Five 1950s Outfits

Grace Kelly - Casual Drama
Grace Kelly in an wide-brimmed hat and black capri pants
Legendary Hollywood costume designer Edith head had much to do with the creation of the "Kelly look", a style that oozed clean, sophisticated elegance. Kelly's fabulous Edith Head-designed beach outfit in To Catch a Thief conjures visions of a Hollywood Queen gliding through a sun-filled Asian rice paddy.  

Wearing a wrap skirt over tight-fitting, just-below-the-knee length capri pants was not uncommon in the 50s but Head simplified the style by combining stark contrast colours and in an  inspired touch, a wide, straw hat with black scarf.

It's a  dramatic look and Kelly carries it off with her usual ice-cool aplomb- head turningly different.

Jean Seberg - French New Wave
American born actress Jean Seberg exemplified 1950s hip European youth culture. Here, her gamine haircut, off-the-shoulder striped top and jeans combo is a modern classic A darling of French New Wave cinema, Seberg created a major splash with her appearance in the 1960 Jen Luc Godard classic, Breathless.

Seberg was a style icon on and off screen. Coco Chanel had already popularised French sailor stripes in the 1920s but Jean's appearance in a striped tee in Breathless brought them back into the limelight.  Stripes in general, were popular in the 50s and worked a treat with cuffed pedal pushers and short hair.

Jean Seberg..French -American style elements

Sophia Loren..evening glamour.
Sophia Loren - Classic Evening Glamour
Okay so this outfit may require near physical perfection to carry off but on the voluptuous Sophia Loren it looks nothing short of stunning.

The knockout effect of a strapless skin tight evening dress is enhanced by Loren's striking, swept back short hair and dramatic elbow length evening gloves.

It's the less is more philosophy of the ensemble which makes the impact.Only a pair of elegant drop earrings and a chunky bracelet interrupt the sleek flow of this look.

Marilyn Monroe - Dynamic in Red, White and Black
There's something very womanly and sexy about Marilyn Monroe's simple jacket and pencil skirt, which she wore in the 1953 film Niagara..maybe it's because it brings out the natural female curves in an unobvious, careless way.

Short jackets with big collars and cuffs were a feature of 50s fashion, as was the single, large button. Long waisted pencil skirts of course, virtually never go out of style, largely because they're flattering to most figures. - looks particularly good with the ankle-straps.

Marilyn Monroe looking long and lean but not mean,  in her 50s jacket and skirt

Audrey Hepburn - Crisp and Pert
A Princess in disguise. Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday
A white shirt and full, flared skirt teamed with a stripey scarf and flat, strappy ballet style shoes, is as simple as it gets, yet the outfit Audrey Hepburn wore for the street scenes in William Wyler's 1953 classic, Roman Holiday is probably the most memorable of the whole film.

Hepburn's reed thin figure helps with the effect but it's a timeless style anyone could wear today and look great in. Edith Head designed the costumes and won an Academy award for her did Audrey Hepburn, for best actress.