For young women, the iconic look was either Good Girl or Bad Girl. Good Girls wore sweater sets, button front blouses with peter pan collars, circle skirts with crinolines, pedal pushers, and denim dungarees with rolled up cuffs. Bad Girls wore their sweaters tight, with pointy bullet bras underneath, midriff tie blouses, pencil skirts, or toreador pants.
More mature women wore the high fashion New Look if they could afford it, with its voluminous skirts and wasp waist. Most women probably dressed more like June Cleaver, Wally and Beaver’s mom, in nice cotton house dresses. Party clothes? Think full skirted strapless dresses of net or tulle, sequinned sweaters, shelf bust bodices, sarong style sundresses. Later in the 50s, skirts got narrower.
50s shoes range from the pointy toed spike heeled stilettos to saddle shoes and penny loafers. Fashionable eyeglasses were cat-eye for women, preferably with rhinestones embedded. Women never went out without their purse, and rarely without their girdle on.
Men’s fashions were mostly rather preppy, but there were some wonderful shirts, Hawaiian and novelty printed.