1950s Men’s Fashion: Timeless And Classic Mid-Century Styles

Ah, the era of 1950s men’s fashion – a period distinguished by its memorable style, as quintessential as the rock ‘n’ roll anthems emanating from the jukebox.

Picture this: high-waisted trousers, slicked-back hair, and leather jackets that screamed cool. It was an era where men took pride in their appearance, whether they were heading to a sock hop or a Sunday picnic.

Dive with me into this stylish decade, where every outfit told a story and every gentleman had a swagger in his step.

Ready to time-travel? Let’s roll!

Overview of 1950s Men’s Fashion

The 1950s was a decade of change, with the end of World War II and the beginning of a new era of prosperity. The fashion of the decade reflected this optimism, with bold colors, patterns, and fabrics that celebrated the return to normalcy.

Key Elements of 1950s Men’s Fashion

Are you looking to add a touch of old-school charm to your wardrobe? Look no further than 1950s men’s fashion. This era was all about clean-cut, traditional, and conservative fashion that celebrated the post-war era. In this section, we’ll explore the key elements of 1950s men’s fashion.

Tailoring Style

One of the most notable features of 1950s men’s fashion was the emphasis on tailoring. Suits were a staple of men’s wardrobes, with slim-fitting jackets and trousers that emphasized the natural lines of the body.

This was a departure from the boxy, oversized suits of the previous decade, and it helped to create a more streamlined silhouette.

Suits and Ties

The 1950s saw the rise of the business suit as a symbol of professionalism and success. Suits were typically made of wool or tweed and featured a narrow, fitted silhouette with broad shoulders and a tapered waist.

Ties were an essential accessory, and they were typically wide and bold, featuring patterns such as stripes, polka dots, and paisley.

Casual Wear

Casual wear in the 1950s was all about looking sharp without sacrificing comfort. Popular styles included button-up shirts with rolled-up sleeves, cardigan sweaters, and varsity jackets.

Trousers were typically high-waisted and slim-fitting, with cuffs at the bottom. Jeans were also becoming more popular, especially among the younger generation.


Footwear in the 1950s was all about classic style and comfort. Dress shoes were typically made of leather and featured a rounded toe and a low heel.

Loafers and saddle shoes were also popular choices for both casual and dressy occasions. For more casual settings, sneakers and canvas shoes were the go-to choice.


Accessories also played a big role in 1950s men’s fashion. Hats, ties, and pocket squares were all popular choices, and they helped to add a touch of sophistication to even the most casual outfits.

Sunglasses were also a must-have accessory, with styles ranging from classic aviators to bold, oversized frames.

The 1950s was a time of celebration and prosperity, and the fashion trends of the era reflected this. Men’s fashion was clean-cut, traditional, and conservative.

Rockabilly Style

Rockabilly Style was a popular fashion trend in the 1950s. It was inspired by the fusion of rock and roll music and country music.

This style was characterized by leather jackets, denim jeans, and white t-shirts. It was also popular for men to wear their hair in a pompadour style.

Ivy League Look

The Ivy League Look was a preppy style that was popular among college students in the 1950s. This style was characterized by button-down shirts, khaki pants, and penny loafers. It was also popular for men to wear their hair in a crew cut.

Fashion Icons of the 1950s

The 1950s was a decade of style and fashion, with many iconic men’s fashion statements that are still relevant today. Here are some of the most influential fashion icons of the 1950s:

James Dean

James Dean was a Hollywood actor who became a fashion icon in the 1950s.

He was known for his cool and rebellious style, which included leather jackets, jeans, and white t-shirts. His signature look was a red windbreaker jacket, which became a must-have item for men everywhere.

James Dean’s fashion sense was a reflection of his personality, and his style has been imitated by men all over the world.

 james dean
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Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando was another Hollywood actor who became a fashion icon in the 1950s.

He was known for his rugged and masculine style, which included leather jackets, jeans, and boots. His signature look was a leather motorcycle jacket, which became a symbol of rebellion and freedom.

Marlon Brando’s fashion sense was a reflection of his rebellious nature, and his style has inspired men’s fashion for decades.

 marlon brando
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Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley was a singer and actor who became a fashion icon in the 1950s.

He was known for his unique and flamboyant style, which included colorful suits, pompadour hairstyles, and flashy jewelry. His signature look was a white jumpsuit with a high collar and bell-bottom pants.

Elvis Presley’s fashion sense was a reflection of his larger-than-life personality, and his style has influenced men’s fashion for generations.

 elvis presley
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Influence of Post-War Culture

In the 1950s, men’s fashion was heavily influenced by post-war culture. After World War II, there was a shift towards a more conservative and traditional style of dress.

Men were expected to dress in a way that reflected their status and position in society. This led to a resurgence of classic styles such as the suit, tie, and fedora.

One of the biggest influences on men’s fashion during this time was Hollywood. Movie stars like Marlon Brando, James Dean, and Elvis Presley popularized the new style “Old Hollywood” Fashion Men, that was rebellious and anti-establishment.

This style included leather jackets, jeans, and t-shirts, which were a departure from the more formal attire of the previous decade.

Another influence on men’s fashion in the 1950s was the rise of the middle class. As more people entered the middle class, there was a greater emphasis on consumerism and materialism. This led to an increase in the demand for fashionable clothing and accessories.

1950s Men’s Fashion in Modern Pop Culture

If you’re a fan of retro fashion, you’ve probably noticed that 1950s men’s fashion has made a big comeback in modern pop culture.

One of the most iconic pieces of 1950s men’s fashion is the leather jacket. Whether you prefer a classic black leather jacket or a bold colored one, this piece is sure to make a statement.

 man in leather jacket
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Another popular trend from the 1950s is the slim-fitting suit. The slim-fitting suit is designed to fit close to the body, creating a sleek and sophisticated look.

 man in a slim fitted suit
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High-waisted trousers are pants which sit above the natural waistline and are typically paired with suspenders for a classic look.

 man in high-wasted trousers like 1950s style
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Cuban-collar shirts feature a distinctive collar that is open and pointed, creating a laid-back, tropical vibe.

 man in a cuban collar shirt
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Penny loafers as classic shoes are perfect for both casual and formal occasions, and they can be worn with everything from jeans to suits.

 man in white shirt, chino and loafers
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What did men wear in the 1950s?

Men’s fashion in the 1950s was a time of classic sophistication and timeless style. From the iconic black and white suit to trendsetting Hawaiian shirts, the 1950s saw the rise of a variety of stylish looks for men.

How should men dress cool in the 50s?

Men in the 1950s often wore suits, but they also embraced more casual styles. Incorporating elements of preppy into your dress style is one way to interpret this fifties trend. Hats were also an important part of 50s outfits for men.

How did men wear their hair in the 1950s?

Men’s hairstyles in the 1950s were characterized by their neat and clean appearance. Popular styles included the crew cut, the flat top, and the pompadour.

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Andreas Weigert
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