If you’re trying to find the perfect ’50s-themed party outfit, then look no further, as we’ve put together a list of some of the best outfits that you can wear to a ‘50s theme party. So what are you waiting for? Let’s take a look at what you can wear!
Best ‘50s Themed Party Outfits
One of the most popular looks of this decade was some of the iconic outfits wore by the housewives of the 1950s, so if you’re looking to replicate this look, the first thing you’ll need is a shirtwaist dress, and opt for a bold print, such as polka dots, or gingham, just remember that although most of these dresses were in a swing style, that a loose sheath dress will also pass just fine!
To go with the dress, you’ll need a light petticoat, flat shoes, either a full or half ‘50s style apron, and a hair scarf.
I Love Lucy
One of the most iconic characters representing the 1950s was the American Sitcom “I Love Lucy” which featured some super iconic looks, two of which are still inspiring 50s-themed outfits to this day, so if you’re looking for some inspiration, then this is always a great place to start.
Like many women of the 50s, she mainly wore dresses in prints such as polka dot, or gingham, which also featured white trimmed collars and cuffs, like many of the dresses of the time.
Another outfit that Lucy wore was a sheer black hostess dress, which is a combination of a skirt/dress along with a jumpsuit and capri pants, which would typically be worn when hosting a party for other people.
So, if you’re hosting your own 50s-themed party, this sort of outfit would definitely look the part!
Sock Hop Outfit
Sock Hop outfits are always a safe way to ensure that you fit right in at any 1950s themed parties (skip ahead a few decades and check out 15 Best 70s Theme Party Outfits). So, you can choose to either go with a full swing skirt, and partner it with a knitted top, or a longer pencil skirt with a blouse, layered with a cardigan on top.
Accessories are also key to the outfit too, flat shoes, loafers, or even saddle shoes will all look the part, and you can’t forget the iconic chiffon neck scarf either, which should be tied to one side for maximum authenticity!
Whilst a pencil skirt, and blouse and cardigan combination would be the perfect outfit for any teenager of the 1950s, they also double as the signature look for many of the women who were found in the professional office settings too.
These outfits were slightly more elevated however, with beaded cardigans and silk blouses, and accessorized with pearls and backseam stockings, as well as a small hat, and even gloves too.
In the 1950s, waitresses typically wore a uniform consisting of a dress or skirt and blouse combination. The dresses and skirts often had a vintage, retro style, and were usually knee-length or just above the knee, and had a full, flared skirt.
These dresses were made of a lightweight, breathable fabric like cotton or polyester.
Waitresses would also wear aprons over their dresses or skirts. These aprons were usually made of a lightweight fabric like cotton or polyester, and were usually white or pastel in color.
They were worn around the waist and had long ties that could be tied in a bow at the back or front of the apron.
Star of the hit show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, people often look to her for style inspiration when trying to put together their own ‘50s themed party outfit (for something more modern, check out our 13 Best 2000s Themed Party Outfits).
Mrs. Maisel’s style is characterized by a mix of vintage and modern elements. She often wears dresses and skirts with a vintage, retro style, such as full-skirted prom dresses, fit-and-flare dresses with a full skirt and a cinched waist, and knee-length A-line dresses with a full skirt and a fitted bodice.
Tea Dress Outfit
A popular style of dress at the time, you too can create a 1950s tea dress outfit, starting with a tea dress in a color or print that you love, you can pair your tea dress with a pair of vintage-inspired shoes, such as peep-toe pumps or ballet flats.
To complete the 1950s tea dress outfit, you could add some vintage-inspired accessories, such as a wide-brimmed hat, a pair of statement earrings, or a clutch bag.
Another great style to go for is the cocktail party, which is a style that became immensely popular throughout the decade, the outfits involved were characterized by a stylish and sophisticated look that is suitable for evening events.
In the 1950s, cocktail parties were often quite formal, so women’s outfits were typically elegant and formal as well.
So this is a great choice for a more formal 1950s themed party.
If the ‘50s themed party is a particularly formal affair, then you might want to opt for an evening gown, which was the go to look for any formal occasion during the decade!
A 1950s evening gown is a formal, elegant dress that was worn to formal events and occasions in the 1950s.
Evening gowns of the 1950s were typically made of high-quality fabrics like silk, satin, or chiffon, and were often adorned with decorative details like lace, ruffles, sequins, and beads.
‘50s Beach Outfits
For a 1950s themed party in the summer, why not opt for a beach themed outfit? In the 1950s, women’s beach outfits were typically casual and comfortable, and often featured lightweight, breathable fabrics such as cotton or linen.
Beach outfits were typically worn during the summer months, and were designed to protect the skin from the sun while also keeping the wearer cool.
This means that you can look the part, whilst remaining comfortable!
An alternative to some of the usual ‘50s beach outfits are the distinctive tiki outfits! In the 1950s, tiki themed outfits were popular for beach and tropical-themed events, and often featured bold, colorful prints and tropical motifs, such as palm trees, hibiscus flowers, and tiki masks.
Tiki themed outfits for women in the 1950s might include a Hawaiian print dress or skirt with a matching top, paired with sandals or flip-flops. Men’s tiki themed outfits might include Hawaiian print shirts with matching shorts or pants, paired with sandals or flip-flops.
Want something with a bit more edge, then a 1950s greaser outfit might just be what you’re looking for.
Women’s greaser outfits in the 1950s often included tight, form-fitting clothing, such as pencil skirts or capri pants, paired with form-fitting tops, such as crop tops or halter tops.
Women’s greaser hairstyles often included bouffant or beehive hairstyles, and might be adorned with decorative hair clips or accessories.
Another edgy alternative outfit is to lean into some of the rockabilly style from the era. Many of the rockabilly outfits worn by women in the 1950s often included form-fitting dresses or skirts with a flared or “swing” silhouette, paired with high heels or ankle boots.
Women’s rockabilly hairstyles often included bouffant or beehive hairstyles, and might be adorned with decorative hair clips or accessories.
So, if you’re looking for a party outfit that is going to rebel and defy conventions, much like it did in the ‘50s, then this style is definitely one for you to try out!
If you want to try a more casual attempt at 1950s style, then there’s no need to complicate things, as you can easily put an authentic looking outfit together with minimal effort.
The casual women’s outfits in the 1950s often included a variety of tops, such as blouses, cardigans, and sweaters, which were paired with full or flared skirts, or with straight-leg or wide-leg pants.
Skirts and dresses were often knee-length or slightly longer, and were often paired with flats or low-heeled shoes.
Other popular elements of casual 1950s women’s outfits included colorful scarves, belts, and jewelry, and women often carried large handbags or purses to hold everyday essentials.
Overall, 1950s casual women’s outfits were often stylish and chic, and were designed to be comfortable and practical for everyday wear.
We hope that this guide has provided you with plenty of inspiration and ideas of what to wear to a 1950s themed party.
It can sometimes be hard to figure out what to wear for a themed party, and depending on the formality of the party, there are a wide variety of things you can wear, so you should have no issues finding something to wear that makes you feel as good as you look.
So, now all you need to do is find which style suits you, and get to making your outfit!
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