In the 1950's women's fashion changed throughout the decade, this has no different for black women. They chose styles that worked for them and matched their personal choices with fashion.
A Parisian influence evidently dominated women's dresses in the 50's. Full skirts that came to the knee were commonly worn. Dresses tightly fitted to accentuate the waist were popular as well as strapless and shoulder cuts. Pencil skirts worn below the knee, full skirts, blouse tucked into the skirts, tailored jacket worn over the blouse and a pillbox hat, popularized by Jackie Kennedy rose to popularity for business suits for ladies including African American women.
Teenage girls wore jeans, rolled up to Capri-length. Fitted and cropped sweaters were worn with pointed bras to accentuate the body.
Men usually only wore cotton or wool fabrics and cufflinks were a part of everyday clothing. Gray, dark blues, charcoal and brown were popular for 1950s businessman. Ties were thin, usually came in a solid color matching suit. Trousers used less fabric and were narrower around the leg. Hats were very popular in the fifties for men, they wore them almost all the time.
Younger 1950s men wore jeans paired with a plain white shirt and a black leather or red nylon jacket. "Rebel Without a Cause" became trendy, although many teens stayed with the "preppie" look.
Just in! A former fashion model is launching a social media campaign to bring public scrutiny to designers and brands who do not use black models. Learn more at ABC News.