1950s Coats & Costume Suits 1955 Fashion Plates
By Pauline Weston Thomas for Fashion-Era.com
Fashion Plates of 1950s Coats and Costume Suits
These lovely 50 year old fashion plates are from 1955. They show a selection of quality fashion coats and fashion suits, designed to be used as style ideas for those specializing in the sales
of ladies mantles. The latter phrase is a term which has virtually gone out of use today. In the 1950s, suits were almost always referred to as costume suits or costumes.
Thick satin embroidered coat garment labels often stated that the coat
was a '... Mantle Made by...'. These beautiful 1950s coats are
fashionable examples of styles of the era. They vary from swagger
coats that were full and roomy enough to wear over a tailored suit.
Fabrics used included camelhair, wool velour, Melton cloth, tweed and
velvets. Trimmings such as
beaver lamb fur, astrakhan and mink were all popular.
Oversized buttons and contrast
lining were often used to introduce interesting fashion features.
Whilst there are two contrasting looks here
from fitted and semi fitted to extra full and swingy it's
important to consider why these styles were so varied.
The reasons were twofold.
Full skirted dresses sat happily
beside straight slim styles and also the need for them may
well have been demand led. The decade after the Second
World War saw a boom in births so the swagger coat therefore
often doubled as roomy maternity wear. The
timeline gives more
social changes that happened in the era.
A well groomed woman of the 1950s would accessorize an
outfit with gloves, stockings and a good leather handbag.
Part of that grooming was to wear a good
corselette. Women were
carefully corseted to help them achieve hour glass figures and a wasp
waist. The corsetry was not as severe as in earlier eras, but
undergarments that were quite structured were worn to give the correct
body silhouette where required. A less structured silhouette did
not truly arrive until the 1960s. The
1950s was a period of glamorous underwear,
pretty petticoats and all
made in fabrics without Lycra added.
In the 1950s
central heating was rare in Britain and many women used public
transport. Even if they had access to a car it was unlikely to
have had an effective heater and offices and shops were also poorly
heated. So in winters past, it was essential to wear warm clothing
just in case heating was non functioning that day. The tweed
fabrics of the 1950s were much heavier per square yard than they are
today and Harris tweeds are detailed
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