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1950s Vintage Fashion

The 1950s was the first decade to support the pret-porter (ready-to-wear) fashion. Well known designers such as Ceil Chapman, Lilli Ann, Suzy Perette, amongst many more began providing off-the-rack high quality garments. Women returned to managing households, as they did pre-war, and fashion focused on code, conformity, and consumerism. Cotton day dresses, aka house dresses, allowed women to complete their work, and run errands while still looking fabulous. Entertaining and social gatherings resulted in high demand for cocktail dresses, a shorter version of a ball gown. Undergarments, particularly girdles and bras, were important to retain the shape needed for New Look fashions. Hats and gloves completed any look. As the economy recovered, travel influenced fashion, with Hawaiian and Asian influences becoming popular. In the latter half of the decade, YSL created the trapeze dress which eventually evolved into the baby-doll style of the 1960s.