Elvis Presley, drive-in movies and malt shops all bring to mind the 1950s era. As for fashion-conscious teenage girls in that decade, they could not live without their poodle skirts and saddle shoes.
In the 1950s, a relatively new term — teenager — entered everyday English. Along with the new description came the age of teenage rebellion. It was during the 50s that for the first time, teens started dressing differently from their parents or elders. They made fashion choices based on popular celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe and Annette Funicello, or TV shows like “American Bandstand.”
Although the poodle skirt has come to stand as an icon for the 50s teenage girl, she also wore pencil skirts, which were tight, form hugging skirts extending past the knee, with a split up the middle in the back. Her wardrobe also included rolled up dungarees, or jeans as we call them now, but they were for only the most casual occasions. Cardigans, scoop neck blouses and white shirts with three-quarter-length sleeves were popular choices for tops.
No teenage girl’s wardrobe was complete without scarves. She would knot it at the side of the neck and the ends would hang down. She wore bobby socks and saddle shoes with poodle skirts and dungarees alike. For formal occasions, such as Sunday church services, you often saw both women and teenage girls wearing hats and gloves.
References and ResourcesFifties Web: Fifties Teens and Girls
Fashion-Era: 1950s Teenage Fashion - Fashion History 1950's Teens