaps under the common misconception that their elders just didn’t know what it was like to be young and need fun, also craved change and revolution. Fashion has always been the way groups of people and individuals can express the general feel and mood of the times.
The 1950’s were times of radical change, especially in the fashion industry. During the previous decade, rationing and restrictions were a common factor to consider when designing and creating a garment. For example, even 1950’s vintage nightwear patterns encourage extra use of fabrics in frills, bows and lace, layers such as bed jackets, robes and baby doll sets, and extravagance in choice of fabrics such as satin or chiffon.
When we think of the 1950’s now we might think of rock and roll, Chuck Berry, Greece lightning and 1950’s diners complete with chocolate milkshakes and side orders of fries. But there was so much more to the 1950’s that brought the trends of fashion into the home. Television brought the latest trends and fashions from the top designers, such as Christian Dior with their iconic ‘new look’, to everyone’s home. The biggest boom in television sales was in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation where she herself wore an iconic dress of history. All of these things impacted on the fashion and styles of the general public.
Blouses were popular in the 1950’s and were often worn with pants or the pencil skirt, now seen as a must have item in most women’s wardrobes. The 1950’s blouse patterns and 1950’s trouser patterns, have a sophisticated look that encouraged professional woman at a time when women had lost some of the freedom had experienced during the war years due to the men coming home from war and getting back to the jobs women had been taking care of in their absence.
The 1950’s also saw changes to the family holiday. Visiting the seaside was now safe, so it became more popular and the 1950’s swimsuit patterns were created to meet the growing demand. With the emphasis mainly on looking curvy, slim and like a pin up model, bra tops were often lined and some bodices where boned to smooth out and tuck in any lumps and bumps. The beach coat was also a favourite item to be worn when not taking a dip.
In short, this was the prelude to a new beginning that sparked a fashion that even today is converted and admired.