‘Casual Clothing’ Category

1950’s Womens Trousers Pattern

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Womens sewing pattern for misses spots outfit – shirt-jacket and long or short pants (envelope has light toning and some tears at opening and split at top edge)

Womens sewing pattern for misses sports separates. Sports separates – blouse, gathered four-gore skirt, tapered slacks and Bermuda shorts. Blouse is banded and buttoned at front, has set-in short or long sleeves. Long sleeves gathered into link buttoned bands. Skirt has back zipper, slacks and shorts have left side zipper and pockets in right side seams. Contrast sash or purchased belt.(envelope has a few tears around opening and toning)

Misses pants, top and pullover. Top has low neckline and shoulder straps that button to bodice. Pants feature pleats in front and a pocket in right side seam. Pullover has short kimono-type sleeves, mandarin collar, and openings at lower edge of side seams. Frogs, purchased or made, trim front opening. V.1 boasts ribbon trim at upper edge of top and on straps. V.2 front band and collar of pullover match pants.


Tuesday, August 11th, 2009


Boys mostly wore long trousers in the 1850s, but we begin to see boys from affluent families wearing variously styled suits with bloomer knickers. These bloomer knickers, called knickers, were a practical alternative to long trousers for active boys. The bloomer knickers were loose pants gathered at or below the knee. They were often worn at calf length with long stockings in America, but sometimes socks in France. Styles varied from country to country. This style became much more common in the 1860s.

50’s Sweatshirts

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009




Dirndle Skirts Of The 1950’s

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Dirndle skirts were worn during spring, fall and summer, in high school in the 1950’s. Spelled “dirndl” today, they were usually cotton, with a gathered waist and a deep hem. The length was about mid-calf and they came in every color and pattern imaginable. Most of them had floral patterns with pastel colors. Others’ were checkered or striped and sometimes just one color.
They were cool and comfortable to wear and easy to wash. Another big advantage to the dirndle skirt was that we could have lots of them. Although there were patterns available, my friends and I never used a pattern when we sewed them. We bought cotton material on sale. For pennies, we could make a new skirt in a few hours. All we needed was the material, elastic band for the waist, thread and a sewing machine.

It was lots of fun to have a new skirt almost every week or two. They usually needed ironing, but were so easy to iron it only took a few minutes for each skirt.


In the 50’s in my large metropolitan high school, the girls were required to take Sewing and Cooking, and the boys had to take Shop. If a boy wanted to be a chef or a girl a mechanic, too bad in those days. (Times have changed for the better in that regard!) Girls alternated semesters of the required classes, Sewing and Cooking. In the sewing semesters, we often made more dirndle skirts. So on school time we got to sew our clothes.

We usually wore a white blouse with the skirt, or a colored blouse that matched the color of the skirt. White blouses were often the “peasant type” blouse, with the rounded, elastic neckline, and some had puffed sleeves. Synthetic materials weren’t common then, so few of the skirts or blouses were made of material other than cotton.

I know the patterns for those skirts, and most other clothing item patterns, cost under a dollar in the 50’s. Often stores would have sales and we bought patterns for ten cents each. But for my dirndle skirts, I never used a pattern.

Once I’d sewn one and learned how easy it was to make, I was hooked. I’d frequently check out the “five and dime” stores we had in those days, for sales on material. My allowance would usually cover the price of the material for another skirt, since even in the 1950’s it didn’t cost much.

Old patterns for these skirts, from the 50’s, with everything intact and in good condition, cost five to ten dollars each today. I’ve even seen a few selling for twenty-five dollars.

Today, a nice dirndle skirt from the 50’s can easily sell for twenty to seventy dollars or more. I sure wish I had all those skirts from my high school years! But along with my other clothes from that era, they are long gone, except for memories.

The Circle Skirt

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

In the early 1950’s, the world was breathing freely the fresh air of post-war modernism. Women’s kitchens had made cooking faster, which made entertaining much more common, and gave women more time to relax and enjoy life. The free flowing lifestyle demanded a change in clothing that was less restrictive and “stuffy”. In swirls the circle skirt.

Think of Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday”…


The circle skirt emphasized the feminine shape with a narrow waist that flared outward. It pretty much was a huge circle with a hole in the middle, which gave it lots of texture and flair.

Even patterns used the Audrey Hepburn look to illustrate their design:

You can still find patterns for circle skirts and dresses that are authentic to the era, or you can buy original vintage circle skirts and dresses. Personally, I really think this classic look still has a place in today’s fashion, simply because it’s whimsical, comfortable, and pretty!

Men’s Fashion

Monday, August 10th, 2009

If you think the women’s fashions were conservative then you’re going to drop off to sleep reading about men. Can you say gray flannel? They all basically dressed the same. Suit, tie, hat and all in the same drab colors of dark blue, dark brown and gray. Think of about a million Mr. Cunninghams, Ward Cleavers and Ozzie Nelsons. What’s with the cardigans fellas?
I don’t care what The Fonz told you, most teen boys dressed like preppy Pat Boone with the neat slacks, shirt and pullover sweater vest. Sure, there were a few rebels skulking around with the black leather, t-shirts and blue jeans, but just not as many as Hollywood would like you to think.

Men’s fashion in 1950’s Hollywood movies is a stereotype of the everyday man, which is businessman husband. The 1950’s costume for these roles: the husband in a dark and drab business suit and hat, lots of fabric in pant legs. Popular materials are cotton, silk, and wools. Wool Suits and Jackets of tweeds and patterns are the norm. The gray flannel suit is popular and worn by Hollywood men such as Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, and Rock Hudson. After work the businessman husband relaxes in looser clothing, loose pants, and shirt without tie.
For work and meetings the Hollywood actor wears his business suit. At social occasions we see Hollywood Men still in a suit, formal dress suit. During the 1950’s man made fibers are introduced, – nylon, rayon, and blends. The styles stay similar but the cloth material is lighter in weight, also color begins to be used in the fabrics. In the 1950’s men go from vests to cardigan sweaters. These colors, fabric and vest additions happen as the 1950’s progress.
In 1950’s Hollywood movies, the young crowd wears clothing similar to their parents. But we also see less formal clothes – from a loose jacket to a fitted sports jacket; to flannel pants and a nice comfortable sweater. In the later 1950’s the jacket gets longer, less structure to the shoulder and the pant legs narrower. In the movies “The Wild One” (1954) and “Rebel Without a Cause” (1955), jeans and t-shirt is the dress wear for teen boys who want to make a statement.

Coat with Dresses

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Coat with Dresses
Coat with Dresses2
One feature outfit of the ’50s was the matching dress with either a jacket or three quarter sleeve swing duster coat, sometimes also called an opera coat when made in a glamorous evening fabric like satin or brocade. They were made in crisp firmer cottons in solid colours, for day.

Dress jackets varied in silhouette from chopped off small boleros cut above the waist by a few inches having a toreador effect, or jackets could be bloused at the waist or appear as hip length jackets.

1950s Shirtwaisters

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

As the 50’s decade progressed shirt styles were put atop the waist of either a straight or full skirt making the shirtwaist dress a popular practical style among young and old alike. 1950s shirtwaisters often had three quarter sleeves and turn back cuffs. As fabrics they used typical colour combinations being navy and white, emerald and white or candy pink and white as well as plain solid strong colours like turquoise or coral.

1950s – Straight Sheath Dresses

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Straight sheath dresses fitted and darted, or princess seamed, were made from satin cotton in sleeveless and cap sleeve versions. Fine wool crepe or Barathea was often used for a sleeved version. Many early fifties garments had boat or jewel necks and nearer the sixties scoop necklines were more usual.

1950s – Full Skirted Dresses

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

For day, calf length, small waisted full skirted cotton and cotton satin or seersucker dresses with covered matching fabric belts, in beautiful floral and botanical prints, such as cabbage roses were typical choices.  Autumnal leaves or green ferns, cherries and acorns all looked good in lustrous cotton sateen and were used for dress and scarf fabric prints.  Fresh looking gingham checks, spots and  diamond trellis checks were also popular and all make for very collectible fifties vintage now.


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    Womens sewing pattern for misses spots outfit – shirt-jacket and long or short pants (envelope has light toning and some tears at opening and split at top... 



    Boys mostly wore long trousers in the 1850s, but we begin to see boys from affluent families wearing variously styled suits with bloomer knickers. These bloomer...