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Common Fabric Designs for 1950s Halloween Costumes 1950s fashions included one and two-piece dresses with small-collared, fitted blouses and full, pleated knee-length skirts. More casual dresses with tied shoulder straps or halter straps, boned bodices and the quintessential circle skirt. Similarly fitted eveningwear that had a heart-shaped opaque strapless bodice with a sheer silk or nylon overbodice, usually sleeveless or long-sleeved. Prom night evening gowns of pastel nylon tulle, usually bedecked with yards of tulle trims, ruffles, and velvet bows. Long-sleeved button-up sweaters with a plain, ribbed neck, often beaded or appliqued. Fabrics Available: Natural fibers (linen, cotton, wool, silk), rayon, acetate, nylon, modacrylic, acrylic, polyester, and spandex. For daytime, the most common fabrics were in naturals, rayon, nylon, poly-cotton blends, and sometimes acrylic and acetate; sweaters were wool (cashmere for status) or acrylic knit. Brocades, satin, velveteen, taffeta, nylon net, tulle, and chiffon in both natural and synthetic fabrics were reserved for evening. Materials were usually light to medium weight, and sheer fabrics were common, but not usually as the main material of a garment (except in tulle evening gowns and some day dresses). Popular Colors and Prints: Day and casual wear saw neutral solids and floral prints, along with dazzling western and peasant-styled clothing, sometimes hand-painted onto circle skirts or scarves. Futuristic prints of all types appeared in bright, abstract designs apropos of the atomic era. Also, dark tone-on-tone abstracts in brown, gray or navy were popular winter prints. For evening, both solids and classic floral brocades were common; the effect of overlaying contrasting sheer chiffon or net on a flesh-colored underdress was daringly popular. Colors in the evening were now both subtle and bold, as peacock blues and hot pinks became acceptable.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|