What to wear to a sock hop dance?

Dancing in a poodle skirt (but that is not a poodle)

A 1950s sock hop is probably the most common event theme of the fifties decade. Visions of teenage girls twirling in felt poodle skirt costumes, white lace socks, and saddle shoes make me want to jump in and dance with them. While the poodle skirt look has been shown in nearly every 50s movie, in every sock hop scene, for the last 60 years it was not the only thing young women wore to a sock hop, nor was it the most popular. Let me show you how to dress for a 1950s sock hop as authentically as possible with a poodle skirt or not! Shop poodle skirts here.

For guys, I have some sock hop attire ideas at the end of the article.

Sock Hop Outfits

1950s skirts were trendy items teens would wear. They could wear dresses too but the 50s were the era of mixing and matching separates. A girl’s skirt matched her cardigan sweater, neck scarf, belt, and bag. Being coordinated was a big deal. Having a big fluffy skirt was an even bigger deal. The bigger the better. Girls would layer on petticoats for maximum fullness or use a hoop skirt which was bigger and lighter. Hoop skirts, however, had some problems. They were difficult to sit it, were prone to flipping up in the wind, and showed visible hoop lines underneath thin cotton dresses. All of these issues were solved when someone had the bright idea to use wool felt instead of thin dress fabrics. The thick felt made circle skirts easy to sew (no hemming edges), light to wear (only a yard or two was needed instead of the usual 5 yards) and never showed a hoop skirt line. Hallelujah!

Novelty 1957 circle skirts- butterflies, toys, plaid, dancing dolls for girls

Teens and women added felt circle skirts to their (mostly winter) wardrobes. They then spruced them up with cute appliques of animals, seasonal themes, and catchy phrases like “See you later alligator.” Adults avoided these cute themes but did decorate their skirts with rick rack, zig-zags, stars, and flower appliques. One of the original 50s skirts featured three poodles with leashes attached to the skirt band. The ’50s were obsessed with all things French and the French walked small dogs, like poodles.

Skirts were usually paired with a white button-down blouse with round peter pan collar. They could also have pointed collars and come in a range of pastel colors. Some poodle skirt looks were worn with striped knit tops, sleeveless button-down shirts, short sleeve knit sweaters or cardigans, and long sleeve knit tops or sweaters. The twin set, short sleeve knit top with matching knit cardigan sweater, is another iconic pairing with 50s poodle skirts. Any and all of these 1950s tops would have been worn with skirts to a sock hop. Learn more about and shop for ’50s tops.

Teen knit tops and cardigan sweaters

1957 neck scarf

Most teens preferred the plain knit top or sweater because they looked best with a chiffon or silk neck scarf. Tied to one side of the neck in a simple knot they were the perfect accessory! This is the one item 1950s Halloween costume designers got right. Most scarves were a solid color that matched the skirt or at least a belt. If it wasn’t worn around the neck it could be tied around the hair like a headband or around a high pony tail, aka the 50s cheerleader look.

Speaking of accessories, poodle skirts needed a wide belt. Maybe not need, but looked best with a wide cinch belt or shiny vinyl belt that matched the skirt. The belt both nipped in the waist and held down blouses that were prone to riding up. Knit tops and sweaters that were worn over skirt bands did not need belts. Shop 1950s belts here.

1950s Socks and Shoes

Moving down the leg we get to socks and shoes. Socks were white, almost always white, and folded down three times to create a neat cuff around above the ankle. they were called Bobby socks. Many 50s costumes include white socks with a ruffle lace edge. I have over 20 clothing catalogs from the 1950s and NONE of them have lace edge sucks for sale. I am not sure where this trend originated but it certainly wasn’t part of the 1950s. Lace socks probably came about in the 1960s when the “doll look” was in style. My favorite ‘50s socks are Gold Toe thin cotton socks.

1957 saddle shoes

Wearing shoes to a sock hop was necessary, dancing in them was optional. Black and white saddles shoes are the most iconic and certainly very popular among teens. You can’t go wrong wearing saddle shoes. Consider other two-tone colors too- blue, tan, gray, and even pink. Other shoe styles were slip on loafers (penny loafers) and black ballet flats. Flatties were never worn with socks. Women could wear high heels but teens could not. That, along with wearing stockings, was a right of passage into adulthood. Shop 1950s shoes.

Poodle Skirt Costume Summary:

  • Chiffon scarf, tied around the neck or hair
  • Button down blouse or knit sweater top
  • Poodle Skirt
  • Wide Belt (optional)
  • White socks (Bobby Socks)
  • Saddle shoes, loafers, ballet flats
  • Gloves (optional)

1950s Poodle Skirt Costume

Alternative Sock Hop Costumes

Poodle skirts aside most teens wore swing dresses, pencil skirts & tops, or swing skirts & twin sets to a school or church dance. These were usually semi-casual affairs meaning not a dress up event although they look very dressed up in our eyes today. Prom was the most formal 1950s dance. Sock hops were after school / weekend events where teens wore whatever they normally wore to school. Here are some examples:

1957 Teen dresses, skirt and top separates and a jumper dress

  1. Felt skirt with floral applique worn with red knit short sleeve top
  2. Two pieces yellow jumper top and sheath skirt over a white, high neck, 1/2 sleeve blouse, and white gloves
  3. Blue boat neck top with matching window pane swing skirt and light blue belt
  4. Pale blue button down peter pan collar blouse, black thin necktie, black sash belt and plaid swing skirt
  5. Grey swing dress with dolman sleeves and red and white trim
  6. Lace collar trimmed red taffeta dress and heels (for a dressy party)

These are just a few examples of 1950s teen clothing.

You can create your own look using ready to wear 1950s inspired clothing:

Polka dot dresses are very popular 1950s dresses. They would look great on the sock hop dance floor too. You can choose to wear a petticoat for extra fluff or keep it simple without. Add a wide cinch belt, neck scarf, socks and saddles shoes.

If you don’t like dresses or skirts consider a pair of capri pants or high waisted ankle pants and a 50s shirt or blouse.

Shopping for kids? Look at these 1950s girls dresses, shoes and accessories.

Polka Dot Sock Hop Outfit Skirt and blouse set Skinny pants and red knit top- Very 50s rock n roll You don’t have to wear a full skirt to a sock hop. Many teens wore the opposite, pencil skirt, to a dance. They were great to do the “twist” in.

Men’s Sock Hop Outfits

Dancing in a Hawaiian shirt Gene Kelly dancing in a polo short, pants and loafers 1950s prom in black and white formal wear

Men have several options for a sock hop ranging from simple and casual to formal tuxedos.

  1. Casual: Plaid shirt, high waist pants, penny loafers– See the photo at the top of men wearing this simple look. Also called a western look when worn with jeans.
  2. Summer: Hawaiian shirt or bowling shirt, wide leg pants, any kind of 1950s men’s shoes, straw hat
  3. Greaser: Dark denim jeans with cuffs, white T-shirt, leather jacket, black converse sneakers (boots will be too difficult to dance in)
  4. Student: Button down shirt, letterman sweater/cardigan or argyle sweater vest, dress pants, bow tie, saddle shoes
  5. Semi-Formal: A 50s style men’s two-piece suit or plaid sports coat, dress shirt, skinny tie, wingtip shoes, fedora hat
  6. Prom: Plaid tuxedo jacket, black pants, shirt dress shirt, bow tie, patent leather shoes
  7. Formal: White dinner jacket, dress shirt, color cumberbund and bow tie or vest and bow tie, patent leather shoes. Learn more about men’s 1950s prom and formal attire here.
  8. Costumes: Many of the above looks are made into cheap party costumes. Shop here.

White Letterman cardigan sweater over jeans Sock hop outfit- letterman sweater, grey trousers, saddle shoes 1950s Ivy League “Preppy” and “Sporty” Looks
1950s Western Wear Look 1950s Men’s Casual Summer Fashion with a Hawaiian Shirt 1950s Rebel / Greaser Style
1950s Conservative Menswear Swing dancing in vintage 50s/60s 1950s Men’s costumes

What will you wear to a 1950s Sock Hop?

If you need help with your look, just ask!

Here are some Poodle skirts /sock hop outfits to get you started:

Reg Speller/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In the 1950s, sock hops were a cultural cornerstone for teens. Back then, dozens of shoeless kids filled their high-school gymnasiums with rock n’ roll and plenty of Jitterbug-ing. Today, the sock hop is a lighthearted throwback and a good reason to put on the retro nines. To keep that teeny-bopping spirit alive, your wardrobe should reflect the era, but there are no hard-and-fast rules for sock hop success. As long as you keep things 50s-themed, dance-friendly and informal, you’ll be hopping in style.

Poodle Skirts and Bobby Socks

The term “sock hop” is synonymous with poodle skirts and bobby socks, and if you’re of the fairer sex, you absolutely cannot go wrong with this classic combo. Even if it doesn’t have any canine-themed embellishments, a swing skirt with a narrow waist keeps you period-accurate and flexible. Stick to a well-fitted top, such as a turtleneck or a loose cardigan. For a mature look, go with a cinch-waisted, belted dress with a ballerina-length hem or a printed halter sundress. Keep the colors springy; pastel shades are right at home at the hop.

Greaser Style for Guys

For men, a clean white t-shirt and slim or straight-fit blue jeans is iconic. Nail the details by tightly rolling the sleeves of the tee and cuffing the jeans. Top off your look with a lightweight leather jacket, which you can sling over your shoulder or tie around your waist when the dancing heats up. If you’d rather not embrace your inner greaser, go with a well-fitted polo, cuffed, tapered chinos and a skinny belt. For a little more flourish, roll the sleeves on a vintage Hawaiian-print shirt to make an impression at summer hops.

To Sock or Not to Sock

Originally, teenage dancers had to remove their shoes to attend the sock hop, as schools wanted to avoid damaging gym floors. Modern dance floors are more resilient, so your sock hop might allow shoes. If it does, saddle shoes are a classic for ladies, while flexible penny loafers are a staple for guys. Shake up the saddle shoes with a two-toned finish if you prefer bolder footwear. For men, pliable and comfy espadrilles capture the ’50s style, and they go particularly well with chinos.

Finishing Touches

The right hairstyle absolutely completes the sock hop look. A simply pony tail — tied with a ribbon, of course — does the trick for women, while men should go for a side part or pompadour with a liberal dose of pomade. For a fancier get-up, women can choose curls or a pinned hairdo and focus on peach, pastel and orange makeup shades. Track down a pair of cat-eye or horn-rimmed glasses to create a vibe that’s both hip and nostalgic.

A fifties custom is just as essential for the men as it is for the women. It’s important to find the perfect costume for you that will be both fun and easy to dance in. When deciding what style is right for you, Happy Days, the old comedy television show, is the perfect place to look. They have Richie Cunningham the ‘square’, and the ‘Fonz’ the ‘greaser’. Because both characters are widely known both costumes can be really fun for a sock hop.
Richie

Richie Cunningham was known as the quintessential boy of the 1950s. He was extremely wholesome and at times even naïve. Him following exactly what he was told to do puts him in the category of a ‘square’.
Dressing like Richie can be a real fun costume.

  • Pants- You’ll want a nice pair of slacks for the Richie look. If you don’t have slacks you could get away with jeans but those would be more appropriate for the ‘Fonz’ look.
  • Shirt- You have a couple different choices with your shirts. You can just wear a button up top; make it fun with colors or strips. A cotton vest would be a nice touch to wear over the shirt. In the trailer of Happy Days, Richie has a red and black thick cotton vest that goes over his button up shirt. You could also wear a full sweater over the shirt.
  • Jacket- A blazer is a perfect touch to your outfit. Richie frequently wore blazers. We might hesitate wearing a button up top, vest, and a blazer but this was typical in the 50s.
  • Hair- Part your hair to the side. You’ll want to slick it over. Make sure it looks like a prim and proper hairdo.
  • Shoes- Loafers or oxfords are the shoes that Richie would always wear. Once in a while you can catch him in a pair of Converse, but this was typically when playing sports.

The Fonz
The Fonz was a very popular character in Happy Days. Even if you haven’t watched the show you know who the Fonz is. He was portrayed as the womanizer of the show. All the girls loved him because he was the rebel. He is considered a greaser because he was always ridding around on his motorcycle and fixing cars. His outfit is the typical 50s costume that you would see at a sock hop. This outfit is a little easier to put together as well.

  • Pants- The Fonz always wore jeans. He would roll them up a little bit at the bottom and would tuck his shirts in. Make sure these are not baggy jeans or too tight of jeans. The Fonz’s jeans always fit just right.
  • Shirt- A white or black shirt was the only colored shirts he ever wore. Make sure it is a little more form fitting like he wore them.
  • Jacket- The jacket of the Fonz was a typical greaser leather jacket or faux leather jacket. Either black or brown would do even though his was usually black. Any leather-riding jacket will do.
  • Hair- The most important thing on the Fonz was his hairdo. No one was allowed to touch it and it was always in perfect place. This was considered an Elvis do. It had a part on the side but it was swept up in the front instead of slicking over. The sides were slicked with hair gel.
  • Don’t forget to carry a black comb in your back pocket.
  • Shoes- His outfits finishing touch were his black motorcycle boots. Any type of black boots will do.

You can always make your own look by mismatching some of the suggestions above to make a customized look. More than anything make sure you’re comfortable and that you can get out and dance in your outfit.

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1950s Fashion & Style Guide

1950s Fashion Overview

To think of 1950s fashion is akin to a bright summers day! Glamourous shapes, colourful prints and always exaggerated with voluminous skirts and tiny waists.

The 50s Silhouette

There are two main silhouettes in 50s fashion – the wasp waist with full skirt and the slim fitting pencil skirt. Both are iconic 50s looks that prevailed until 1956 and can be portrayed as super sexy or fun and flirty – depending on how you wear them.

The beauty of the 1950s era is that there is a ‘look’ that will suit any body shape – the more womanly the better. For those of us who lack curves, these can be created easily with a bit of help from belts, foundation garments and plenty of net and padding!

A bit of History

To understand the clothing of this era, one must understand what was really going on and how it influenced everyone’s way of life and subsequently how they expressed themselves through dress.

Let’s not forget that people did not see the back of rationing in one form or another until 1958. Even though we look back at the fifties as a colourful vibrant era – it was really a time of hard work for the country to get back to stability. Despite the hardship, people were happy and not surprisingly there was euphoria from winning the war. By the end of the 50s, the hard work of rebuilding the country had paid off and we were well on the way to prosperity. By the end of the decade, nearly every household had a television and people found they had disposable income again possibly influenced by the rise of women going to work.

All these economic and social changes had a significant impact on clothing and the pace of fashion in our country.

1950s Fashion

From a fashion point of view, this was the rise of the ‘ready to wear’ phenomenon. Clothing was now being manufactured ‘en mass’ and with greatly improved standards in construction and cloth quality. Variety was now available and imports started to return from, in particular….Paris.

Dior’s iconic ‘New Look’ arrived in Paris in 1947 and due to it’s vastly different shape to the war years – had an enormous impact on the fashion world. Style was now back on track, ironically picking up from where it left off before the pause created by the war. Dior created a succession of silhouettes he based on letter shapes – line A being an a-line silhouette derived from a widening towards the hem and was quickly followed by the Y-line, created by wide dolman sleeves tapering to a slim skirt. However, Dior’s initial look continued to dominate for many years with fashion looking nostalgically to the past with its boned bodices and full petticoats.

The Rise of the Adolescent

It wasn’t until this decade that the age between child and adult was acknowledged and a fashion more suited to this age developed. Full skirts, tight tops, capris and flat shoes – well suited to jive dancing become iconic for this age. This influenced casual fashions across the age range in both men and women.

As did the ‘sweater girl’ look – the feminine ideal of a large, pointed bust attained via the bullet bra, a conical pre-padded bra that pushed the bust upwards and outwards.

Some of the key Looks of the 1950s:-

Petticoats & Full skirts:-
Wide circular or pleated skirts were worn with layers of petticoats to give lift and were prominent in both day and eveningwear. Always to mid calf – never shorter but maybe longer for eveningwear. Petticoats were several layers of net and generally starched for extra stiffness or frothy chiffon in eveningwear in vibrant colours of green, pink and yellow!

Pencil Skirts:-
A narrow, close fitting straight skirt sometimes call a ‘hobble’ skirt restricted women’s walking creating the wiggle look. Fell from natural waist with little excess fabric with a small black split at the back. Pencil line dresses were also very popular for all ages, being a very sophisticated look for more mature women worn with heels and plenty of accessories. (The wiggle dress looks fabulous with a swing coat.) A pencil skirt with a shirt or sweater and worn with flats is a more fun way of wearing the look. Again the skirt length is important – it must be calf length to look really 50s.

The Sweater Girl Look:-
The tight sweater was born in the 40s and would remain popular throughout the 50s. Ironically, it’s a little shocking to the modern eye as this look’s aim was to emphasise a thrusting conical shaped bust and was invariably worn with a bullet bra. In actual fact, the modern rounded bust shape would have looked peculiar in the 50s – as everyone aimed for this shape bosom. Many vintage dresses accomodate for this shape in their makeup. The sweater evolved from turtleneck into the twin set – a 50s staple.

Get the 1950s Look – our top 3 tips to get you started

Tip 1 – the foundation
Foundation garments were deemed essential starting blocks. Nowadays, knickers are more hipster in style – but during the 50s, the waist was at the natural area just above the belly button. If you want to wear a pencil skirt and you were modern underwear you will get the unsightly bumps caused by these knickers. So our first tip is – get the right knickers.

Tip 2 – accessories
One cannot stress enough how important accessories were during this decade – a woman simply didn’t leave the house without gloves, hat and handbag. Hats were small lampshade style, wide brimmed or pill box shaped and were often accompanied by a veil. Gloves were long in the evening pushed down with bracelets and short in the day. Get yourself plenty of scarves, tie in the hair, around the neck or into a ponytail – dont be scared of using bold colours. Wide belts:- small waist was the must have accessory to create the desired look whether with a full skirt, a pencil or capri pants. Wearing a belt emphasised the slim waist that fashion demanded.

Tip 3.
Lippy Red lippy really made its mark during the 50s – but you need to find the right red for your skin tone. Blue reds for pinky skin tones and warm reds for yellow. True red for everyone else. Use a pencil first and colour in the full lip adding the lipstick after.

1950s Fashion Shopping List

Whether it’s a fun rock n roll image you’re after or Christian Dior’s sophisticated ‘new look’ of 1947, check out our shopping guide to get you started Capsule wardrobe for the 50s (enough to get you started):-

  • Pencil skirt
  • Crew neck cardigan
  • Petticoat
  • Circle skirt or dress preferably halter or boat neck.
  • Bullet bra
  • Waist knickers

Must have accessories:-

  • Red lipstick
  • Chiffon scarf
  • Gloves
  • Waist cinch belt

to browse our 1950s fashion selection

Further Reading:-

  • Horrockses Fashions – Off the Peg style in the ’40s and ’50s ISBN 9781851776016
  • The Golden Age of Couture – Paris and London 1947 ISBN 9781851775217
  • Blueprints of Fashion – Home Sewing Patterns of the 1950s
  • Everyday Fashions of the 50s – Sears Catalogue
  • Blog – Molly’s Emporium: http://www.mollysemporium.com/1950s-fashion

Foxy Links:-


Activity #1:
Watch the two videos below and write a two page paper, double spaced, size 12 font, on how sock hops are like school dances now a days. Think about things that are the same, and things that are different. A few examples to help you focus the paper are the music, decorations, outfits, and the dancing.

YouTube Video


What type of music was played at a sock hop?
Music usually tends to reflect what is going on in the country. During the 1950s the civil rights movement was coming into effect and with that the “doo woop” style of music was popular. R&B along with Rock and Roll became popular later on in the 50s. One of the most popular Rock and Roll artists came from this time; Elvis Presley. Some of the most famous songs during this time were Rock around the Clock by Bill Haley and His Comets,Rockin Robin by Bobby Day and Hound dog by Elvis Presley.
What type of dancing was done at a sock hop?
The types of dance that were danced at a sock hop depended on where you were located. There were general dances throughout the states but for the most part depending on if you were in the north or south, that determined the dance moves. Coming into the ’50s the swing was a popular dance but with all things, it changed. With the new political movements came new music and with the new music came new dance moves. The twist was one popular dance along with the Jitterbug and the Stroll. Most of the dances were partner dances but during this era it didn’t matter if you had a male or female partner because everyone just wanted to dance.
Activity #2:
For this activity I want you to make up your own dance. You will first watch these brief videos that showcase some of the dances during the 1950s. After you watch them I want you to not only describe your dance in bullet point format, but also submit a short video of you doing your dance moves. I do mean short as in less than three minutes and I want your dance to fit in with the 50s style. If you want to dress up or have your friends or family be in the video, that is fine as well.

Nifty 50’s Costumes and Accessories

Women’s 50’s Costumes
Men’s 50’s Costumes
Kids’ 50’s Costumes
50’s Plus Size Costumes
50’s Accessories
50’s Wigs
50’s Waitress and Soda Jerk Costumes
Pink Ladies and T-Birds Costumes
Plus Size Women’s Retro Diner Doll Costume
Adult Powder Blue Tuxedo Prom King Costume – Standard and Plus
Women’s Retro Diner Doll Costume
50s Style Rhinestone Cat’s Eye Glasses
50s Poodle Scarf
Women’s Checkered 50’s Cutie Costume
Adult Prom Queen Costume, Size M/L
Adult 50s Sweetheart Costume, Size M/L
Child’s Pink 50’s Poodle Skirt
Girls’ Pink 50s Rock ‘N’ Roll Jacket
Adult Pink 50’s Poodle Skirt
Women’s Pink 50’s Ladies Jacket
Child’s Black 50s Rock ‘N’ Roll Jacket
Adult Black 50’s Faux Leather Jacket
Adult White 50’s Poodle Blouse
Adult Pink 50’s Poodle Blouse
Adult Black 50’s Poodle Blouse
Plus Size White 50’s Poodle Blouse
Plus Size Pink 50’s Poodle Blouse
Plus Size Black 50’s Poodle Blouse
Adult 50’s Blue Music Note Skirt
Women’s Deluxe Black Poodle Blouse (Plus Size)
Adult 50’s Summer Daze Costume, Size M/L
Adult 50’s Deluxe Poodle Skirt and Shrug Costume, Size M/L
Men’s Retro Milkman Costume – Standard and Plus Size
Adult Hollywood Goddess Marilyn Costume
Plus Size Pink 50’s Sweetheart Costume
Adult 50’s Housewife Dress Costume
Plus Size Deluxe White Poodle Blouse
Adult Polka Dot 50’s Housewife Costume, Size M/L
Adult 50’s Waitress Betty Lou
Adult 50’s Waitress Trixie Sue Costume
Economy Adult 50’s Blue Poodle Skirt
Adult Sexy 50’s Sock Hop Costume
50’s Greaser Jacket – Adult and Plus Size
Women’s Pink 50’s Sweetheart Costume
Adult Grease Pink Ladies Jacket
Child’s Grease Pink Ladies Jacket
Deluxe Black Poodle Blouse
Plus Size Pink 50’s Ladies Jacket
Adult 50’s Varsity Letterman Sweater-Standard and Plus
Toddler Size 50’s Black Rock ‘N’ Roll Jacket
Adult Black 50’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Jacket
Plus Size Black 50’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Jacket
Adult Turquoise Satin Poodle Skirt
Men’s Black and White Bowling Shirt
Plus Size Black and White Bowling Shirt
Economy Child’s 50’s Pink Poodle Skirt
Economy Child’s 50’s Blue Poodle Skirt
Economy Adult 50’s Pink Poodle Skirt
50’s Solid Satin Scarf – More Colors
50’s Polka Dot Satin Scarf – More Colors
50’s Chiffon Scarf – More Colors
Plus Size Black/White Poodle Dress
Plus Size Pink Poodle Dress Costume
Adult 50’s Greaser Thunderbirds Jacket
Plus Size Fuchsia Poodle Skirt Costume With Black Top
Deluxe Adult Pink Poodle Skirt
Plus Size Adult Nifty Fifties Sock Hop Costume
Plus Size I Love Lucy Costume
Adult Lovely Lucy Black/White Polka Dot Dress
Adult Fuchsia Poodle Skirt Costume With Black Top
Adult 50s Cutie Polka Dot Dress Costume
Plus Size 50s Cutie Polka Dot Dress Costume
Adult Sassy I Love Lucy Costume
Women’s Rock N Roll Sweetheart 50’s Costume
Adult Extra Volume Pettiskirt – White or Black
Plus Size Adult 50’s Sweetheart Costume
Adult Black/White Poodle Dress Costume
Adult Fuchsia Poodle Dress Costume
Adult Good Buddy 50’s Costume, Size M/L
Adult Pretty in Polka Dots 50s Costume
Adult Nifty Fifties Sock Hop Costume, Size M/L
Plus Size Pretty in Polka Dots 50s Costume
Women’s Saddle Shoes
Child’s Red 50’s Sweetheart Costume
Adult Red Poodle Dress
Child’s Deluxe Poodle Skirt
Deluxe Adult Fifties Starlet Costume
Women’s Rockabilly Swingdress Costume – Black or Red
Adult Women’s Plus Size Pink Letterman Jacket Costume
Adult Women’s Plus Size Red Letterman Jacket Costume
Child’s Pink 50’s Sweetheart Costume
Child’s 50s Pink Poodle Dress
Adult Women’s Pink Letterman Jacket Costume
Adult Women’s Red Letterman Jacket Costume
Tween Nifty Fifties Sock Hop Costume
Women’s Hot 50’s Black Polka Dot Costume, Size Small
Retro Script Iron-On Monogram Letter
50s Music Note & Record Earrings
Plus Size Grease Pink Ladies Jacket
Girls’ White/Pink Retro Tee
Women’s Pink and White 50’s Saddle Shoes
Child’s Saddle Shoes
Adult Men’s Red Letterman Jacket Costume
Child’s 50s Thunderbirds Jacket
Plus Size Men’s Retro Diner Dude Costume
Women’s Pink Lady Jacket and Pants Costume, Size M/L
Plus Size 50’s Pink Satin Jacket
Adult Men’s Letterman Jacket Costume
Toddler 50’s Pink Poodle Cutie
Child’s 50s Sock Hop Costume
Plus Size 50’s Starlet Marilyn Costume
Girls’ Soda Shop Sweetie Costume
Deluxe Greaser Wig
Adult 50’s Pink Satin Jacket
Plus Size 50’s Felt Poodle Skirt – More Colors
50’s Girls’ Polka Dot Rocker Costume
Marilyn Monroe Blonde Bombshell Wig
Adult Knee Length Petticoat – More Colors
Child’s Blue Letterman Jacket Costume
Child’s Red Letterman Jacket Costume
Child’s Pink Letterman Jacket Costume
Plus Size Men’s 50s Teen Idol Costume
Adult Marilyn Pleated Dress Costume
Men’s 50’s Bowling Shirt
Child’s 50’s Pink Satin Jacket
Adult 50’s Felt Poodle Skirt – More Colors
50’s Greaser Wig – More Colors
Economy Plus Size Poodle Skirt – More Colors
Adult Polka Dot Sock Hop Skirt
Adult Black/White Polka Dot Sock Hop Skirt
Toddler Size T-Birds Gang Greaser Costume
Deluxe Adult Complete Poodle Skirt and Shirt Costume Set
Deluxe Adult Complete Black Poodle Skirt and Shirt Costume Set
Plus Size White Rhinestone Rock Star Costume
Adult Soda Jerk Paper Hats 12-Pack
Men’s Classic White Ribbed Tank Top
Adult Sexy Marilyn Costume
Child’s Nifty Fifties Sock Hop Costume
Women’s Black Tie Front Blouse
Economy Adult Poodle Skirt – More Colors
Deluxe Marilyn Wig
Child’s Poodle Skirt – More Colors
Adult Pink Satin Ladies Jacket
King Pin Bowling Shirt – Standard and Plus
Child’s Pink Satin Ladies Jacket & Scarf
Child’s Polka Dot Sock Hop Skirt
Adult Black and Ivory Bowling Shirt
Girls’ Pink 50’s Ladies Jacket
Plus Size 50’s Pink Lady Jacket
Adult Miss Conception Wig
Adult 50’s Pink Poodle Skirt
Adult 50’s Poodle Blouse – White
Adult 50’s Pink Lady Jacket
Economy Child’s Poodle Skirt – More Colors
Child Size 50’s Pink Lady Jacket
Adult I Love Lucy Wig
Plus Size Adult 50s Striped Top
Adult 50’s Sock Hop Top – More Colors
Adult Shimmer Organza Knee Length Petticoat – Black or White
Adult Economy 22-Inch Petticoat – Black or White
Girls’ Pink Poodle Skirt
Adult 50s Striped Top
Neon Purple Peggy Sue Wig
Black Peggy Sue Wig
Blonde Peggy Sue Wig
Brown Peggy Sue Wig
Neon Green Peggy Sue Wig
Hot Pink Peggy Sue Wig
Natural Red Peggy Sue Wig
Neon Red Peggy Sue Wig
Neon Blue Peggy Sue Wig
Diamonds Marilyn Wig
Child’s Economy Petticoat – Black or White
Blonde 50’s Housewife Wig
Toddler Girls’ Pink 50’s Ladies Jacket
50’s Cool Girl Blonde Wig
Adult Black Godfather Hat
50’s Lucy Auburn Wig
Child’s 50s Striped Top
Plus Size Adult Sheer Crinoline
Pink Ruched Satin Elbow Length Gloves
Natural Red Pin Up Girl Wig
Poodle Hand Bag
Toddler Size 50’s Circle Skirt
Child’s Pink 50s Sock Hop Top
Adult Tulle Petticoat
Blonde Party Girl Wig
Adult Retro Elastic Cinch Belt
Child’s Retro Elastic Cinch Belt
Plus Size Retro Elastic Cinch Belt
50’s Pink Vintage Car Charm Bracelet
50’s Pink Poodle Earrings
50’s Silver Record Earrings
50’s Pink Rhinestone Music Note Charm Bracelet
50’s Pink Rhinestone Music Note Necklace
50’s Ice Cream Sundae Earrings
Vintage Style Cat Eye Rhinestone Glasses
Black Glam Short Wig
Greaser Wig
Retro Style 50’s Twirl Cat Eye Glasses
Bright Color Vinyl Headband
Black/White Polka Dot Cat Eye Sunglasses
Pink/White Polka Dot Cat Eye Sunglasses
Polka Dot Oval Sunglasses – More Colors
White/Black Polka Dot Cat Eye Sunglasses
Silver Leopard Sunglasses
Rhinestone Cat’s Eye Sunglasses
10-Pack 50s Style Cat Eye Glasses
Blues Brothers Sunglasses
50s Skinny Tie – White or Black
Child’s Satin Wrist Length Gloves With Lace Trim – Black or White
Cat Eye Polka Dot Sunglasses – More Colors
Mr. 50’s Glasses
Retro Sequin Elastic Cinch Belt
Adult Poodle Socks
50s Faux Pearl Necklace and Earrings
Neon Cat’s Eye Sunglasses
Neon Cat’s Eye Glasses
Adult Bobby Socks
50’s Scarf – More Colors
Classic 50’s Buttons Set of 10
Blue/White Polka Dot 50’s Cat Eye Glasses
Adult Short Dress Gloves – More Colors
50’s Style Sequin Belt
Child’s Bobby Socks
Adult Vintage Faux Pearl Choker and Bracelet Set
Class Ring Necklace
50’s Class Nerd Clear Lens Glasses
Child’s 50s Poodle Socks
Women’s 50’s Style Square Pink Earrings
Women’s 50’s Style Round Teal Earrings
Polka Dot Earrings – Pink
50s Poodle Earrings
Adult Girly Bow Ankle Socks – More Colors
Small Polka Dot Plastic Hoop Earrings
50s Record Earrings
Adult White Ruffle Ankle Socks
Adult White Satin Cuff Ankle Socks
Faux Pearl Bracelet
Checker Pattern Headband
50s Temporary Tattoos
Polka Dot Fabric Headband
50s Phoney Hickeys
Solid Color Fabric Headband
Plus Size Red Poodle Dress
Adult Pink Poodle Dress Costume
Adult 50’s Sandy Top and Pants
Retro Style 50’s Cat Eye Glasses
Women’s Queen Pin Pink Bowling Shirt
Men’s 1950’s Doo Wop Black Wig
Grease Danny Wig
Adult Ricky Ricardo Straw Hat & Bow Tie Costume
Adult I Love Lucy Costume
50s Greaser Switchblade Comb
Polka Dot Earrings – Black and White
Argyle Headband

50s Costumes

1950s Halloween Costumes

Go back in time to one of the best eras for dancing and just jiving to the music with an awesome 1950s costume from Spirit Halloween. Stop by the drive-in theatre and cuddle up with your best guy or girl and watch the new feature film on the big screen. This era of girl groups, all things pink for the ladies and dashing men lives on forever in these looks. Poodle skirts actually got started when a woman named Juli Lynn Charlot made one at home from felt. They quickly took off and became a 50s fashion trend that was totally in demand. We have these iconic looks in pale pink and black as well as a more daring fuchsia, including plus size 50s costumes.

Elvis Presley not only gave us rock classics like “Don’t Be Cruel” and “All Shook Up,” he also gave us a stylish image of the King that’s permanently part of pop culture. If you’re more so into rock and roll, then an Elvis white jumpsuit costume with a high collar and belt will definitely get those hips shakin’ at the Halloween party. The whole family can go retro when you dress your baby in an Elvis costume in a mini version of the jumpsuit, complete with boots and hat that let everyone know they’re rock royalty.

If you have any questions about our sock hop and 1950s costumes, please contact the costume experts at Spirit Halloween. We’re available to assist you with your questions about size, fit, material, color and other aspects of dressing up as this popular historical costume. Contact us by clicking the “Help” button above or by calling our Customer Service Department at 866-586-0155.

Sock Hop Dress Up

“Vintage Charm for your Modern Style” Let’s have fun getting dressed 50’s style. If you’re going to a 50s dance, doing a show like Grease or Bye Bye Birdie, or putting on a musical you want to feel like you are dressed right and can move, dance, and sing.

Here’s how we make this easy for you:

  • Our quality Circle and Poodle skirts are made in the USA with easy fit elastic waists. We can fit just about any size in our 50s style Tops, Cardigans, and Peter Pan Blouses.
  • A range of classic 50s accessories including poodle socks, cat eye glasses, and sheer scarves in 18 colors.
  • Feel confident in your choices – The measurements are in each listing and our live customer support answers questions about fit, fabric, and styling.
  • Buy with confidence. Need to check in with a director or adhere to a color theme? Returns and exchanges within 30 days for any reason. We will help with exchanges.
  • Shipping is quick so you will have your outfit when you need it. We ship daily out of NY City. Let us know when you need your outfit and we will guide you to choose the right shipping method at an affordable price.

Let’s Get Started !

Poodle Skirts and Circle Skirts are fun for dancing. Wear it with or without a Crinoline.

Classic 50’s Peter Pan Blouses and Sleeveless Tie Blouses

Top off your look with 50’s Accessories

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Find more 50’s Hair Tutorials on Youtube

Ready to Swing ? Browse through the site, think about whether you want a full skirt for dancing or just want to add a scarf and cinch belt to jeans for an easy 50’s look. And send me a picture ! I love to see how cute everyone looks 🙂

Shipping out of New York City within 24 hours Mon – Fri

Returns or exchanges within 30 days

For Help call 866-543-9848 or click on chat or email

50s man in hat

Like men’s fashion before it, 1950s men’s wear saw a postwar clothing revolution that changed fashion permanently, particularly in adolescents. However, “grease” was far less the word than you might think, especially in the early years of the decade.

Conformity in 1950s Men’s Wear

If you look at movies and TV shows of the era, what you mostly see is the businessman look — the gray flannel suit. Dark blue, dark brown and charcoal were the colors of a man’s office suit, whether he was a lowly office grunt or head of the company. For much of the 1950s, conformity was the order of the day. The postwar years were exciting and booming, but the Cold War and the fears wrought by nuclear weapons and the McCarthy Red-baiting drove a conservative movement in clothing. Everyone wanted to look like a good American, which meant they all looked alike.

While women’s clothes gained reams of fabric in longer, fuller skirts and dresses, men’s clothes were simpler than the suits of the 1940s. Gone were shoulder pads and most double-breasted suits. Jackets and trousers were shorter, although there was still a lot of fabric in the trouser legs. Ties were slightly slimmer and shirt collars less pronounced. Everyone still wore a hat, of course, but the brims were considerably narrower than the fedoras sported from the 1920s on.

Finding 50s Style Clothing

If you love the look of the 50s and want to add a few pieces to your wardrobe, consider the following options for finding men’s clothing:

  • Shop vintage: Thrift stores and consignment shops are great places to find authentic pieces from the 50s. You may also be able to land a great item on a site such as eBay.
  • Ballyhoo Vintage Clothing: This online retailer carries a selection of men’s clothing from sport shirts to denim jackets and even slacks. Expect to find clothes from brands such as Levi, McGregor and Hanes.
  • Rusty Zipper: From gabardine sport shirts to pleated pants, this merchant carries one-of-a-kind items that are straight from the 50s. All items are in good condition and ready to wear.
  • Viva Vintage Clothing: Whether you are looking for jeans, shirts or suits, this site has you covered. Check back often since the inventory is constantly changing.

Classic 50s pieces can easily be incorporated into a man’s wardrobe for a sharp look.

50’s inspired style

Leisure Wear

The boom times of the 1950s meant that the hard-working businessman could enjoy more leisure. Hawaiian patterns and the ever-popular cowboy style influenced leisure shirts. The loafer shoe was becoming popular for loafing around. Nevertheless, trousers worn in one’s off time were mostly just a variant on business wear, mostly loose wool flannel. Jeans were only worn during extreme sporting, although this was soon to change, especially among younger men.

Instead of vests, men kept warm with cardigan sweaters. In addition, polo shirts became popular, worn whether on the golf course or sporting about town, although in the case of the latter, they were worn with a sports jacket — usually plaid or another dark pattern.

Youthful Styles

The general conservative look of 1950s men’s wear reflected in the clothes of younger men through the early years of the decade.

  • Preppy Look: Even high school students wore suits, or at least suit jackets and trousers, if not ties. The Ivy League “preppy” look dominated young men’s clothing. If they didn’t wear a suit jacket, they certainly wore a cardigan sweater. School athletes wore letterman jackets. T-shirts were strictly for underwear.
  • The “bad” boy: The look one thinks of for 1950s youth, with the white T-shirt, leather jacket, and jeans, did not take hold until around the middle of the decade and was considered very much the look of the “bad” boy, which few boys wanted to be.

50’s inspired style

The 1950s were the beginning of differentiated adolescence for both boys and girls. Whereas in decades past, teens had worn clothes very similar to that worn by adults, a new teen culture was growing in the 50s, and the cardigans, open collars and rolled up sleeves that showed off biceps were all a reflection of that culture.

Teddy Boys

Towards the end of the decade, 1950s men’s wear saw an even more radical shift among the young. The Teddy boy look sported by some men, especially in England, since the late 1940s, was a neo-Edwardian style, with longer jackets, brocade vests, narrow trousers and suede shoes. Handkerchiefs were flouncy and jackets trimmed with velvet or satin.

Beatnik Style

The look of the beatniks, a movement that began in New York’s West Village, took its cue from French artists, with the dominant color being black. Trousers were slim, sweaters thick and shirts untucked. Many who wanted to see an end to corporate-style conformity weren’t going to wait till the hippie era — they found sartorial individualism in one of the most rigid decades in American history.

Influence from the 50s

The clean cut and conservative style of the 1950s remains an influence on fashion today. From subtle touches on modern pieces to retro vintage fashions, men can be seen sporting elements of the past and using them in their existing wardrobes.

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