Sunday, June 19, 2011

Decades Pt 2

Decades Part II, 1950's-1980's
Yesterday we covered yesteryear. Now we move forward, into the flattering, colorful decade of the 1950's.Women really started to come into their own in this decade. The boys were coming home from the war, so it was time to give your man his job back, settle down, and make a baby. So we equipped ourselves with stuff to wear 'round the home, to impromptu parties, all without breaking a sweat. Here are their staples, which thankfully, flatter everyone.
#1 Printed Dress
This dress was ideal for any fifties woman. If you were a housewife, you could wear an apron over for a day around the house, then, when it's time for a cocktail party with the neighbors, you could throw on a string of pearls.

#2 A Good Pair of Heels
Marilyn Monroe once said, "I don't know who invented high heels, but women sure owe him a lot." which is too true. Heels are like plastic surgery, therapy, and a mood lift in one. I know I feel better when I slide on my black Pradas. The fifties were all about being a woman, and that included having a little wiggle when you walked.

#3 Pencil Skirt
This is a staple for anyone. The pencil skirt cinches at the waist, and can slim or create curves, which was great for women still on the workforce who wanted to look good.

Now, if I had my way, everyone would still dress this way, but unfortunately they don't. So, here's how you can infuse a little fifties glamour into you wardrobe without looking like someone from an Elizabeth Taylor film. As if that would be a bad thing.
With this look, you don't have to change much. A pencil skirt and a blouse or sweater is already pretty work-safe. But if you feel you have to modernize the look, ditch the pumps for some more fashion-forward shoes, and add an interesting necklace.
Before                                                        After

Again, I think the world would be a better place if we dressed like we still respected ourselves, but apparently the classy look is like, totally lame. So modernize it with some boots and add a touch of denim.
Before                                                        After

Cocktail parties in suburban areas gained major popularity in the 50's, so housewives had to be ready to rip off their apron and be ready to serve G&T's to Bob and Judy from across the street. You can go from work to drinks just as easily by adding more modern jewelery and a different texture somewhere else in the ensemble.
Before                                                       After

Basically, I think the 1950's was the decade, and the best crust. It puts a ladylike twist to everything and that's not a bad twist, the way I see it.

Ah, the 1960's. We got involved in a another war, and women stopped wearing bras. But that's just two bad things out of the multitude of good things that came out of the sixties. My parents. The Civil Rights Movement. The Beatles. And the Mod and Hippie looks! YAY!!!!
These two aren't really my style, but it's not very hard to make them your own!
Look at the differences between these four collections, presented in good/bad style.
Icky hippie
Anything that looks like it came from the rummage sale of a stoned yoga teacher,or the estate sale of Laura Ingalls Wilder is out. No ponchos, no barf-worthy harem pants, long prairie skirts and no barely there daisy dukes. Go for soft floral, faded jeans, and soft, nature-y colors, like so.

Good hippie

There is also the Mod look, which is easy to understand but difficult to quantify without looking like you got dressed in the dark. Observe:
1960 s Fashion

Simple shapes, but with interesting patterns and textures.
Here we have Bad Mod, which is anything that looked like ABBA threw up on it-

Bad Mod
And good Mod in simple shape, but with eye-popping brights, mixed together in a way that looks cool, not crazy.

Good Mod
Hippie and Mod are two very different styles, but in the end they're both classic sixties.

Fashionwise, the 70's are a mix of several different elements of fashion. The hippie look was still going strong, and disco wear was becoming seriously popular. Here I'll take several seventies staples and modernize them.
           Work                                         School                     Party
Bad 70's

Good 70's
Work-The sharp line of the slacks, the beige of the blouse and the blah gray blazer were all too severe. By adding a more relaxed blue shirt, and a cardigan, you keep the retro-ness, but add a still-professional air.
School- With this look, we had to start from scratch due to the ickyness of the blouse and sweater. With this look, we combine hippie (faded tee, aviators, boots) and add a small splash of disco (fuschia skirt) without looking too mixed-up.
Party-Before, the maxidress and the sandals look to washed out for party wear. Now, with a skirt in different gradients of blue, combined with feather earrings and sandals, we keep the look fresh and boho, with just the right amount of vintage.

Everyone loves this decade, but what most don't realize is that the 80's look isn't just for costume parties.You can make the look fresh with subtle updates.
Anything that gives you the shoulders of a steroid-addicted linebacker is out, and sometimes, even neon can be too bright. Stretch-stirrup pants and parrachute pants are also off-limits unless you have the legs to pull them off.
Bad 80's
I can scarce look upon this collection without weeping. Let me show you the RIGHT WAY.......

By adding more fashion-forward shoes and a more flattering pencil skirt, you transform a strong-shouldered blazer into a statement, as opposed to something you dug out of Mom's closet.

Aside form the aforementioned mistakes, there's not much you can do to mess up a look like this. Some plaid,  a graphic tee, and distressed denim and you're there.

Metallics became very big in the 80's, and thankfully you can wear them without looking like a prostitute from the era. By adding a few natural textures (cotton tee, suede boots, leather sandals) you tone down the shiny without losing any sizzle.

You were probably there already.

Well, that was exhausting, but I'm sure you'll thank me. Comment, and if you have a fashion question, feel free to ask. it may be the subject of my next post!
PS: If you're interested in keeping your well-dressed self alive, check out my other blog, Horror Movie Survival 101