The 1950s certainly were nifty, and this post-WWII era saw the birth of a music called rock n' roll, which played on jukeboxes in popular hangouts everywhere. Young people socialized at eating spots, high school sock hops, school clubs, the local drive-in movie theater or by driving around town with friends. Movies depicting this era help keep the look and ideas of '50s culture alive for generations of people, and you can have a blast roleplaying your favorite '50s characters whenever the mood strikes.
Many "girl next door" females of the '50s wore poodle skirts to school and sock hops (adults wore them too). But where did this iconic skirt come from? It all started when a young actress, Juli Lynne Charlot, designed and made a unique circle skirt to wear to a party. She added three poodles on leashes, inspired by ladies strolling around with small dogs. Her skirt was a sensation and the skirt style exploded in popularity. Charlot created a circle skirt business and her skirts also featured other designs such as horses, flowers or zig zag patterns, but poodle designs reigned supreme.
Poodle skirts for roleplaying typically feature one poodle design and come in a range of fashion colors. They are worn with a traditional poodle blouse or black and white striped top.
Greasers, Jocks and Idols
Men, women and kids can have a ball roleplaying a variety of '50s characters. Among the most popular are greaser guys who keep it cool by wearing jeans or black slacks, a white tee and a sleek black jacket. Sporty jocks never go anywhere without their bright letterman jacket. Or choose a bowling league shirt. If you've always wanted to be a star, transform into a '50s teen idol using any of our costume pieces.
Head to Toe Accessories
Complete your '50s look with two-color saddle shoes, cute bobby socks, satin scarfs, cat's eye glasses and other items. Greaser wigs are available to help you achieve an easy pompadour.
50's Costume Ideas
The 1950's saw the birth of rock and roll and the first wave of teenage uber-fans, who popularized the 50s outfit that is so famous today - poodle skirts, cat eye glasses, bobby socks, and saddle shoes. If you're going to a 50s sock hop, poodle skirts and full-skirted dresses were the popular choice of the day. If you're going to a 50s theme party but not specifically a sock hop, there are plenty of creative ways to dress up in 50s attire. Here are a few recommendations:
Sandy and Danny Grease Costumes
The movie Grease came out in 1978 but was set in a 1950's high school, where good girl Sandy Olsson and bad boy greaser Danny Zuko struggled to reunite after a summer romance. Based on a popular Broadway musical from 1971, the movie and play have enduring popularity. Who doesn't love "Suuuuuuuummer Niiii-iiiiights?"
Buddy Holly was a popular and influential American rock star whose career was cut short when he died in a plane crash in 1959. He wore "nerdy" glasses with heavy, dark frames and styled his hair in a pompadour like a greaser.
Elvis Presley was a mega rock and roll star who broke out in 1956 with his first hit, "Heartbreak Hotel." Makes a great couple costume with Priscilla, Ann Margret, or an adoring fan/bobby soxer.
Johnny Cash was a country and rock and roll musician who had his first No. 1 with "I Walk the Line" in 1957. Makes a great couple costume with June Carter Cash!
Zorro (a popular Disney show featured this character from 1957 to 1959)
Alice in Wonderland and Rabbit, Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, or Queen of Hearts (the famous animated Disney film was released in 1951)
Serve 'em up some fries with that shake in a Car Hop or Diner Waitress Costume! The 1940s and 50s were the Golden Age of diners, and drive-in restaurants where a cute girl on roller skates brought your food out to your car became all the rage.
Swing dancers - polka dot skirt for the gal and zoot suit for the guy! (Jitterbug, East Coast Swing, West Coast swing and more swing dances were popular throughout the 30's, 40's and 50's ... and today!)
Be the mother of them all in a pretty 50's Sitcom Housewife outfit! June Cleaver, Donna Reed and many others symbolized the ideal American mom of the 1950s in their belted dresses with full skirts, white gloves, and pearls.