1950's Wedding Dresses: Style Inspiration From The Fabulous Fifties
If you’re planning your big day and are someone who favours a vintage wedding dress style, what better era to take inspiration from than the fabulous 50’s? A period of youthful rebellion set to the soundtrack of rock and roll and doo-wop, the fifties were the ultimate era of change. With a new generation of style emerging from the booming economy, fashion was no longer reserved for the super-rich and, instead, was more accessible than ever. Think voluminous skirts, nipped in waists and ultra-feminine touches. From wedding dress alterations to finding the perfect accessories, whether you’re searching for a look that is full vintage or are simply looking to channel your inner Audrey or Elizabeth, we’ve got you covered.
So, what were the most popular styles of 1950’s wedding dresses?
During the 1950’s, fashion became more playful and styles were characterised by their fun and flirty feel. Flattering and feminine, this signified a move away from the practical, more masculine uniforms of the 40’s into a new, ultra-feminine age. After the austerity of the war, women were excited by the celebration of the female shape, with corsets, heavy skirts and puffed blouses all proving popular.
Mid or tea-length dresses were a wardrobe staple in the 50’s and make the perfect wedding dress style. Cute and playful, this typical style features multiple petticoats to create a layered, voluminous skirt which was designed to enhance the slenderness of the waist. Perfect for dancing, dressmakers traditionally used an abundance of fabric to rebel after the fabric restrictions of WW2.
It’s all in the straps
A major characteristic of 50’s fashion was the introduction of more ‘daring’ styles. From halter necks and bardot styles to strapless and sweetheart necklines, women were all about showing off their figures and often covered up with a lace bolero or faux fur stole. Strapless styles are popular bridal gowns and make for a perfect occasion dress.
Fit and Flare
Once coined ‘The New Look’, what is now referred to as a ‘fit and flare’ style, these dresses made a huge impact in the 1950’s. In stark contrast to the minimalistic post-war outfits, these styles were designed to highlight a slender waist and signified a move towards more fun fashion.
Perhaps one of the most iconic weddings of all times, Grace Kelly’s 1956 marriage to Prince Rainer of Monaco kicked off a longstanding love affair with bridal lace. Featuring three petticoats, a high collar and a full skirt, the dress was made from a delicate vintage lace and has since been cited as an inspiration for the gowns of both the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton and supermodel Miranda Kerr.
Make it your own
Your wedding day is just that – yours - so inject your own style into your dress! Take inspiration from the screen sirens of the 50’s, but with your own personal touches. For brides searching for a truly authentic 50’s wedding, investing in a vintage wedding dress can help you to feel fully ‘in character’ for your big day. Search charity shops, online stores or even friends and family – you never know, your dream dress may be lying in someone’s attic! For those unable to find the vintage dress you’ve been looking for, why not consider a simple dress in a 1950’s style? Our alterations experts our experts have years of experience in helping to alter garments to create the wedding dress of your dreams. Similarly, adding modern touches can help to bring your look into the modern day. There are no rules or restrictions, choose what’s right for you!
Our top tips:
Don’t forget the accessories. From gloves to stockings, pearls to scarves, it’s all in the detail. Don’t be afraid to boost your bridal look with bold colours or 50’s patterns for a real nod to the era. It’s what’s underneath that counts. For those opting for vintage dresses, choosing the right underwear can make all the difference. Women in the 1950’s generally wore corsets, petticoats and girdles to flatter and smooth their bodies in order to mimic the shape of such stars as Marilyn Monroe or Jane Russel, so opt for similar styles to recreate the look. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The 1950’s were all about old Hollywood glamour, so amp up your look with a bright red lip, some killer heels and a string of pearls to stay on-trend. Go all out. For brides with a passion for vintage, why not turn your entire day into a true 1950’s celebration? From vintage cups and saucers to rock and roll music and retro-inspired stationery, it’s easy to gather the right decorations to suit your dress. Head to Pinterest for inspiration if you’re stuck!
1950’s wedding dresses: get help from the alterations experts