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Rockabilly Dresses – 1950s Fashion

August 6, 2016

The definition of rockabilly derives back to the 1950s, born of American origins. This well-known period in time started with the love of rock and roll music mixed with the sounds of western music. It has many varieties of names including hillbilly rock and bluegrass. As with popular musical eras, this cult following also had a style of its own. The strong defining sounds of this music made way for a new style of dress known as rockabilly. The influences of western swing, blues and rock gave this trend its unique name. Rockabilly dresses formed a popular talking point to this iconic style taking a much-loved look into the twenty-first century.

rockabilly music - vintage guitar

Rockabilly music

Rockabilly statement style

There are certain pieces of clothing that depict this golden era of style. Denim played a huge role in the 1950s, giving it an alternative use to workwear. As was the music lively and cheerful, the fashion was just as upbeat and fun. This decade celebrated the end of war and fashions certainly changed to represent a new freedom. Clothing took on a more casual role for the men and ladies radiated confidence in flattering styles. Rockabilly music gave us so much more than great tunes, it influenced a generation with amazing fashion.

Rockabilly culture

Rockabilly culture

Rockabilly casual style

It’s hard to match the cool casual styling of the 1950s rockabilly movement. This style wasn’t just a passing fad, for many it was a way of life celebrated by good music. Rockabilly had a casual yet edgy essence to it with men sporting denim jackets, chunky boots and don’t forget the slicked back hair. For the ladies, casual dress consisted of shirts and sweaters. Pedal pusher style trousers were also an alternative to wearing a skirt.

Bettie Page - rockabilly dressing

Bettie Page

Rockabilly pin up style

Pin up style was born from a modern twist to the Americana look. This curvaceous style was celebrated and in today’s rockabilly subculture, this look is very popular. Vintage 1950s dresses give you a great option when choosing the rockabilly look and offer an authentic piece of the decade. Influences from screen sirens also highlighted the sexier and sensual appeal of rockabilly clothing. Tightly fitted dresses with stiletto heels also offered an alluring look. Pin up style has become a popular fashion in the revival of 1950s clothing. Celebrities such as Dita Von Teese and Lana Del Ray both love glamorous rockabilly dresses oozing pin-up style.

Dita Von Teese - rockabilly dress

Dita Von Teese

Rockabilly dresses – swing style

Another of the decade’s most popular styles was the infamous rockabilly swing dress. Modern twists have made this style into a much-loved trend from everyday wear to wedding dresses sporting this beautiful cut. Swing style dresses had full skirts and petticoats to exaggerate the look. There are many 1950s vintage dresses perfect to rework into rockabilly styles.

rockabilly dresses

Rockabilly swing dress influences

Modern rockabilly style

To complete the full rockabilly look, many people strive to recreate every aspect. Hair, makeup and accessories all make up this iconic style. For women there are plenty of 1950s hairstyles to choose from, some easier than others. Victory rolls, pin curls and blunt bangs are just some of the cute vintage hairstyles you can have to recreate the rockabilly look. Other great items to help you steal this style include small clutch bags, pretty gloves and cute kitten heels.

Of course not all rockabilly belles styled themselves like this but it gives you an idea of the influence this decade had on modern styling options.

rockabilly dresses

Kay Perry 1950s hair inspiration

Tributes in modern film

There’s no denying that one of the most iconic and favourite films in recent cinema history are the Grease movies. This is also the perfect time to see stereotypical American rockabilly looks come into play. The lads sporting leather jackets, rolled up jeans and slicked back hair was a tribute to the greasers of the 1950s. The ladies in sensual figure hugging skirts and dresses highlighted a day look for pin-up styling.

Rockabilly subculture

In modern society there is a huge rockabilly subculture. These vintage communities come together to celebrate everything about 1950s rockabilly living and style. Modern influences in 50s fashion has developed an updated twist on classic rockabilly style. Women love sporting authentic rockabilly dresses paired with a dash of edge to rock a modern style. This subculture is not just popular in the United States, there is a big following worldwide. Festivals are a great way to meet like-minded people who love rockabilly style. This interesting community has formed a new style set with a mix of retro and modern fusions with on trend looks. For many the lifestyle is quite varied with people loving different aspects of the culture. There is anything from pin-up girls, car club greaser guys and tattoo enthusiasts sharing their personal style.

Although there are many stereotypical connotations to this 1950s trend, rockabilly was an influential movement at this period in time. The freedom in expression and fun styling options gave people the chance to show their character through fashion. It has since seen a revival in a modern subculture and while there have been a lot of modern updates, the charm of the original detail still remains in each vintage piece.

 

 

 

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