Style 101: The 1950s

Forget about today, the much-loved quip “what a time to be alive” should only be used when referring to the 1950s, a decade that stylistically was full of volume and character that just so happens to be more prevalent today than ever before.

Forget about today, the much-loved quip “what a time to be alive” should only be used when referring to the 1950s, a decade that was undeniably great thanks to a global feeling of optimism and a new-found sense of freedom. World War Two was of course over, and the decade saw a number of accomplishments and developments, both cultural and scientific, to give it genuine credence. Some of these included television becoming a household accessory; the conquering of Mount Everest; the discovery of a vaccine for Polio; everyone moving to a fresh, new beat thanks to Elvis Presley; segregation finally being made illegal with the Brown v. Board of Education ruling; the beginnings of the space race; and, last but not least, the birth of the teenager - an eager and adventurous demographic who were all desperate to express themselves in more ways than one.

In a lot of ways, the aforementioned moments either directly or indirectly influenced fashion, and the decade is now revered as being a seminal decade for style. From the simplicity and ruggedness of Brando, the slickness of the Greasers and Teddy Boys to the sophisticated and elegant Edward VIII, the styles of the decade were very much multi-faceted, and therefore will appeal to a wide-range of people. It’s time to take note. So, here’s how to get that 1950s look.

Tailored Jackets & Trousers

Adding some volume into your trouser rotation is an easy way to get this 1950s look and for that, look to the likes of Edward Sexton and Kit Blake. The Hollywood-top is certainly an iconic style of trouser, that came to be during the 1920s in, you guessed it, Hollywood, and managed to prevail through the subsequent decades due to its attractive qualities. With dropped belt loops, which perfectly cater for a woven belt of a small to medium width, they have a high-rise with double forward-facing pleats and a slight taper. Pair them with a white T-shirt and you’re good to go. Kit Blake’s Aleksander model is similar in that it also has a high-rise and forward facing double-pleats, yet it comes with side-adjusters and without belt loops. The likes of Chester Barrie and Huntsman, the latter of which famously started to make bespoke suits for Gregory Peck in 1953, can help you achieve that 1950s aesthetic that’s distinctly British with bold checks, a full cut, structured shoulders and paired with a small knotted tie.


April 2019


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