33¢ Teen Fashions
Celebrate the Century – 1950s
Issue Date: May 26, 1999
City: Springfield, MA
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed, engraved
Styles in dress and physical appearance often reflect cultural trends in the United States. During the Depression years, the look was one of maturity. Women wore full, heavy dresses with long skirts. The postwar era, however, focused on the glorification of youth.
Fashions of the 1950s ranged from the tube dress, which was made of a single piece of clingy knit fabric, to the sack dress. Teenage girls wore skirts with multiple crinolines underneath to provide extra fullness, called the “bouffant” look. Skirt lengths hung at mid-calf, but shorts, with rolled-up cuffs, got shorter. Teenagers wore stick-on pins and pop-it necklaces, whose length could be changed by the wearer snapping on or off an extra set of beads. Saddle shoes were also popular.
The curly “poodle” hair style was the rage among women, and many young men wore ducktail hairdos. Pink became a popular color for men’s shirts, ties, and hatbands. Business executives wore fewer gray suits and more Bermuda shorts. Some teen-age boys sported string “Colonel” ties and pleated “rogue” pants.
Hollywood stars helped define fashions of the decade, including Marilyn Monroe. With her suggestive demeanor and childlike innocence, she was one of the era’s most significant beauty icons.