Many people associate 1950s dresses with the hippy generation. In actual fact, this was just one of the many fashion trends that were taking place at that time. The fashions in this period were certainly far from fashionable and people chose them for their comfort and ease. Dresses were available in every color imaginable and there were many different neckline choices. Shirts were also quite popular and could come in any style.
When you think about the types of dresses available, you have to wonder if they were practical for the times or simply considered a luxury good. They certainly weren’t fitted for fashion but they certainly looked great on most women and it was well known that most women would be seen out and about in these dresses. You’ll often see pictures of young stars in these long skirts and dresses swaying and gliding down the street. Of course, they weren’t necessarily very practical as they weren’t particularly long and didn’t have much in the way of extra material or structure. However, they were definitely comfortable and at least had some form of a skirt to them.
A few decades later, dresses became shorter and more fitted. This happened due to the fashions being returned to their earlier designs and also because manufacturers realized that women wanted more choices in the materials and cuts of their clothing. Popular options at this point were long gowns which had trains in them, cocktail dresses and more relaxed cuts which weren’t so rigid. The 1950s is also when the popularity of the flapper bloomed and there are still plenty of these dresses to be found around.
While they were still considered to be sexy, they often had far less structure and were often sleeveless. The cut of the dress was also very different from what we have today, with pleats, empire waistlines and even ruffles. These dresses also had a fantastic variety and women loved to choose from the huge range that were available. Some of the more popular styles that never went out of fashion were poodle skirts, Georgette, ruffled, halter neck and the all time favourite howlers.
As time moved on and the 1960s hit, the fashions changed again with stiffer materials and designing. Again, dresses became less like what we have today and became more elegant and sophisticated. Many of the popular styles of the time were also altered to suit the new styles. An example of this is how dresses became much shorter and lighter as they often had pleats and other patterns. For tops, many women opted for large, printed floral prints and for skirts, they often went for vertical stripes.
As the 1970s gave way to the eighties and the seventies, the popularity of the dresses also declined as they became more similar to what we have today. However, they did enjoy a resurgence in popularity in the eighties as many people took an interest in the fashion and music that was around at the time. They were also seen as being less stiff and relaxed than the dresses of the past, allowing for people to be comfortable wearing them. However, they were often a bit boring and still did not have the same amount of choice that they had previously.