When it came to styling, the “postwar era” of the 1950s had a conservative fashion trend. For those who are thinking that it was out and out stylish like the movie “Grease” which displayed a typical rock and roll kind of styling, the actual clothing style was a complete opposite.
1950s Fashion for Men
50s clothing style was typically conformist, due to which every individual looked almost the same. But it was also the time when iconic figures like Elvis Presley and James Dean were having a great influence on the men’s clothing styles which were different from the contemporary style of the 50s. For those who want to know how men dressed in the 50s, here is a summary that can throw some light on it.
How did Men Dress in the 50s
It was the period when World War 2 was over, and victory celebrations were still going on. Patriotism was on the high, which reflected even in the clothing style of the men. Instead of loud, flashy colors people preferred dark formal shades such as blue, gray and brown for workplace attire.
Men’s suits in 1950s had a traditional but charming look. These classic style suits were designed in loose and plain colors. Textured fabrics like wool, tweed, flannel, and corduroy were the hot favorites during that time. Apart from this, plaid and big checks were on trend too. The use of shoulder pads in the suits got discontinued.
The double breasted suit was the hottest trend of 50s male fashion. Soldiers who returned from the war wanted something classy to wear apart from their uniform, and it fitted perfectly in their bill.
The 1950s fashion fads included the sports coats which could be worn with a variety of combination of light as well dark colored pants. Ties transformed from wide to skinny while the use of bold colors with pattern designs became popular. It mainly defined men’s business fashion of that time.
In the 50s outfit, pleated trousers made a comeback after fabric rationing ended. The pants were worn above the waistline, and the pleats had a prominent center crease. They gave the legs a decent room to breathe. Textured fabric with colors like medium blue gray and tan were the trends of 50s male fashion.
In this vintage era, Marlon Brando and James Dean made the jeans culture quite popular. It greatly influenced the teenage fashion, especially the college going youth during that time. It brought the jeans out of the barn to the mainstream styling. 1950s jeans were buckled above the waistline, and it was rolled upwards to expose the socks that were worn with canvas shoes.
Though the 1950s clothing was more on the conformity side, the shirts appeared more of a relaxing-fashion fad of 1950s. The designer Hawaiian shirts looked very cheeky with the use of bold colors and attractive designs. Apart from this, the knit shirt, bowling, camp shirt, Cuban collar shirt, and the western rockabilly shirts gave a new definition to 1950s men’s casual fashion.
The 50s Greaser Look
Depicting this era cannot be completed without mentioning about the 1950s men’s greaser fashion. Though this fashion trend was predominantly conservative, the greaser fashion outfits portrayed a bit of a rebellious subculture. Most boys adopted the bikers fashion and their attires included motorcycle leather jackets with t-shirts, straight leg jeans that went along with military boots.
Most of the greasers had large volume sleeked back hairstyle that cannot go unnoticed along with their pin-up tattoos and bandanas. So if you have seen John Travolta in the movie “Grease,” you should have got an idea about young men’s fashion of this period.
The 1950s fashion trend gave impetus to the preppy clothes among the men. They had a casual appearance which was easy on the eyes and was preferred by young boys as well as student athletes. Cardigans, sports clothes, and letterman jackets were some of the featured clothing which gave a preppy look to the guys. Cardigan sweaters were preferred by the men as an option for winter fashion outfit.
Traveling and touring gained a good momentum in the 50s after the slump of the world war which also inclined the people for casual style of dressing. Polo gained immense popularity and became a part of every man’s wardrobe during that period. It was a comfortable outfit which was ideal as summer wear. The shorts combined with it perfectly that made the pair an excellent beach wear.
Hats were an integral part of the 50s clothing for men. It was also a mark of a true gentleman, but at the same time, you have to keep etiquette in mind. Some of the popular trends of hats that men used to wear were the Fedora, Porkpie, Walking hats, Tribly, and driving caps.
Men’s 50s Shoes
Post World War 2 era saw many changes in fashion, and the shoes also followed the lead. The 1950s shoes also reflected the conservative fashion trend with Oxford shoes and loafers, which were worn with both casual as well as formals.
The new entrants in the boot section were the Chukka boots and the Brothel Creepers whose design was inspired by the desert military boots. Rubber sole made a significant position for itself, particularly in the sports shoe section. Rockabilly Shoes was preferred by the rebellious kind, especially the greasers.