There is an old world charm about days gone by. Fashion was at its creative best during the era of the 1950s and came close on the heel of World War II. All unmarried soldier who were returning home from war when in one piece or otherwise, wanted to get married and start their own families. Thus the prototype of the perfect housewife was typecast. Minimal skin show, nipped in waist and the hourglass figure soon became the image of the 50s woman. Although fashion was at its creative best, there was a large amount of rigidity that followed fashion during this era.
The hourglass figure was synonymous to the perfect and demure housewife and all women strived to achieve this shape. Skirts and dresses with tight and fitting waists were designed to emphasize the small-waisted woman. Often a belt was added to enhance the emphasis. Not all women had the proverbial hourglass figure and most had to resort to wearing girdles to achieve that look and fit into the tiny dresses. The skirts came in two types; attached and alone and they were full and bouncy. This also helped to highlight the smallness of the waistline in the outfit. Formal dresses too were lined with crinoline on the inside to keep the fullness. The length of the dresses and skirts were modest and below the knee level. Pencil skirts were almost never worn especially by housewives. Skirts and dresses which were designed for casual wear were often fitted with pockets as a practical afterthought.
Cardigans and tops were made very popular during the 1950s. Button-down tops in a plethora of colors were worn with skirts. Cardigans too were a rage during this era and women often wrought them with their tops. Short-sleeve and sleeveless tops were hugely in demand and this fashion lasted perennially, all year through. The Peter Pan collar was copied by all women who wanted to look elegant and chic. Round and U-shaped necklines became hugely popular too. The box sleeveless top was a popular choice of apparel that women wore on a casual day out.
The 1950s was a prolific era for the working woman and many of them took on secretarial jobs, especially when their husbands were away at war. There was an unwritten rule that these secretaries had to be well turned out and groomed. They too had feminine suits that they had to wear to work so that they could look chic. Pencil skirts with matching jackets were considered the unofficial uniform for working women.
The 1950s saw a modern revolution in the fashion industry and the woman was allowed to fly unfettered and free. The skirts and dresses were a part of a woman's daily world but she was free to don on the trousers and once in a while wear the pants in the house. However, unlike the straight and unflattering cuts that was worn by men. Women's trousers and pants were more flattering to their form and in various feminine colors to distinguish between both of them.