Let’s throw it back to the age of rock n roll, a time where slick, gelled hair was in for the men, and big bouncy curls for the ladies. If you’ve got a 50’s themed party coming up and you’re stuck for ideas, then fear not, as we’re here to turn up the heat! We’ve pulled together a list of our all-time favourite 50s fancy dress costumes that fully represent this wonderful era. Have you ever wanted to become one of the pink ladies, or even belong to the heroic band of Thunderbirds?
Maybe you fancy yourself as an Elvis impersonator? If so, then pick up your mic and you’ll be singing ‘you’re the one that I want’ at whoever catches your eye at the party. Check out all of our 50s costume ideas below.
Every girl wants to be a part of the Pink Ladies. They’re stylish, cool and just a little bit sassy! Of course, not everyone can join this unique group of ladies, and poor innocent Sandy didn’t quite make the cut. She was far too much of a goodie-two-shoes to be rebellious like Rizzo, Jan, Marty and Frenchy. Big, bouncy hair was also in fashion during the 1950s. You can recreate a perfect pink lady look, by curling you hair (or if you want to be old school, then you can use rollers too. Put on some red lippy, then you’ll be down with the gang in no time! This is one of the best women’s 50s fancy dress ideas out there!
Fast cars, tight black pants and gelled back hair. You know who we are talking about…The T-Birds! It was hard for teenage boys in college, as they always wanted to appear like the cool kid, never the nerd. This is why there was always a bit of tension between Danny and his sweet Sandy, as she never quite clicked with his friends. If you want to be a part of the crew, then you’ll need some serious swag, high-waisted black jeans and a slick back quiff. Going to the party as a group? Dress as Danny and his entire crew of T-birds.
There are so many girls out there who can’t wait to finish school to go and fulfil their dreams as a beautician. Spending everyday recreating some killer makeup looks, designing unique nail art and giving clients a hair makeover. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out for the Pink Lady, Frenchy. She dropped out of beauty school and was told by her guardian angel to go back to high school. You don’t have to be a beauty school drop out to wear this flattering 50’s costume!
As you can tell, Grease is a popular theme when it comes to 50s fancy dress ideas! For a different representation of Danny from the film, go for the Rydell High Prep look. Sandy felt like she’d never fit in with any of the cool kids at school and felt like Danny would never accept her for who she is. Luckily, Danny made a change and transformed himself into a new man! From the cool leather jacket wearing guy, to a geek. He thought changing his appearance would make Sandy realise how much she means to him. Of course, he got teased by his mates, but he didn’t care!
These days, most UK high schoolers kids have to wear uniform up until college, and let’s face it, we all hated it! The Americans in the 50’s had it so much better, with unique styles of their own clothes and new fashion trends set every year. Why not throw it back in time with your mates from school as an American 50s college jock? Be the star of the sports team with a colourful varsity jacket. This 50s fancy dress idea is perfect for guys.
Polka dots were right on trend back in the 1950’s; red polka dot, black polka dot, navy polka dot and most of all, pink polka dot for the girly girls out there! There’s just something about big ‘poofy’ dresses that flatten you just perfectly around the waist. Smarten up in one of these dresses and all that’s left to do now is either curl your hair and watch them bounce as you take up on the dance floor, or create a slick back bun. Don’t forget to put plenty of hairspray in! Of course, the pink polka dress wouldn’t be complete without a cute pair of heels. All that’s left for you to do is to grab a man and boogey the night away!
Give a warm welcome to the almighty king of rock n roll and the trendsetter who brought in large quiffs as a bold fashion statement back in the 50s! Elvis Presley will remain one of the most famous rock stars in history, so why not go out with a bang and rock up to the party as the king himself? Elvis sure loved to show off and wore bright, bold stated clothes. Not to mention the shoulder pads, that were so popular back in the 50s. Elvis is a 50s costume idea that has to be expected at any 1950’s party. You’ll see Mr Presley impersonators all over the dance floor! Grab the mic and practice those moves.
Diners are hugely popular characteristic of American life. These quickly emerged in the fities and are known for their retro, often red style. They even sometimes have staff that serve you on roller skates! The food generally served is fast food, such as burgers, chicken wings, fries and delicious shakes. Of course, diners wouldn’t be complete without their Diner girls who serve the customers! Diner girls were a thing of the 50s and they always served you with a massive smile. Typically, they wore brightly coloured dresses, had their hair back in neat bun and a face full of makeup. Dress as a diner girl yourself to give your friends and family the ultimate American diner experience! Drinks anyone?
Forget the trends of today, where men dress up in baggy tracksuits and baseball gear; the 50s is where it’s at! During this decade, men that were into their rock n roll were known as Teddy Boys. Their fashion was inspired by this era and they loved to flaunt it! They like to style their locks like the king of rock n roll, Elvis himself. Grab your suit and tie and get ready for a night of rocking!
Don the classic 50’s style of a rock chick and you won’t go unnoticed on the dance floor. Bright colours, flowing skirts and trademark hairstyles of the 50’s go hand-in-hand in this rockin’ 50s fancy dress idea. This rockabilly sweetheart costume is a must have for any 50s party for ladies that want to relive the Elvis era in classic 50’s flair.
Good day to you, Campers!
These days, we have more than enough TV programmes to watch, but there’s nothing quite like throwing it back old school to TV, inspired by the magical era that was the 1950s. Gather your mates and get to your nearest holiday camp for a hilarious re-creation of Hi-De-Hi! Of course, as it’s a camp, you’ll need to get your uniform out at the ready. Bright yellow suits and a dash of blue is what the campers wore in this TV sitcom and you can represent the 50’s stars with a men’s or women’s version of the outfit.
Put on your red lippy, curl your hair and slip on that signature white, silk dress that Marilyn Monroe wore back in the 50s. It’s based on her iconic stage appearance that no one will ever forget. Of course, Marilyn looked ever so elegant and with the right amount of wind, her dress blew up. Just be careful though, as too much wind will reveal a little too much! Marilyn Monroe is a classic 50’s costume idea for ladies that admire this Hollywood star.
So, there you have it, a list of the best 50s costume ideas to get you party ready. Use them as inspiration to craft your own outfit or buy a ready-made all-in-one and you’ll be good to go. Make-up and hairstyles were big in the fifties so be sure you don’t neglect those! Need more 50s fancy dress ideas? Check out our full wardrobe of 50s outfits in our store area here!