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The styles of: The 1950's

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As with the 1940's, the 1950's styles are seeing a big revival at the moment. From fashion to music and dance, the 50's had an air of excitement and community spirit after the war that many people seem to wish was more prevalent in today's society. (Talking of community spirit, we are loving HelpfulPeeps at the moment for this sort of thing!)

Music

Jukebox Cufflinks

Rock 'n' Roll took the world by storm in the 1950's, with artists such as Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis taking centre stage.

The Jukebox had been around since well before 1950, however they had their biggest popularity in the 50's. The Seeburg Company introduced the 45rpm vinyl record jukebox in the 50's, as the popularity of this smaller, and lighter weight record grew.

Stratocaster Style Electronic Guitar Cufflinks

The iconic musical instrument of the 50's is the Stratocaster Guitar, however you might be surprised to know that this guitar didn't become a favourite of musicians until the late 1950's. In December 1957 a group called The Crickets appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, fronted by a 21 year old Charles "Buddy" Holly.

Plectrum Shaped Cufflinks

These days, there are many musicians who specialise in the 1950's, so as I (our sales manager) – Becki, am a 1940's specialist singer, I thought I'd share some links to some modern 1950's singers. The lovely Dawn Gracie is bubbly and bouncy and full of 50's fun! The Frank and Dean Show are another favourite of ours, taking you back to when these crooners were in their prime.

Fashion

Red Stiletto Shoe Cufflinks

With the rationing on clothing ending in 1949, the 50's gave way to bold and bright colours and patterns and daring outfits, especially for teenagers. There was a wide range of styles favoured in this era, from tiny waists with wide circle skirts to the Teddy Girls who chose to dress in trousers and jackets.

Check Pattern Bow Tie

With new man-made materials being discovered, ready-to-wear clothes ranges started appearing, making clothing easier to look after, and requiring little or no ironing.

As with the female fashion, men had a wide range of styles that were favoured – from two or three piece suits, to tweed jackets and athletic clothing.

Jewellery and Makeup

Cherry Cufflinks

If you take a look at the 50's revival today, something you will notice straight away is the gorgeous bold costume jewellery used. 

After WW2 there were stocks of Lucite left over. This plastic made from acrylic resin was used as an important part of making military aircrafts, however after the war these were no longer being made, so accessory and jewellery designers took the material for their own use.

Montana Blue Crystal Element Cufflinks

Bright blues and coral colours were very popular, being seen in makeup and jewellery, and matching accessories was a big “thing” too! 

Rhinestones, which had been difficult to obtain during the war, also became highly desirable.

Blue Safety Pin CufflinksPink Safety Pin Cufflinks


Baby Boom

After WW2, there was a "baby boom" where soldiers were coming home, and there was a sense of safety and pride in every community.

Transport

Classic American Car

Cars became more popular in the 50's, although they were still considered a luxury item. With the end of petrol rationing, there were just under two million cars in Britain, however few families could actually afford one, and only 14 percent of households owned one.

Locomotive Train Cufflinks

Trains were used by most people for long journeys. In 1947 the railways were nationalised, ending internal competition, however the three class system for fares, and exclusive luxury trains for certain routes were preserved.

1950's Vespa Style Scooter Cufflinks

The iconic “teenage” transport of the 1950's was the scooter, with this age group choosing to forge a unique identity away from adults and children in every possible way they could think of!

Crab Cufflinks with Moving Parts

Holidays

Beaches were the biggest attraction in the 50's for holidays. Traditional pier attractions, swimming, rockpool fishing and of course, eating candyfloss! Many Britons chose to holiday abroad, despite a devaluation of the pound and currency restrictions.

Film Clapper Board Lapel Badge with Moving Part

Movies

The early 50's were a golden age for British films, and there were more than 5,000 cinemas in Britain. Comedies became very popular, reflecting the post-war feelings, and more films were being produced specifically for children.

British Crown and Lion CufflinksCoronation of Queen Elizabeth (1953)

To celebrate the coronation, everyone was allowed an extra pound of sugar and four ounces of margarine. This event gave a huge boost to the uptake of television.

Two-thirds of homes owned a television. The programmes were shown in black and white and only had one channel to begin with, however a second and commercialised TV channel was added in 1955.

Dance

We couldn't end a blog post about the 1950's without talking about the dancing! A big part of the community spirit and evening entertainment were dances. Jive, skiffle and rock'n'roll were the favourite styles.

As with the fashions and music, 1950's dances are becoming more and more popular. In our area (Portsmouth) there is the lovely David from Jive 'n' Boogie who runs courses and social dances, and Sue from Shall We Dance arrange social dances too. And just one more link to a small business we love: All for Dance specialise in all types of dance attire!

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