Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Retro!

I should have been born in the fifties.

For as long as I can remember, I've loved everything about it, from the fashions to the decor to the television shows and toys. And even though I grew up in the seventies and eighties--decades of bell-bottoms and acid-washed jeans--I think I would have been right at home in the decade of pedal pushers and jewel-neck pullovers!

Poodle skirt parade
Photo by Peter Griffin
Courtesy of Public Domain Pictures
My mom and dad were teenagers in the '50s, and as I was growing up, I'd ask them to tell me stories about what life was like then. I loved when my mom described the kinds of clothes she wore, like poodle skirts (love!) and saddle shoes. I've always found it funny that saddle shoes were back in style when I was in high school in the eighties!

Speaking of the eighties, each year my high school would hold a Fifties Day, and I was the envy of all my female classmates when I wore my mom's red poodle skirt with white ankle socks and my 1980's version of saddle shoes. Mom still owns a lot of the clothes she wore back then, and I had so much fun trying them on when I was growing up: Capri pants; form-fitting, short-sleeved shirts; blouses with Peter Pan collars; cat-eye glasses; and cardigan sweaters, which my mom said were sometimes worn backward. The outfit wasn't complete until I had pulled my hair up into a scarf-tied ponytail or tied a silk scarf around my neck. She told me once that another fad she and her friends took part in was to wear small animals collars as ankle bracelets.
1950's diner booth
Photo by Lee Wag
Public Domain Pictures

For entertainment, Mom and Dad would go out to the diner for cheeseburgers or to the drug store for Green Rivers--or maybe they'd attend a sock hop at the school or cruise around town in my dad's old Ford.
   
The fifties also brought some of my favorite television shows, like I Love Lucy and The Twilight Zone, and toys that my own children play with today, like Barbie and Etch A Sketch. And although my music tastes tend to run a little more modern, I still enjoy some of the idols of the fifties, like Elvis Presley and Ricky Nelson. Also, in my opinion, few modern actors possess the brooding good looks of James Dean.


It's official: I love the fifties!


What about you? Do you have a favorite decade? What are your thoughts about retro style?

59 comments:

  1. Cute post! I am still waiting to find my perfect decade...!

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  2. I am not fashion guru by any struck of the imagination.

    I just feel that it funny sometimes that certain styles are like a circle. It seems that certain articles from the past generation come back to life, like ankle warmers.

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    1. I agree. What's popular now will be popular again later. That's pretty much a certainty.

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  3. How fun! My parents grew up more in the late 60s-70's, so those decades remind me more of them :)

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  4. Fun Post! 50's retro style always makes me think of Jr. High (in the mid 70's). Happy Days and Grease were popular and we had quite a few 50's dances.

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    1. Thanks, Donna. Grease is one of my favorite movies!

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    1. They're adorable! I'd love to find one for my two-year-old. She's look so sweet. :)

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  6. I also love the 50's. Fashion in those days with the poodle skirts and silk scarfs around the neck were so cute! Grease is one of my favorite movies and everytime we vaction I look to see if there is a 50's diner to visit.

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    1. Fifties diners are awesome! I love cheeseburgers, and it always seems like I can find great ones at those diners.

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  7. That is so cool. I love retro stuff too but I loved hearing about the thirties and the forties and the music was so awesome. I also love the 60's for all the color and the love, but somehow, I got stuck in the 70's. :)

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    1. LOL :)

      I'm also intrigued by the '20s. I love the Flapper dresses!

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  8. I was totally a 60s girl in high school and college, but I've grown to appreciate the more classic look of the 50s. Some of that stuff will never go out of style :)
    Thanks for the supportive comments!
    ~AJ

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    1. You're welcome! I'm really interested in knowing how you're doing with your book. :)

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  9. i love the 50's--my older sister was a teen then and i idolized everything about her---love the skirts and sock-hops and esp. ricky nelson---but my favorite decade is probably the 60's

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    1. I agree; the sixties had a lot to offer, too: mini skirts and psychedelic clothing, and later the "Hippie" look. Very cool stuff!

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  10. The 50s were always a favorite of mine, too. I had a 50's style sweet 16 at a roller rink, and made my friends dress up. Luckily, I have tolerant friends.

    I also really like the clothes of the wealthy in the 20s and 30s. Fun post!

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    1. Thanks. :)

      What a great idea for a birthday party!

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  11. I do, but it's in another century. ;-P

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  12. I will have to go with the late 60's/early 70's -- starting with the summer of love -- 1967 -- it was a tumultuous time but a time of great unveiling and opening up. Amazing stuff happened!

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  13. i love seeing fashion morph thru the ages!

    what were the noughties (00s) significant for?
    the rage now is butt flaunting leggings, yuck!

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    1. I'm not sure, but I agree with you about the leggings (or maybe I'm just jealous because I can't wear them. LOL).

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  14. I could have certainly been a 50's girl! It just seems like it was a kinder, gentler time.
    What a great story about your mom's poodle skirt and 50's day at school! I'll bet you were quite a hit!

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    1. Fifties Day was so much fun! In general, I don't miss high school, but I do sometimes wish I could go back to Fifties Day. :)

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  15. Visiting from A/Z. How cute that your mom kept a lot of the clothes she wore in the 50s! Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

    betty

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  16. I always wish that I could get away with wearing those great vinage 50s dresses.

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    1. I used to fit into my mom's, but I think I'd be a little afraid to try them on now. :) I love the styles, though, and love to pin pictures of them on Pinterest.

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  17. My teen years--late 60s and early 70s--psychedelic music, hippies, love beads, hip huggers, mini skirts, mood rings, long straight hair, wire rims--Earth Day, war protests, women's lib, civil rights. We thought we could change the world!! :)

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  18. You know you're old when the high school Homecoming Spirit Week has a day dedicated to your decade. You know you're old when kids wear your decade's clothes for Halloween. I'm old -- waaaaah!

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    1. I am, too! I've heard of schools doing '80s day or week. Eek!

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  19. Just dropping by to say hi, visiting from the A-Z challenge. My parents grew up in the 50's too! Myself I am an early 70's girl. Did not get into disco!

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    1. Hi, there! :)

      I was just a little too young for disco but remember a lot of the 1980's dance styles, like moonwalking, breakdancing, and the electric slide.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  20. Ah yes. These photographs took me back! I was born in 1940, so I like your parents was a teenager in the 50s. Wow. I saw that you were following me on Twitter, I went there, and ended up here. I'm doing the A to Z also, and doing Golden Movies of the 40s and 50s. I was there! Your photograph of the skirts, ah yes. And that booth. I had forgotten that, but now I see it again. Thanks so much! Glad I came over here to meet you, Dana.
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

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    1. I'm glad you stopped by! I subscribed to your blog today because I saw that you write memoir, which is one of the things I write as well. I noticed that you're writing about Golden Movies and love all the history involved with that. I'm hoping I can catch up on some of your posts. :)

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    2. (I'm going to follow your Blogger blog as well.)

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  21. I enjoy everything before the 80's. I just don't know what happened after that.

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  22. I love the 20's.
    Men dressed up, women wore flapper clothes and cute short hairstyles. Skirts were longer, hats were popular.
    Sometimes I hear a song or see a photo and have deja vu.

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    1. The twenties were great, too--especially for the reasons you gave: the clothes and hairstyles! I've always wanted to try a super-short 1920's bob, but so far I haven't had the guts. :)

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  23. I'm a child of the 80's - love 80's music, don't care either way about the fashion, although I was pretty preppy as a teenager - pink pants and green Lacoste shirt!

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    1. I was a preppy, too. I remember those clothes. :)

      80's music is great!

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  24. I love the 50's. It seems like things were so happy and bee-bopp-ish (it's a word). Kids were still innocent and respectful. And they had sock-hops. Who couldn't love hopping socks!

    Decade wise, I am a total '80's girl...as least music wise because the fashion was awful!

    I wore the saddle shoes in the '70's and 80's and would totally sport them again if I could find them.

    Fun post!

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    1. I agree. It seems like it was a happy, innocent decade--although to hear my mom tell it, the kids then were just like the kids today. LOL

      I love the 1980's hair bands: Poison, Bon Jovi, Skid Row... Great music!

      Thanks for commenting!

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  25. The fifties were pretty wonderful. Love poodle skirts and things like that. I also love shows about the fifties like Grease.

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    1. Grease is one of my favorites, too!

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  26. I grew up in the 60's and hit high school in the70's. I word my share of crocheted vests and bell bottoms with appliques sewed on. I always sported a POW bracelet as well. Sadly the soldier on mine was never found.

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    1. My brother was in high school in the '70s. I remember his bell bottoms and long hair. It seemed like he wore a lot of brown clothes, but that could just be my faulty memory talking.

      It's really sad that the soldier was never found...

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  27. hello Dana! popping in from A-Z. I love the 40's. The clothes, the coiffed hair, the red lipstick, the heels. I love that the country was united about WWII. People sacrificed for something big. It was a hard-working generation. Like your blog! I'm trying to hit most of them on the A-Z list - I'm in the 900's.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I've been working my way through the list as well. I started from the bottom and have about 300 more to go. I've been having so much fun reading, I don't know what I'll do when I'm done!

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    1. Thanks! I wish I could wear leggings; they seem so comfortable. I'm envious!

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  29. LOVE the poodle skirt parade! I was born in the fifties and it was a pretty cool time. Great memories. My sister always says that we had a charmed childhood and I think she's pretty accurate on that. Drive in movies were my favorite!

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    1. It does seem like it was a wonderful time to grow up--or at least a less complicated time for kids.

      I've never been to a drive-in movie. I always wanted to go...

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