1950s Teen Fashion: Styles, Trends & Pictures


Popular music indicated that America’s youth held an interest in fashion with such hit songs as “White Sports Coat” and “Blue Suede Shoes.”


However, people aged 15-21 were ignored by department stores and were expected to dress like their older counterparts. This was true despite the fact that people in that age group had a whole lot of disposable cash at that time.

Fashion designers sold full skirts and stiff petticoats, or a super-slim skirt and sweater with bows.

Tight-fitting pedal pushers or capri pants were popular leisure wear and jeans (which in the 1950s were called dungarees) were becoming acceptable after people saw a photo of Marilyn Monroe wearing a pair.

Young men wore a shirt, tie and sharply pressed slacks. If you were the rebellious type, however, you wore dark clothes all the time, refused to iron anything and were just generally looking rough on purpose.

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One 1950s fad for girls was to wear a man’s shirt outside their jeans. In high school, a soft sweater paired with a collared blouse was a smart look.

People definitely dressed up special for formal events. For weddings and proms, young women wore fancy dresses like their elders. But clothing choices were quite a bit different for informal school dances.

Many teen girls preferred full skirts, some with 4-inch hems. These skirts were often made of wool felt fabric in bright colors, including the world famous poodle skirt.

The 1950s circle skirts were worn with tucked-in, tight fitting blouses. It was usually tied together with a wide belt, flat-heeled shoes and bobby socks or anklets.

1950s Teen Fashion Pictures


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7 thoughts on “1950s Teen Fashion: Styles, Trends & Pictures

  1. Doug Henderson

    I remember in the 50’s, when I was a teenager, a lot of girls would pull in their belts very very tight – lovely.

  2. colin apps

    Actually I can just remember the London trams running around in places like Streatham in south London .
    I always remember looking forward to visiting my Aunt Vi,s who lived in Rigindale road there where trams were the kings in that area at the time . And of course the steam locomotives of that period I wish we could turn the clock back .
    And not to forget the green electric trains every thing seemed so uniform and the Queen Mary and Elizabeth smart looking ships . I can also remember my first piano and organ lessons and my 1st pair of longs I was about eleven or twelve at the time couldn,t wait to get into them .I am nearly 70 now where has it all gone?

  3. Kathy Jo Bryant

    I remember my brother who was a teen in the ’50’s, wearing a pink short sleeve shirt with retro designs on it, with triangles, possibly squares and circles on it as a pattern.

    1. Kaylin

      Hello Kathy,
      I am a high school student currently working on a “Decades Project,” to which my group and I were assigned the 1950s. A part of the report requires an interview with four people who were teens in the decade assigned. I would certainly appreciate if I could get an email-interview with your brother and yourself. This would help my group as we have not been able to find more than one person. If you and your brother would like to help, please email at 519667@husdstudent.com. This would be greatly appreciated!
      Thank you, Kaylin

  4. Don Coyer

    As a baby, I remember the 50s through Elvis records and a lot of other music that was out. My dad and his stepdad and his 2 brothers….my dad played guitar and his stepdad aspired to it. I remember being about 3 and 4 sitting on the floor looking at their saddle shoes or oxfords (my grandpa, mostly) tapping up and down and I’d pounce on their feet. I remember the red/orange light of the guitar amp, the cuffed baggy pants, the old cars, Packard, Chevy, Buicks with the portholes down the sides, etc. I vividly remember Kool cigarette ashtrays with penguins on them, and stylized bluegreen triangular ashtrays that looked like something off of the Jetsons. Also, the curtains with black stitched looking angular patterns. Everybody slicking back their hair with vaseline or some other gunk. There were table lamps that looked like wagon trains and the shades often matched curtains, very thick material that looked yellowish when the light was on.
    My uncles were 50s kids and kept me constantly listening to Elvis, they were huge fans. Guitars were always around. My uncles wore their belts with the buckle off to the side, a lot of times, their collars were up. My uncle Steve always had switchblades. Bottles of coke were big items, with the condensation (swear) all over. The 50s was really the 40s until Elvis came along.


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