How to style a 1950’s inspired outfit

I always remind people that what we do at Firebird Photography is not a photo filter. One of the biggest factors to our stunning images is the wardrobe styling that we do. I personally spend hours or days researching the fits and fashions of each decade so I understand it quite well. With Halloween around the corner, I figured I’d share some tips on how to assemble the perfect vintage outfit!

If you go to boutique vintage places, chances are they will have wonderful outfits already there, but they tend to be on the expensive side. After all, you are paying for the effort it took them to find the outfit and also for the fabric materials. True vintage clothing is high quality and the fact that it stood the test of time without much wear and tear is evidence of that. But if you’re more on the thrifty side, you can assemble a pretty nifty 1950’s outfit on your own from thrift shops like Goodwill, Salvation Army and Savers.

It can be pretty overwhelming to hunt in a giant thrift store without direction, so here are some tips to help you:

Pay Attention to Patterns
The 1950s had lots of fun patterns and if you stick with one of those, you’re sure to having a winning outfit. The patterns you’ll want to stick with are polka dots, plaid and gingham. Polka dot dresses are great for fancy or semi-fancy looks — think dinner party or cocktail dresses. Plaid and gingham are great for casual looks — but could also make for a great daytime dress.

Patterns of the 50s

Colors are Key
If you think the 50’s are only filled with pink poodleskirts and leather jackets, you’re missing out! The 50’s have a wonderful colorful palette filled with colors inspired by objects of the time. The turquoise of a Cadillac, the red of the Coca Cola Vending Machine, the browns of midcentury furniture … the list goes on! Here’s a simple color palette I’ve found works quite well:

Hopefully those tips helped you. If you need more inspiration, have a look at our 50’s Pinterest Board which is filled with lots of inspiring images updated every day!