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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

HC at uOttawa is releasing a series of articles about different fashion trends and styles throughout the decades. In this instalment, we’re looking at fashion in the 50s.

What Women Wore In The 50s


Keywords: elegant, casual yet formal, “swing” style

In the 1950s, women wore poodle skirts or sweater sets (set of blouse and skirt). Basically, any skirts or dresses that cinched their waistline and accentuated their hips were very in during this time period. Moreover, anything with polka dots was very popular during that time period as well!


As for accessories, women in the 1950s wore their hair up in a high ponytail, cardigans if ever the weather was chilly, and saddle shoes with their bobby sox. They’d also wear handbags, pearl jewelry like earrings and necklaces, gloves, and hats like cloches, caps, and berets! Examples of hats are flower, wide-brimmed, and straw hats (if they were elegant-looking).

Think: Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Elizabeth Taylor, and Doris Day.

The 50s Style Today


Katy Perry

Katy once rocked an elegant and sweet pink prom dress. We see her sporting retro fashion many times when seen on the red carpet or in public. Even in the premier of her film she was seen wearing a red sleeveless dress cinched at the waist and short ballgown below the hips, her hair curled, lips elegantly dressed in a ruby red lipstick, and red pumps covering her feet.

Taylor Swift

There’s a look from Taylor Swift in a yellow dress and red shoes… very chic and it’s giving pop princess from the 1950s. Moreover, Taylor Swift’s signature red lipstick and simple eye makeup screams 1950s era!

How To: Incorporating 50s Fashion Into Our Style Today

What To Wear

If you’re ever wanting to incorporate 50s fashion in your life, you can’t go wrong with wearing simple and classy shoes (preferably with a heel), girly dresses that define your figure, and top it off with a cloche or wide-brimmed hat, beret, small handbag, pair of gloves, simple eye look, and/or a red lip.

All in all

HC at uOttawa has released a series of articles about different fashion trends and styles throughout the decades. In this instalment, you’ve been taken back into the 1950s era. Hopefully, after reading this, you are inspired by what fashion was, how it’s changed, and how, in some ways, it has stayed with our generation. Check out the rest of the series where we’ll explore fashion from other decades like the 1920s!

Emily Crandall

U Ottawa '24

4th-year Communications and Sociology student at the University of Ottawa.