Saturday, December 12, 2009

50's Beauty Part IV

50's fashion is a huge topic.  Byrta Carson gives instructions on how to choose and dye your own material, how to choose your colors so the outfit is most flatting, how to sew your own clothes, how to shop for clothes, it's crazy how much stuff she covers.  I could spend all day talking about all the different aspects to 50's fashion, but I will try to narrow it down for the purposes of this post.

I will discuss Carson's seven basic categories of clothes: undergarments, active sport clothes, school clothes, casual clothes, dressy clothes, lounging and sleeping clothes, and traveling clothes.  First let me say it is important to wear the right clothes for the right occasion: for example, a tennis dress is the most appropriate for playing tennis.  Also, it is important that you coordinate your clothes with your natural beauty so that the whole picture can be the most pleasing to the eye.

Undergarments: Tailored undergarments are best, as everyone's body is differently shaped.  And this way, there are no rolls or bumps created on your body.  Underwear should fit smoothly, and bras should be "firm but not tight." (pg. 118)  Slips should cover the bra, and the bottom of the slip should be about half an inch from the bottom of your dress.

Active Sport Clothes: Sport clothes should be looser than your regular clothes so you can move around, and know what the rest of the women might dress like so you can fit in.  There are specific clothes for events such as swimming (swimsuit), tennis (tennis dress), and picnicking (blue jeans or a playsuit), but over all, your clothes should be more comfortable.

School Clothes: The material for your school clothes should be durable and easy to clean.  You want to go for a simple look.  "Most girls wear skirts with sweaters and blouses because they can be interchanged so easily." (pg. 124)  Jewelry should be minimal and shoes should be comfortable.

Casual Clothes: Casual clothes are those that are considered just a little more dressy than school clothes, but not as dressy as dressy clothes.  It's a very vague definition.

Dressy Clothes: Dressy clothes are for "parties, church affairs, dances, or speical evening dates." (pg. 127)  You will want to add ruffles, flares, lace, nice buttons and better materials to these clothes.  Also, there should be matching jewelry and the heels of your shoes should be a little higher than what you might consider school clothes or casual clothes.

Lounging and Sleeping Clothes: A tailored bathrobe is appropriate, or a housecoat is most preferred by women because they can be worn during cleaning or for lounging (in my understanding, a housecoat is like a robe but you can wear it around the house).  Pajamas should be comfortable and there should be room to move around in them.  Leather bedroom slippers are best and should go well with most of your lounging and sleeping clothes.  Mules would be a fine choice for this.

Travel Clothes: When packing for travel, you want to pack clothes that basically have the same color scheme and the whole outfit can change by just switching out a few accessories.  The ideal material for these clothes are ones that don't need pressing.  "A suit, a two-piece dress, a simple dress with a jacket, or the old stand-by, skirts and blouses or sweaters, are all good for traveling." (pg. 131)

Below are some pictures from the book.  I think these will give you a better idea of 50's fashion. (pg. 140-142)







Geneys  :o)

Carson, Byrta.  How You Look and Dress, 3rd Edition.  St. Louis: Webster Division, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1955.