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What we wore in the Fifties

Women were expected to dress for their age. Each segment of 10 years had a style that was appropriate to their status amongst other women. Those women who dressed in younger styles were criticized by other women as "mutton dressed up as lamb". Women dressed for other women's approval and it would be better not to attend a function than wear inappropriate clothes. This may have applied to men, but if a man dressed inappropriately it was always the wife who received the blame.

In the fifties trousers were quite uncommon attire for women. It was seen occasionally but this was regarded as not quite right. Trousers were for men.

Mother of the Bride & Hat - this was an entire industry and could only be purchased with a great deal of discussion and care. She could not outdo the bride but had to shine nonetheless. Both mothers had to be careful not to clash with the Bridesmaids or other mother. The Bridesmaids colour was always supposed to be a secret so it was with great tact that the mother of the Groom decided what colour to wear.
Wedding Dress - white, full and flattering, but never revealing.
Going Away Outfit - a tasteful outfit usually a suit, shoes, bag to leave the reception to officially begin married life and a very important part of the ceremony.
Men wore a black suit & white shirt & tie. They were expected to be smartly dressed but not outshine the women on the day.

Evening Wear - wonderful fabrics of silk, chiffon or satin - often beaded with matching evening shoes and small evening bags of beading or shiny material. Dresses were always floor length.

Day Wear - floral waisted dress with a full gathered skirt and matching belt. Young women wore light pastel colours or bright happy colours with lower necklines, while over 30's wore more subtle colours and the older woman wore darker and darker colour patterns.

Teenagers slowly come out towards the end of the fifties with Rock & Roll influencing fashions with full flared skirts and bobby socks and wanting change