In the 50s, most men and women still dressed with a day-to-day formality. While it’s commonplace to see the top players in Hollywood out in their comfortable jogging suits, the 1950s would never have stood for such dress codes. For one, Hollywood in the 1950s was a very different place. For one, in perhaps an ode to the brightness enjoyed after the darkness of the 1930s and 1940s, the 50s was all about brightness. People still dressed with an almost silent formality, but it was more about making the most of colored garments.
More grandiose shapes than any era beforehand alongside wonderfully colorful clothing and exaggerated attire was the way to go. It wasn’t rare to see the tiny-waisted celebrities of the 1950s in outrageously large, voluminous skirt designs. If it wasn’t these expressive skirts, it was the sassy pencil skirt that was the norm for the female celebrity class of Hollywood.
With clothing now being made to a much higher standard than previous generations, much more work went into the idea of mass produced fashion. It was at this point that, as celebrity culture began to rise, that Hollywood stars of the day began to really change up their general dress style. With more variety than ever, too, celebrities of the ear used their prestige and their authority to help promote a new level of individualism.
With rationing still en masse until the late 1950s, the ability to express ourselves came through the clothing industry. For celebrities, it was a chance to show that it was more than their personality on-camera that got them roles, but their innovative, creative and artistic personalities, too. The concept of disposable incomes was no longer a myth, so people could afford to spend their hard-earned success on looking good. As women began to find much-needed self-confidence as society began to move towards a more equal time, too, many women were able to go out and find work, coming back and rewarding themselves with the latest celebrity fashion.
From the petticoat to the ‘sweater girl’ style that was so prominent in the late 40s, culture changed almost entirely with the advent of the change in Hollywood. As the world became more open-minded and liberal to things like open expression, the celebrities of the world used that as a means of building their own individual stardom and brand. What followed was a fashion transformation unlike any arguably ever seen before in human history. The end result? A world far more at peace and ease with the idea of building its own look. As celebrities endorsed this new individualism, the whole world got on board to take us to the modern period of hyper-expressionism.