Dee’s vintage clothing tips!

RetroDee

Retro Dee

Anyone who really wants to find out about vintage clothing originals, how to read up and spot labeling tips.
Take a quick ride over to Retrodee’s for part one of a four-part series to show you the lowdown on getting it right with vintage clothing!

you’ll be in vintage fashion with her intensive how-to tips!
You can read much more on her site below on the “Cool Posts” link. Enjoy your vintage visit..
illustration Licensed by:
(c) Can Stock Photo / anortnik

Elvis!

Elvis

Elvis Presley

On the 41st year of Elvis Presley’s passing, I have fond memories of him in the 1950s. My friends and I thought he was the coolest looking guy with the long sideburns and he wore his collar up and dressed unlike anyone on the scene at the time!

It was amazing to see him perform on the Ed Sullivan show and the girls loved him and the guys wanted to be like him! What great songs he sang like, I’m All Shook up, Don’t be Cruel, Love Me Tender, and more.

It was Elvis that got me more interested in wanting to play a guitar and make music, he woke us up and rocked us with more great music from him early films like, Love Me Tender, Loving You, Jailhouse Rock, King Creole, the list goes on. You can listen to Elvis on the Jukebox There are a number of his great hits there.

Yes Elvis began it all for me and many more at the time! When I think back to there was some great music made then by many great stars like Buddy Holly, and many groups who were rocking back then! Thanks for the great music Elvis!

Illustration licensed by:
(c) Can Stock Photo / ranker666

Retro Dance

Rock and Roll

Rock Around The Clock!

Sock hops were held as early as 1944 by the American Junior Red Cross to raise funds during World War II. They then became a fad among American teenagers in 1948. Sock hops were commonly held at high schools and other educational institutions, often in the school gym or cafeteria. The term came about because dancers were required to remove their hard-soled shoes to protect the varnished floor of the gymnasium. The music at a sock hop was usually played from vinyl records, sometimes presented by a disc jockey. Occasionally there were also live bands.

In later years, “hops” became strongly associated with the 1950s and early rock and roll. Danny and the Juniors sang “At the Hop” in 1957, which named many popular dances and otherwise documented what happened at a hop. In subsequent decades, with the widespread popularity of sneakers and other types of indoors-only shoes, the practice of removing shoes was dropped. The term then came to be applied more generally to any informal dance for teenagers.

As the pop music market exploded in the late 1950s successive dance fads were commercialized and exploited. From the 1950s to the 1970s new dance fads appeared almost every week. Many were popularized (or commercialized versions of new styles or steps created by African-American dancers who frequented the clubs and discotheques in major U.S. cities like New York, Philadelphia and Detroit.

Among these were the Madison, “The Swim”, the “Mashed Potato”, “The Twist”, “The Frug” (pronounced ‘froog’),”The Watusi”,”The Shake” and “The Hitchhike”.Following the Foxtrot,’60s dance crazes had animal names, including “The Pony”, “The Dog” and “The Chicken” (not to be confused with the later Chicken Dance.

Songs such as “The Loco-Motion” were specifically written with the intention of creating a new dance and many more pop hits, such as “Mash Potato Time” by Dee Dee Sharp, were written to exploit recent successful novelties.

The Watusi, as advertised in a bar window.

The Watusi  is a solo dance that enjoyed brief popularity during the early 1960s. It was one of the most popular dance crazes of the 1960s in the United States. “Watusi” is a former name for the Tursi people of Africa, whose traditions include spectacular dances.

The Pony was a dance made popular in the 1960s by the  Chubby Checker song “Pony Time”. The beat is 1&2, 3&4, etc. In the dance the feet are kept comfortably together, while various arm and hand motions are possible. Movement around the dance floor may occur, but there is no line-of-dance. Couples, who generally face each other, do not touch and turns and chase positions are possible.

The Twist

Twisting

 

1950’s Lifestyles!

Retro Home

The lifestyles of the 1950s was like no other time in America.
The economy was booming! And products were being created and produced at record rates. The 50’s brought on a dramatic change in music, and in fashion! Home decorating styles called for bright and clean colors!. Men and Women’s fashion were real classy and women looked fabulous! For more detailed information and tips of Women’s fashion from the 1950’s visit: Retro Dee’s Guild to the Best Era Ever! Men were dashing in their Fedora fur, or woven straw hats, that came in multi colors and were worn on a slight tilt angle.! And a great fitting suit to match. That’s the way it was at the time, Women wore dresses and Men wore suits!

The 1950’s stand out among the decades, with so much in way of new products like, TV sets were becoming the main source of entertainment other than radio programs.
Rock and Roll was new and hot and the Parents and Media did not look very kindly to the change! And it was also a time of big gas guzzling cars! But man what style they had from the manufacturers of the Chevy, Ford, Oldsmobile, Buick, and the more luxury autos, like the Cadillacs, Jaguars, Bentley’s, and more!

Furniture was designed to fit the times, classy in every way, and that great time period furniture is in style today! Kitchen sets were in vinyl, and cool looking chrome, with wonderful formica tops!  and shiny chrome small appliances like, coffee makers, toasters, mixers, and one for milk shakes! And air conditioning was becoming more popular in the 1950’s. Yes there’s no doubt about it, the 1950’s was the decade of change!

retro furniture

Illustrations licensed from:
(c) camstock photos

Fashion in the Fabulous Fifties: Ladies Wear!

Hi everyone I’m Dee and Bob has invited me to be a guest author on his Fabulous site! As a retro-gal I love mid-century fashion, particularly from the 50’s decade. I guess you could say I’m obsessed with 50’s clothes.

The 1950’s were a time when both women and men took great pride in how they looked. The war was over and it was time for women to be feminine again and to pull out all the stops in their clothing choices.

The most prominent look for women in the 1950’s was the ultra-feminine “fit and flair” silhouette. This was introduced by designer Christian Dior. French Romanticism was a big influence on women’s fashions in the 50’s. The tiny nipped in waist and the elegant flared skirt was a look not only for the most fashionable ladies, but for everyday ladies as well.

Now, when most people think about what ladies wore in the 1950’s, they think of poodle skirts, soft cardigan sweaters and saddle shoes, finished off with a scarf. Although that look is probably to this day the most iconic, it is only one of the styles from that era. The poodle skirt look was strictly for young women (teen-agers) in high school. And not even they wore poodle skirts all the time! Before I knew any better, I used to think that young women in the 50’s wore nothing but poodle skirts. I used to picture them sitting in class, their hair in ponytails, dressed in poodle skirts complete with petticoats as if they were going to jump up any minute and perform a number from Grease. But in reality, the poodle skirt ensemble was only worn to the Sock-Hop on a Saturday night.  In school, young ladies wore simple, wool skirts, with a modest sweater or blouse or sometimes a long “shirt” dress that buttoned up to the very top of the collar. In warmer weather, they wore cotton dresses that hit way past the knee, but above the ankle. The necklines were relatively high, compared to the dresses that came later in history.

Both blouses and dresses alike had Peter Pan collars, and many blouses included built in ties that were neatly made into a bow. Everything was neat and tidy and extremely conservative. Gals did not ever wear pants to school (that was against the dress code for all schools, both public and private.) School was a serious business and dressing appropriately was not an option. That said, the saddle back shoes were indeed appropriate for daily wear and worn in school, as they were both neat-looking and practical.

On weekends, some girls would trade their skirts in for jeans. In those days jeans (or “dungarees” as they called them) were somewhat loose, with a high rise and ALWAYS rolled up at the cuffs. Sporty gals would wear jeans with a cotton button-up shirt, perhaps with a gingham plaid pattern, or stripes. Gals didn’t have many opportunities to wear dungarees in public, but if you were just spending a casual day around the house or playing softball, they were acceptable.

Young women, particularly the teen set, also wore cropped pants called “pedal pushers”. These were high waisted and usually black or sometimes other solid colors. They could also be in the popular black and white gingham print. To this day, these kinds of pants are a classic style.

The next most common look of the 50’s for women was the “Housewife” look. This was basically a house or “day dress” that was comfortable enough to wear all day doing house work. The dresses ranged from cute to dowdy-looking depending on the patterns. They usually had a belt to nip in the waist, a full skirt and were made of cotton. They were “tea length” falling past the knee, but above the ankle. Patterns could be floral, striped, polka-dot, plaid or gingham. Colors were not generally too bright (that came later).

My favorite look of this era is the Formal Wear, or what women wore for special occasions. This could also be considered the “Golden Age of Hollywood” look, which would include the the fabulous, iconic dresses of stars such as Elizabeth Taylor. Special Occasion dresses of that day also included the classic 1950’s Prom Dress, with its sweeping skirt, sweetheart neckline and multiple layers of tulle. Older ladies also wore dramatic dresses with full skirts, although their’s were a bit more sophisticated. For example, Prom dresses were often a girlish pink, while adult women might wear dresses that were black with chic-looking gold accents. The look was opulent and glamorous, and often included an accessory shrug or fur wrap around the shoulders. Formal wear dresses could be strapless or not, some with only one shoulder.

Overall, the common elements of dresses from that era consisted of one or more of the following: a bateau neckline, a sweetheart neckline, taffeta, chiffon, Chantilly lace (yes, like the song!), tulle, and velvet.

Not all dresses were fit and flare, although those are the most remembered from that era. Some were straight and often included a matching jacket could be removed. The one thing all dresses had in common from that time is the length: nothing was above the knee. Like I tell my readers, if it goes above the knee, it’s not authentic 50’s!

Pencil skirts paired with a boat-neck top is another famous look from the 50’s. However, the skirts were not completely form-fitting. Just like with the straight dresses, there was some room between the person and the garment. Modern day adaptations tend to make “wiggle” dresses and skirts too tight and clingy. Nothing was skin-tight in the 50’s.

Finally, I’d like to add that women of the 1950’s always erred on the side of “over dressing” as opposed to under dressing. They wore tailored skirts with matching jackets just to run everyday errands, and no lady ever went ANYWHERE in the 50’s without her hat and gloves!

fashionexamples2

Fashion Examples from the 50’s including the famous Fit and Flair and straight dresses. Note the calf length of both styles.

So I hope you enjoyed my run-down on 1950’s women’s fashion. For more fashion segments featuring the Fabulous Fifties, please visit my blog Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever

I’d also like to thank Bob for having me as a guest author, it’s been a pleasure.

 

Vanity Fair 1950’s Video

Crew cut at Louie’s!

pitr-scissors-half-open-iconWhen I was about 9 or 10 years old my father would give me 50 cents and say, go down to 1 2 3 Louie’s barber shop and get a crew cut! It was about 16 blocks away.

But that’s the way it was in the 50’s we never worried about going places then it was a walk but we didn’t complain a bit most of the time I would go with a friend or two and sometimes they got a crew cut also.