The 1950s were marked by conservativeness, in manner as well as in dress. Many young people, weary of the images of WWII, just wanted to settle down and start a family. The look of this decade is scaled-back, buttoned-down, and hemmed-in. Women's dresses were narrow and slimming, Of course, another popular style for women was the full, gathered skirt. Toned-down, solid colors were popular.

Dress styles of the 1950s were very much modeled after the New Look, with no shoulder pads, small waists, and gathered or full skirts. Daytime hems rose back to knee level, and evening hems hovered mid-calf. Blouses worn with circle skirts were popular in the 50s, especially among the younger crowd. Suits began to change from the closely-tailored look of the 40s into the boxy, Jackie Kennedy style of the late 50s. Cotton, wool, tweed, and rayon were common fabrics, as well as taffeta and netting for evening wear.

The 50s woman wore toned-down, natural-looking makeup that accented the eyes. The 1950s saw the return of short hair, this time neck-length and with lots of wavy body. Longer hair remained popular among the younger crowd, with the ribbon-tied ponytail a mainstay.

New Fabrics Rayon, invented in 1910, was common in these decades, especially when silk and other natural fabrics became scarce during the war. Acetate and Nylon, invented in 1924 and 1939 respectively, were also popular

For casual wear, the 1950's woman wore housedresses for housework, as well, but usually not for much else. She sometimes wore pants for very very casual occasions. Pants were not seen as ladylike or fit for town wear until the early 1960s.

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