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Inspired Trends in Makeup and Vintage Fashion of the 1950's Housewife. 

If you've ever watched the TV hit series, "Happy Days," during that glorious decade you've already got some good ideas about fifties fashions.

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The costumes of teenage girls included cashmere twin sets and poodle skirts for date nights, beautiful, mid-calf dresses for school and simple skirts, or even blue jeans at home.

Trends were conservative, even though rock and roll would soon change that.

A ponytail, wrapped in a scarf, was the casual hairstyle.

You might swap the scarf with a bandana when you washed the car, which was easier to wash than chiffon.

The fabulous background of the "Nifty" Fifties

The Nifty Fifties, with a little added hysteria, were a continuation of the femininity of the Forties.

The soldiers left alive had returned back home from the war.

The unusual thing about the Second World War was that women's work had spread to all kinds of jobs for the first time, not just teaching or nursing.

Women worked in factories making weapons, shipyards, banks wherever a man went to war, a woman took his place.

But when the war ended, they were summarily and en masse fired by the factories and industries that employed them.

Even the single women, the widowed with children, those who wanted and needed to work, were sent home.


After years of hard work and poverty, many women were happy to return to housework and wifehood.

Some were angry with the shift from wage earner to housewife and hurt, everyone was disenfranchised.

Soon after, babies were born in huge numbers.

The Baby Boom pushed the country into something closer to normal life, after all, kids need diapers and kindergartens and dogs and suburban homes.

When the future is screaming in your ear, it's hard to hang on to the vintage past.

The feminine fashions of the fifties means looking for a husband

Once again, fashion changed the nation, and the main occupation of a woman was in marital hunting, and after the hunt, happiness, and childbearing.

Women needed tools of the trade make-up, perfume, high heels, ultra-feminine wardrobes for hunting men.

Unlike WWII's scaled-down fashions, 1950's styles were fluffy with petticoats, buxom blonde, and leggy.

The figure of the forties woman was slim and flat, with pads on the shoulder to make it look bolder and more responsible.

The ideal woman of the Fifties was rounded, curvy, and made for making love.

Smart girls pretended that they were dumb and foolish girls looked beautiful.


Movies, however, began a very curious phenomenon.

Eye-glasses were trendy cat's eye designs, with rhinestones and odd shapes brought attention to the eyes.

Marilyn Monroe taught the world in "How to Marry a Millionaire" that gentlemen should make passes to girls who wore glasses, including rich men.

But in the film, Marilyn's character got the line wrong, saying, "Men aren't attentive to girls wearing glasses."

Vintage Fashion Styles of 1950s Rock & Roll Era

The Married Housewife was the Glamour Girl of the 1950s

The quintessential married glamour girl  in the 50's was Lucille Ball, whose sense of fashion was proved as rigorous as her business acumen.

The poodle haircut of Lucy was ideal for the day; shorter, but well managed by daily and frequent visits to the salon.

Hair spray was widely used, making hair styles more interesting.

Peaches and cream make up replaced any previous vamp-styled pallor.

Peaches and cream skin have replaced any pallor created by past vamps.

Lips were rosy pink or red and welcoming; their eyes were lined with mascara (the one product that never went out of fashion).

Eyeliner made an appearance, as well as pastel nail polish and blue and green eye shadow shades.

Foundation was required by current fashion.

Looks and trends for the 50's at night

Cosmetics in the evening shimmered in pink tones for the lips and eye shadow that stretched beyond the lid

Eyebrows are plucked thinly and somewhat high, as if underlining the woman's naivety.

Dimples were admired, but not freckles, except as an infant.

Bangs were often made up of pin curls finger fluffed into a fringe.

Women looked like dolls, the girl next door become a glamorous Parisian model by night.

It was a return to a safe romantic fantasy for a country that came back from war.

Teen party styles from the 1950s could include sock hop, dancers wearing rolled-up jeans and penny loafers or vintage circle skirts and Oxford shoes.



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