Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vintage Coats - 1950s

Today, I continue my look at coat styles through the years with the 1950s. As Dior's New Look emerged in the late 1940s, coats began to increase in width and volume to cover the new full skirted fashions. Full skirts did not trickle down to regular fashion until about 1950, which is when we start to see the same volume in coats worn by the everyday woman.

From 1950, here you see a coat with a fitted bodice that flares out with deep pleats in the skirt in the style we now call a princess coat. Notice the wide sleeves and huge collar.

Another popular style to wear with full skirts was a coat with huge volume that flares out from the shoulders. Today, we call this a swing coat. This coat dates to 1951. Note that the sleeves are now at 3/4 length with deep cuffs.

By 1955, a more modified princess style started to emerge with a fitted bodice and a flare that is not quite as wide in the skirt.

By the mid 1950s, the clutch coat becomes very popular. While very impractical, clutch coats were made with no buttons or closures of any kind. Women would wrap the coat closed and hold it in place with one arm clutched across the waist.

Here, you see another popular trend, the pushed up sleeve. When combined with a clutch style, I can imagine this woman constantly having to fuss with her coat!

Also, while full coats were still popular, we begin to see simpler, straighter cuts. This coat, from 1955, has sleeves that can be worn full length or pushed up.

In 1956, we see styles that are straight cut in front but with a bit of sack like fullness across the back. Those push up sleeves and clutch styles are still popular.

By 1958, sleeves are back to hanging straight. Slim Chesterfield style coats are popular for day...

...while for evening, the full cocoon style emerges. These coats were made of exotic fabrics and had unusual cuts with most of the sleeve cut as part of the body of the coat. This style will continue to emerge in the early 1960s, which we'll look at next week!


Deja Pseu said...

Interesting how the silhouettes go from full to lean to full (for the evening coat).

casey said...

I love the fuller, 50s coat silhouettes! Maybe because they're great for snuggling up in when it's really cold. ;) I've seen a lot of clutch coats at vintage shops lately; although I can't imagine wearing one that often because I'd be constantly fiddling with keeping it closed, they look so elegant in theory...

- Casey

GypsyFox The Glamorous Betty Crocker said...

I love Vintage Coats! although I only have a couple I plan on picking up some more this winter ;-)

Belle de Ville said...

That evening coat with the fur accents is a piece of art.
BTW, where do you get these fantastic photos?

Sal said...

I adore coats with those huge, exaggerated collars - like the first one pictured. They look fantastically cozy.

Gladys said...

Lovely coats. My favorite is the very first one. When I was in High School I found a coat of my mother's in the back of the closet. It was gorgeous camel with a fur collar. I wore that thing until it literally fell apart. My mother told me that she bought it at a second hand store in 1951 and it was shaped like that first coat.

Ms. B said...

So many wonderful silhouettes! I love the swing coats, I think those are my favorite because they are so closely linked to the time period. You can look at one and automatically tell when it's from or if it's new, tell that it's a vintage inspired piece!

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