As men returned from battle reclaiming their jobs, women left their work-clothes behind and felt the need (fashion dictated) to be feminine again.
After a long and costly war, sales were strengthened through advertisements illustrating what one should buy to become a better, happier and more desirable wife. It was a Mid-Century Conservative, and women were told that their primary goal was to catch a man and have a family. The effect was the creation of popular 50's image of the glamorous woman at home, able to attend to all domestic chores without a hair out of place.
The hourglass body type was highly desired, typified by the curvaceous movie stars of the time such as Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly. Corsets and girdles became the obligatory underwear of all well-dressed women. They were used to press, lift, pull, and support the body in all the right places to give a smooth, but dramatic figure. In spite of their discomfort, advertisements of these garments promised a better life.
A typical 50's silhouette had the "wasp's waist", full skirt or pencil skirt, three-quarter-sleeve tops and coats, full belted skirts, button-downs, and prim sweaters. Women were taught to dress to allure, but rarely showed a great deal of skin.
The makeup-trend of the time was the "doe eye," created with shadow on the lids, eyebrow pencil, mascara and heavy eyeliner, along with a flawless pale, peaches and cream complexion and intensely colored lips.
Women's hair suffered immense abuse, as it was teased, styled, sculpted and sprayed into a helmet of perfectly formed curls, waves and bouffants. It was usually kept short at just below the shoulders, worn in soft, curly, or wavy styles. Since straight styles were considered undesirable, rollers became a girl’s best friend.
Comically, this unnatural attention to perfection still keeps a large amount of people nostalgic (for a better time), decades later.
SOME FASHION ICONS OF THE 50s
Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Elisabeth Taylor, Betty Paige and Jayne Mansfield.
The next post is: BEAUTY IDEAL OVER THE DECADES part 9 : THE 40's
Information collected from several sources including Wikipedia, Thefashionspot.com and diet-blog.com, historicalideals.tumblr.com, http://comn4725blog.wordpress.com, dailymail.co.uk,