Thursday, 21 May 2009

How to do 1950’s Style on a Budget

Are you fascinated by the fifties? Bowled over by Bettie Page? Ridiculously rock’n’roll? Then how about adapting your wardrobe to fit your fetish? This post is all about creating a 1950’s look on a budget. (Click all images for original source.)

The Icons

Past ~ Bettie Page

Bettie Page 1950's Style
Present ~ Dita Von Teese

Dita Von Teese 1950's Style
Both of these leading ladies have charm and style in bucket loads, and although you don't have to be quite as racy (ooer!) you can achieve a similarly sassy look easily.

The Colours

The beginning of the 50’s were all about wholesome prints; gingham, polka dot, and often a cute little poodle on the skirt (though you might look a little too ‘in costume’ if you go down that route…)

Retro 1950's StyleDress from Daddy O's

Later in the decade, the full skirt transformed into the sexier, more streamlined style of a pencil skirt. As you can see, bold red, navy and white are popular colour choices when rocking this look.

1950's Style Pencil DressDress from Natasha Bailie

The Staples

If you’re hoping for fifties style on a budget, then there are a few key pieces you’ll want to snap up that will hopefully work with other items in your wardrobe. Here are a few examples:

1950's Staples @ Charade
Cheap polo shirts are great for that casual look.

2. A simple scarf can be used as a neck tie or fifties-style headband.

3. Cropped cardigans are also perfectly practical with the overall look.

4. A cute satchel is a wholesome complement to any fifties ensemble.

5. A waist belt is a great way to accentuate the fifties silhouette.

6. A full skirt or full skirted dress in your favourite print or colour.

7. A versatile pencil skirt that will work seamlessly with other pieces.

[All pieces shown are budget friendly options. Check out where to buy here.]

More Staple Suggestions:

Tight, cropped jeans or ‘pedal pushers’ as I’ve always called them.

Capped sleeve check shirts tied in a bow at the waist with…

...Anything high waist!

As far as shoes are concerned, casual white daps, peep-toe wedges and lace up Mary Jane’s all work.

The Hair

1950's Vintage Hair Styles
Authentic hair is the single best way to evoke the 1950’s – and you can do that for free!

Casey gives an awesome tutorial here.

Iris is also a gem for the pin-up look.

And Rascal Kosher provides inspiration and cute flower pins!

The Shopping Hot Spots

1950's Style by ModclothDress by Modcloth

Modcloth do a great modern twist on the 1950’s.

Rokit provide awesome vintage pieces.

And Tara Starlet may be a little bit on the pricey side, but surely worth the investment?

Skirt by Tara Starlet

Extra Inspiration:

Check out The Wonderful 1950’s.

Cry Baby is just one film with a fantastic 1950's aesthetic, I wrote about it a while back here in Girls on Film.

Hope this was useful / enjoyable. Check out for my 1960's Style, 1970's Style and 1980's Style 'how to' articles.


Sherin said...

I am completely in love with the '50's at the moment. I love its style and am going crazy looking for a '50's swimsuit.

Casey said...

This is a fantastic post! :D I've had a lot of emails recently asking how to create a vintage "basics" wardrobe, but I never though of the budget-friendly twist. So fun! :D This is definitely going in my weekly links roundup today. ;) Thanks for linking to my hair tutorial as well!

emobopeep said...

I need that navy dress in my life. :D

Harriet said...

Gorgeous! I love 50s style, especially that nautical dress by Natasha Bailie.

Rae said...

This is fabulous! I consider one of they key traits of my style to be a slight retro edge. Do you think you might want to consider another post for 70's style on a budget?

Voila Megan said...

Thanks everybody!

Rae - Yes, I will definately be doing another post on 1970's style on a budget.

Jackie said...

This is absolutely fabulous!!!

The Ugliest Little Sailor said...

This is succhhhh a darling post! I love it, and it inspired me, and now I'm doing this tomorrow.
Thank you (:

SnowPixie said...

Thank you so much!! This was exactly all the information I was looking for. Good job!

Beauty Tips Blog said...

wow.. i love 50’s Style.
nice post dear ^_^

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