50s Costumes

50s Costumes

With the reemergence of Paris fashion houses, haute couture made a comeback in the 1950s and this decade was known as one of style and glamor. 50s costumes reflect this elegance, so be prepared to bring you’re a-game if you are planning to don 50s costumes for a Halloween or costume party.


For women, mid-length full skirts and fitted sweaters were all but a uniform. These pieces can easily be found at any thrift store – or even in your grandmother’s closet! The skirts were often called “poodle skirts,” because they originally had transferred poodle images on them. This is something you could easily do at home with just an iron-on patch or a needle and thread. If you want to go for the full schoolgirl look, just pair this with some cuffed socks and saddle shoes, and tie your hair up in a scarf or ribbon!


Men have the option of being greasers. Icons for this look include Elvis, James Dean, and the character of Fonzie from the show “Happy Days.” To get this look, just find a pair of tight jeans, a fitted white t-shirt, and a leather jacket or jean vest. Grease your hair up, and act like you don’t care about anything.


You can even gender-bend these looks for your 50s costumes. Women can take a cue from Sandy in “Grease,” and wear a tight, wide-cut shirt and leather, skin-tight pants, plus some daring red heels. Men can go for the preppy look of the sweater girls by donning sweater vests or letter jackets. Just iron or sew on a big varsity letter to a leather-sleeved jacket, then put on some dress shoes and slacks.


50s costumes can also reflect pop culture of the time. Audrey Hepburn was coming into the limelight, and she repopularized the glamor that was lost in World War II. To copy her look, just find a little black shift dress, hook on some pears, and put your hair up in a fancy bun! Marilyn Monroe was also on the scene. She brought to fashion halter tops and tight, curve-hugging dresses. Everyone knows what her famous white halter dress looks like, so just set your hair or wig in some curlers, draw on that famous mole, and sashay your way through the party!


Men can take a cue from contemporary TV show character Don Draper in the early years of the show. Pick out a nice slate blue or brown suit. It should fit more loosely than you think – that was the style. Now put on some dress shoes and toss on a tall fedora. You can also accessorize with a fancy watch and a long trench coat. Voila! You are a 50s businessman.


50s costumes are simple but elegant, and the pieces are easy to come by, even if you’re just looking in your grandparents’ storage closet. So get out there and strut your stuff!