Whenever we think of the 50's, saddle shoes are always one of the first things  we think of.  They were the rage and all of the girls had to have them!  We kept them clean and polished all of the time.  It took a lot of effort to keep them looking new.  Saddle shoes were always worn with bobby socks.

Poodle skirts were very popular in the 50's. Poodle skirts are most likely the look most associated with the 50's.  Poodle skirts are circular skirts with a poodle appliquéd on them.  Girls wore crinoline slips underneath the skirts to make them flare out.


Pony tails fast became the rage with girls in the fifties!  Girls all across the country wore their hair in pony tails.  The poodle cut was made popular by Lucille Ball (I Love Lucy) by the late fifties.  The beehive was another popular hairstyle that became popular by the end of the fifties.

Fuzzy dice were another fad of the fifties!  All teens who were into cruisin' had a pair of fuzzy dice in their car.  Fuzzy dice were seen hanging from rearview mirrors in cars all across the US.


Car Hops were definitely a 50's fad!  Back in the 1950's teenagers loved going to drive-ins and burger joints.  They sat in their cars and waited for waitresses to roller skate up to their car and take their order.

Any one who grew up in the 50's can not forget the coonskin hats  These hats were made from raccoon skin and fur.  The were very popular with younger boys.  Their popularity arose from the classic Walt Disney series featuring the life of Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier which starred Fess Parker.


Photo courtesy of oldtimecooking.com


Telephone booth stuffing became a big fad for a while during the fifties.  This fad actually began in South Africa as a part of college kids lives.  The students in South Africa claimed to hold a record with 25 kids stuffed together in a phone booth.  Once the college kids in the US found out about it, the fad was started at colleges all over the country.

Universities everywhere saw students skipping classes in order to try set a record. South Africa holds the record for the most kids stuffed into a phone booth.  After the mid fifties, the telephone stuffing fad was over.  A new fad then swept the country which was known as Volkswagen stuffing


The Panty Raid fad began on the night of March 21, 1952 at the University of Michigan.  Lingerie was confiscated  when about 600 male students stormed the women's dormitory.  Soon male college students across the country began to participate in panty raids. After achieving their goal, the raiders would parade around the entrance of the dormitory holding up their stolen loot for everyone to see. The Panty Raid fad finally died out in the mid 60's.


Letterman jackets and sweaters were a symbol of prestige for many girls in the 50's.  Girls loved wearing them just about everywhere they went.  They wore them so everyone would know that they were dating a jock. 


The 3-D craze of the 1950's began with the movie Bwana Devil which premiered on Nov. 26, 1952. The movie was made with the Natural Vision process in color and starred Robert Stack, Barbara Britton and Nigel Bruce.  Bwana Devil was an Africa adventure that featured man-eating lions attacking railway workers.

Viewers were issued glasses which allowed them to see a 3 dimensional scene.  The 3-D glasses used for the color films had Polaroid lenses instead of the old red-green glasses. Polaroid glasses were nearly clear and did not distort the film by discoloration as the older red and green glasses had.  The majority of 3-D films in the 1950' were seen by audiences through Polaroid lenses.

The duck tail (DA) was the haircut of choice for the "cool" guys in the 1950's.  The DA was made by combing the hair back on the sides of the head and holding it there with a dab of grease (this is where the term greaser came from). The DA became popular with many rock and roll idols in the 50's.  Other popular haircuts in the fifties were crew cuts and flat tops.

Sideburns soon became the "in thing" to have for guys who sported DA haircuts.  James Dean and Elvis Presley certainly added to the popularity of the sideburn fad.  All of the totally cool guys had DA haircuts, sideburns and wore leather jackets. 

Cateye glassses were another fad of the fifties.  For a long time, they were the pick of most girls who wore glasses. 


Hula Hoops were first manufactured in 1957.  They became an instant hit with kids all over the country.  Wham-0 (makers of the Hula Hoop) sold approximately 25 million of them within the first two months they hit the market.

Pink was considered a color strictly for girls up until the fifties.  Then pink began to invade many homes across the country.  Homes had pink bathrooms with accessories to match and even the popular pink cosmetics.

Boys in High School and College began donning pink ties and shirts.  Corporate businessmen could be seen wearing a pink shirt under their gray flannel suits or sporting a pink tie.  And of course, there was Elvis who loved and owned pink cadillacs! 



Page Created: 3/25/08
Page Updated: 4/20/20