1950s

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Get the Mad Men look.

One of the most iconic decades of the 20th century, the fifties is an era we are familiar with and adore. From Grease to Back to the Future, there is one thing we remember and love. The iconic full circle skirt, perfect for flattering curves and spinning on the dance floor.

The classic fifties prom dress has never gone out of style and exploded back onto the high street recently when designers were all influenced by popular American drama Mad Men. Although set in the early sixties, the iconic fifties style lingers on to play an integral part to the show.

Following the conclusion of the Second World War, there was a feeling of hope and optimism around the world as countries began to rebuild themselves. The British government promised to ‘Make Britain Great Again’ and rationing finally ceased in 1954.

In ‘Vintage Fashion: collecting and wearing designer classics’, Emma Baxter-Wright describes the need for women to feel glamorous again. “After years of hardship and drudgery, when women had worn sexless, utilitarian work garments (and when there were fewer men around to impress), there was an understandable desire to dress up in luxurious feminine clothes.”

The hourglass figure, was the silhouette of the decade. With dresses that nipped in the waist, and pushed up breasts, with a flowing calf length full circle skirt. It would become the look associated with the decade forever more.

In 1957, Givenchy started the trend for shift dresses that had no waist at all, by inventing the Sack dress. Women were freed from the restrictive clothing they had become used to, and it was a shape that went onto mass popularity in the sixties.

Suits: Hourglass figures

Good for: Full circle skirts, prom dresses, scarves, blouses

Invest in: A full circle skirt prom dress

Who wears it well: Christina Hendricks, Kelly Brook, Kelly Osbourne, Scarlett Johannson

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