1950s Accessories

by Candace RichComment — Updated September 20, 2023

1950s Accessories were all about looking polished and put-together. Nothing was an afterthought. Women paid attention to every little detail, from their hats down to their high heels. And it wasn’t just about the dresses; accessories like gloves, girdles, belts and purses. Each played a role in making a fashion statement.

From high heels that screamed elegance to gloves that were the epitome of grace. Girdles shaped the perfect hourglass figure, while belts cinched in waists to perfection. Sweaters and jackets added both warmth and flair, and versatile accessories like shawls and scarves could transform an outfit in an instant.

Whether putting on an evening gown for a glamorous night out or casual dresses for a day on the town, the fashion of the ’50s left no detail overlooked. From the cut of the fabric to the choice of accessories, every element was carefully considered.

This meticulous attention to detail made the 1950s a decade that was far from dull when it came to style!


A lady wore gloves in the Fifties. She was not seen as properly dressed without them. They came in many lengths and all colors. Short white gloves were most commonly worn and women always had several pairs. Why? Because they were the very devil to keep clean!Fifties Gloves


In the 1950s, high heels were more than just shoes; they were a fashion statement. Women wore them to complete their outfits and look elegant. The heels were often stiletto-style, tall and slim, adding a touch of glamour and sophistication. They were paired with everything from daytime dresses to evening gowns. Wearing high heels was considered a sign of femininity and grace, and they were an essential part of the polished, tailored look that was popular in the ’50s.


Girdles were a big deal in the 1950s and almost every woman wore one. They were like tight-fitting belts for the waist and hips, worn under dresses to create that perfect hourglass shape. The idea was to make the waist look smaller and the hips and bust look fuller. Girdles were considered a must-have for achieving the ideal figure that was popular in the ’50s. Even though they were hidden under clothes, they played a huge role in how women presented themselves. They were the secret behind the tailored, elegant look that was all the rage at the time.


Hats in the 1950s were more than just a way to keep the sun out of your eyes; they were a fashion statement. Women wore a variety of hat styles to match or accent their outfits. From small pillbox hats to wide-brimmed ones, each hat had its own personality and purpose. Some hats were simple and elegant, while others had bows, feathers, or even veils for added flair. Hats were often worn for special occasions, but they were also a part of everyday fashion. They added the finishing touch to an outfit, making it look complete and well-coordinated. Overall, hats were an essential accessory that showcased a woman’s sense of style and elegance.


Purses in the 1950s were all about matching and coordination. Women often chose purses that matched their shoes or dresses. The bags were usually small and elegant, just big enough to carry essentials like lipstick and a compact. They added a polished touch to any outfit and were considered a must-have accessory.


Belts in the 1950s were often used to cinch the waist and create an hourglass figure. They were a popular addition to dresses and skirts, emphasizing the tailored look that was in style. Whether wide or narrow, belts were a functional yet fashionable accessory that completed the 1950s look.


Sweaters in the 1950s were a versatile piece of clothing, often worn over dresses or blouses. They were popular for both warmth and style, featuring feminine touches like buttons or embroidered patterns. Sweaters helped complete an outfit while adding a cozy layer for cooler weather.


Jackets in the 1950s were tailored and chic, often matching the dress or skirt they were worn with. They were perfect for adding a bit of sophistication to an outfit, especially for formal or work settings. The jackets were usually short, ending at or just below the waist.


Shawls were a fashionable accessory in the 1950s, often used to drape over the shoulders for added elegance. They were especially popular with sleeveless or strapless dresses, providing a touch of warmth and style. Shawls could be simple or elaborate, sometimes featuring embroidery or fringes.


Much can be done with a scarf. Drape it as a belt; wrap it as a halter top; tie it about your head, babushka style. The later also served well on bad hair days or between trips to the beauty palor. Scarves were a useful and convenient accessory in the Fifties.

Fifties Scarves

Most popularly, a short, brightly colored chiffon scarf secured many a ponytail!

Swim Caps!

Although not exactly an accessory, but no discussion of the Fifties Fashions would be complete without a look at the wild bathing caps of the day. The louder the cap, the better.

Let it never be said the Fifties were dull!Fifties Swim caps, bathing cap

Another type of cap which was worn but never seen was the shower cap. Let’s face it, your hair took overnight to dry and set you certainly weren’t going to get it wet again.

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