Costume Ideas: The Cold War Woman - Grande Masquerade


September 08, 2011



Welcome to the Costume Ideas blog series! This series is intended to inspire your inner fashion designer so you can look like you stepped out of the 1950/60s when you walk into Mad Masquerade.

During WWII, society saw many men leave the country to fight, and many women stepped up and took traditionally male jobs. When WWII ended in 1945, the United States saw an influx of men returning to the workforce, pushing many women back into more traditional roles.
Because of this push, we see women's fashion in the 50s accentuate traditional femininity through tighter waists, wider busts, and curvy hips - in other words, an hourglass silhouette. Pencil skirts became popular in the workplace.
The early 60s followed First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy; feminine elegance was the mantra. The First Lady popularized the pillbox hat, and dresses were simple and geometric. The sixties saw a distance from the more conservative colors of the 50s, enjoying brighter colors and bolder patterns.

But where can you find these clothes? Take a look at this magenta "Work to Wow" dress from Notice the hourglass shape; this dress could have been popular in the workplace. In fact, take a look at all of the 1950s/60s dresses from Modcloth - it's a great place for vintage-inspired clothing.

Also consider this black "Five to Nine" dress from Shabby Apple, another online retailer specializing in vintage-inspired clothing; taking a cue from Jackie Kennedy, this black dress features a thin collar, has soft shoulders, and a loose, feminine bow near the neck.