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Fashion and Clothing History

1950s highlights

Overview of the 50s

Researching the 1950s


Sorry, there's no section of the library devoted to 1950s fashion!  

Searching for fashion by a specific decade can be tricky because the same time period can be described several different ways and information about a decade may be found in several different sections of the library.  There is no one phrase that will bring back all the clothing of a decade so try a few different searches to see what works.  Here are some suggestions of searches to start with. Get creative and add some of your own!

1950s     Nineteen fifties     50s     50s fashion     Postwar fashion     New Look fashion

Here are some other tips for researching by a decade:

  • Search by designer, not designer by decade.  For example, if you were to search "Jacques Fath 50s" you would find zero books.  However if you were to search for just "Jacques Fath" then look through the many books we have on him, you would find plenty of his designs from the 1950s.  Because a designer's career can span decades, it's difficult to restrict a search to a specific designer AND a specific decade.
  • Search by type of clothing.  Looking for a 1950s wedding dress?  Instead of "1950s wedding dress" search for "wedding dress" then look through some of the books you find for images from the 1950s.  
  • Search by photographer.  Like designers, a photographers work may span many decades.  
  • Search by century.  A book that covers the entire 20th century may have a very good chapter on the 1950s with images you can't find anywhere else.

1950s in depth

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