Mid-Century Youth Market
The mid 20th century was the period of joy and celebration in Europe and America.
World War 2 was finally fought and won. And as the war ended, so did many of the war-time trends. There was no longer need for rationing of clothes or the functional utility clothing. Fashion was fun again!
Materials and textiles were now readily supplied all over the world and the designers were all geared up to make fashion trendier than ever!
This was also the time when everyone wanted to forget about the traumatic happenings from the recent past and wanted to return to the time of sophistication, from the late 18th and the early 19th century.
The New Look
Christian Dior launched his collection known as the new look in 1947. This collection reached its utter fame in the 1950’s and was seen everywhere shortly.
The 1950’s mood was that of returning to the time where everything was peaceful and fun, and to go back to the quiet sophisticated lives their ancestors led which was the inspiration for ‘The New Look’.
The Baby Boom
10,643,238 soldiers returned home to America after World War 2 and shortly after there was a rise in population. According to History.com more babies were born in 1946 than ever before.
This was the time of prosperity as many government facilities such as the ‘G.I bill’ were introduced which helped the former soldiers earn a lot of disposable income, which in turn led to the baby boom which lasted from 1946 to 1964.
The youth of the 1950’s was sophisticated but fun, wearing child-like prints and patterns but still following the ‘New Look style’ worn by the older generation of that time.
This generation consisting of the Baby Boomers had more money than ever to spend due to their well to do parents, which also gave a new fashion demographic to the fashion world- The Teenage market.
Denim jeans, also called dungarees, were not quite as form-fitting as pants and capris of the time. They were made of heavy dark denim and lined with a vibrant plaid flannel that fit high on the waist, wide over the hips and tapered down to the ankle or rolled up to a wide cuff at mid calf (capri length). Extra large pockets were a carry over from the 1940s, but this time the trend was to outline them in contrast stitching.
The jeans were very popular and one of the most popular pieces of clothing for the youth market.
Teenagers developed their own style with jeans. Extra loose pants in the early years and extra slim pants worn with ballet flats, short cropped hair and very baggy “sloppy joe” sweaters in the later years created a bohemian artist look. Naturally, the parents hated the style.
One of the major trends in the teenage market during the 50’s were the rolled up jeans as seen in the above picture!
This was because the teenagers during this time bought larger clothes so that they would not grow out of them soon. However, after a period of time, the rolling up the cuffs became an actual trend!
Letterman Sweaters were a common trend for the teenagers in the 50’s. These letters on the varsity jackets represented the sorority or the school the kids went to.
This was a simple trend which originated in the 50’s and which is still seen to be followed today.
Thus, 1950’s was the originator of the teenage market and one of the most important decades which not only gave rise to the teenage market in fashion but also empowered them greatly!