Why I should’ve grown up in the 50’s!

It is no secret that I adore the 50’s. So I thought I might do a post on why I should’ve been around during that time!

1. The cars!!! Oh my word the cars from the 50’s are art in motion!

2. The music! I for one am more of a Cash fan than a Presley! I mean Elvis is great and all, but no one can touch Johnny Cash!

3. The hairstyles! No lazy ugly hair here! Even when the women would put their hair up in a ponytail it was still gorgeous!

4. The clothes! My goodness why oh why are these styles not the norm anymore?

5. What was considered beautiful for the time! Back when the women who were the icons of beauty actually had normal looking figures! Now I will not say only real women have curves, because there are plenty of girls who are naturally very slim! All I am saying is that the beauty industry and media of today push girls to unrealistic “body ideals”! It is not ok to over eat nor is it ok to starve yourself! Natural is always more beautiful! So accept the body you have and take care of it! Sorry enough preaching 😉

6. The way guys looked! I for one am a total sucker for a retro style on a man!

Oh my goodness I just love Bing Crosby and Bob Hope! Now there are some funny men!

7. Dating! Now I know the dating scene in the 50’s was probably nowhere near as innocent as it has been portrayed, but it was probably a good deal more innocent than today’s dating! The rules of dating were a good deal more clear then too! The guy’s asked the girls out, the guys picked up the check, or they made sure you knew that you were going dutch, and they were good deal more respectful of personal boundaries. Boy things sure were different back then!

I really hope you all enjoyed this post and my rambling 😉 Happy Tuesday! I love you guys!



331 thoughts on “Why I should’ve grown up in the 50’s!

  1. I have to concur with you – the 50’s seemed so excellent! Love the clothes and the way they emphasized a woman’s shape, and loved how makeup and hair were done to perfection. I adore old movies with Marilyn Munroe and Gene Kelly and…ah, just about all of them!

      • One more reason to miss the 50s is the visual entertainment. Movies, and many TV shows, have become so graphic and violent that what used to be light entertainment now seems like voyuerism and a can’t-look-away-train-wreck. I long for the romantic comedy scenes at the ice cream parlor, detectives like Sherlock Holmes, and suspense movies on par with Rear Window.

        Fashions may make a comeback but the big and small screens will never be the same.

      • That is so true the entertainment of the day was top-notch! I love to go back and watch the films of the time! If only there was a massive return to what was good about the 50’s *sigh*

  2. I guess my only question is: How DID they get their hair to go in a giant curl like that at the front of their heads, anyhow?

    Pin curls? Giant rollers? Cans of oj?

    I think my lack of hairstyle ability would preclude me from being a ’50s hottie. Now I CAN use a can of Aqua Net, thus speaking to my capacity to create retro ’80s hairstyles…

    Fun post!

    • Well you sound like you have a pretty good idea of how they did their hair to me, not only were rollers, pins, and cans used. But women also used gels and tonics to get their hair to stay in place…it wasn’t really always safe though hahaha the things we do for beauty!

  3. Except women were treated like crap back then (more so than now)… domestic violence was not a crime, sexism and sexual harassment in the workplace was rampant, wealthier married men tended to have mistresses, there was no birth control, abortion was illegal, rape was common and hardly ever prosecuted or even reported (less than it is now).

    I don’t mean to be a killjoy. Yes, the fashion, music, cars and everything was great– but we can recreate all that now in an American society that is relatively safer for me and you.

    • This post was meant in good fun! I am certainly aware of the extreme problems with the time, I am quite blessed to live in the time I do now…especially as someone who is native american, racism was more than extreme then so that would have been a problem for me obviously, but my post was about the the beauty of the 50’s not the downfalls!

    • I find some of that hard to beleive… domestic violence not illegal? Rape really that common? I am sure much abuse (of various kinds) was probably a lot more overlooked than it is now, but the problems haven’t exactly gone away. You make the 50s almost sound as if it were completely unlivable if you weren’t male.

      (And not everyone considers abortion being illegal as a fundamentally bad thing, but lets not go too deep into that.)

      There are probably plenty of other things that you could say was bad about the 50s, and I wonder if people see a distorted image of it as through films, TV &c. But most of the time, I guess, people were just living their lives as they do now, enjoyed it or suffered it much the same.

  4. sigh!! rita hayworth!! 🙂 i grew up late 60’s early 70’s. i saw some of that, but not nearly enough. we don’t have those clothes anymore because they were very well made, and that quality would cost too much today. also, today’s clothes are actually made to not last very long so we’ll have to buy more clothes sooner. the material is sickly thin and disappears within a year.

    love retro looks. especially kitchen retro appliances.

    • You are so spot on about how poorly made clothes are now and how wonderfully made they were then! It annoys me soooo much to go shopping and pick something up only to realize I can see right through it! meaning I will have to layer! meaning I will have to buy more! grrrr!

      I too love retro kitchen appliances so cute! They just inspire you to cook with how adorable they are!

  5. Great post! I was thinking about this time period recently and how amazing it would have been to live through it, especially after my recent trip to a vintage clothing store. All the clothes were so well made and stylish in the fifties!

    • That is so true the clothes were made so well and the silhouettes were so flattering on everyone! I would just die of happiness if the 50’s style of clothes became readily available! haha 🙂

    • Oh I love that idea! I think most people would probably be very surprised how lively their grandparents were! Just because most of the time we think of them as being more respectable and slower paced! There are even times I am surprised with how lively just my parents were (seriously crazy stories lol) so I would probably be completely blown away by my grandparents!!! Hmmm I might need to do some digging and learn some more stories about my grandparents now and do a post on that!

  6. I’m with you! The men, the hair, the cars.. everything. Especially the men. Tshirt jeans, ala James Dean – so manly and no frills – and not to mention when Elvis came out in 1956′ .. rowr. I would’ve been such a groupie. 🙂

  7. When someone says the 50s I always think of the sliver screen and close ups of movie stars smoking saying “be a doll a get that for me, oh that’s just swell” Yes the fifties would have been cool. From now on I endeavor to say swell more often.


  8. I wholeheartedly agree. I wish I had been born in the 1920s been inmy 30s in the 1950s and had REAL entertainment (when actors had to know how to sing dance and act), REAL food. The list goes on and on.

    • What you said about actors is so completely true! They had to be a triple threat or they could not be a star! Unlike today’s society! Were you can just get lucky on youtube and suddenly have a career! haha I am glad you liked my post!

  9. I completely agree with you! I should’ve been born in the 50’s as well…love the fashion (I always say I wish men still wore suits and hats and women wore dresses more often), the hairstyles and the music! Great post! 🙂

  10. I’m right there with you on all counts! Fun post and it’s funny because I had a similar idea jotted down in my “to write” file. My house is filled with all kinds of goodies from other time periods. I love shows, movies, and books from other eras. You just won’t find me cleaning house in pearls and heels. ; )

    • Hahaha no way would I clean the house in heels either maybe pearls though! Whenever I get married I’ll let him know that if he wants a 50’s housewife he will have to buy me real pearls…constantly hahaha 😉

  11. As someone who actually grew up in the 50′ I can assure you that it was hard work and little fun. Music may have been good, but remember that it was not available at all most of the time: no CDs, no iPods, not even Sony Walkmen! No respect for our bodies, Audry Hepburn was as anorexic as any model today. And do you really think the body of Sofia Loren was all nature? And what to say about the way we dressed? Just have a look at the page “Chi sono” on my blog and you will be glad that you are born later. There I write in Italian, but the photos are authentic of the 50′ shot by my father with his Leica, and need no further explanation. It’s me with my mother and sister and our scooter. Remember “Roman Holiday” with Audry Hepburn and Gregory Peck?

    • I completely understand that the 50’s was not always fun, and nowhere near as convenient as today, especially where music is concerned, I was mearly writing about what I liked about the 50’s. I know that there were anorexics and plenty of “help” when it came to a woman’s appearance, however a fuller more womanly figure was the style of the time is the point I was making. And I took a look at your post and the pictures are lovely, and I love the scooter, it did remind me of Roman Holiday, my favorite film with two of my favorite actors!

  12. I agree the 50s certainly seemed fabulous. And there’s no reason why you couldn’t move some of those fashions into today’s world. I think people are far more accepting of “personal taste” in clothing now as opposed to back then. The early 60s weren’t bad either for fashion, hairstyles and well dressed men.
    But the late 60s-no thanks! I’d rather not go back to the hippie days and psychedelic patterns. Oh wait, they did bring those back the last couple of years. That’s why I didn’t buy any new clothes 🙂
    Nice post Sarah!

    • Yes people are quite accepting of personal taste today, my problem is its slightly challenging to find 50’s style clothing unless I want to spend a lot and order off the net (which I prefer not to). And the 60’s were nice too, I loved the dresses in The Help, early 60’s were still similar to the 50’s, but like you said late 60’s not so much! I didn’t buy clothes that year either 😉 And I am happy you enjoyed my post thanks!

    • Hahaha the hair does take time and some serious practice! But there are some wonderful tutorials on youtube if you ever want to learn how! Or you could opt for a simpler 50’s look like the ponytail with a scarf or with a pompadour!

  13. I loved the hairstyles and dresses in the 50s ..Although when it comes to music trends , I preferred Elvis and the Beatles era .. I don’t know much about 50s but the way you’ve written it makes me want to like it 🙂 Nice post !

  14. How bout having the $$$ you have now, the freedom of just being and not having to be way to deceptive to really get a kick out of life….Transport yourself and I bet you won’t spend more than a week in the 50’s unless you lived in So Cal, NYC, New Orleans or Chicago…Oh yeah, Hawaii was fine.

    • Well this post was more about the superficial things that I love about the 50’s! Obviously I am thankful to live in the year I do! Because if I lived in the 50’s I would not get to have the career I have now! This post was meant in good fun!

  15. I always thought that it would be fun to live back then. I remember living with my grandma for a while. We would watch Perry Mason together and old music performances from when she was much younger (She’s still very young for her age!). She would get so nostalgic and say things like “We had so much good music back then, not like now”. I’m grateful to live and be young in this day and age, but there is part of me that is nostalgic for that time– a time in which I never had the opportunity to experience in person.

    By the way, I love a good man’s hat! Us guys don’t wear those nearly enough anymore!

    • How wonderful that you spent such qualtiy with your grandmother, I love that, there is so much to be learned from elders! And I agree with you on being thankful for being born in the time you were, but still wishing for yester-year. I also agree in loving a good man’s hat, you should start wearing them and it will catch on!

    • Awe thanks! The 20’s are another favorite of mine actually! Loved the music, hair, and clothes from that time period too! My only problem with that decade is the bodystyle I couldn’t be boyish in figure even if I starved myself hahaha! I am glad you enjoyed my post!

  16. The fifties also had something that the proceeding decades did not…Innocence. It WAS the age of innocence! The sixties, starting with the assasination of John Kennedy and with all of it’s radical changes, anti-establishment protests, and “sex, drugs and rock & roll”, killed off the ‘age of innocence’. (That’s my two cents anyway…)

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
    Nice Post!

  17. Love, Love, Love this!!! And I feel very much the same way. Everything was so much CLASSIER. I especially want the fashion sense back. Women (and men) looked so much sexier and they didn’t have to flaunt too much skin to look it. We need a 50’s colony. I’d live there.

  18. So true – there was a ‘romance’ that seems lost on today’s generation. Simple dates like going out for a milkshake? Doesn’t seem as common now-a-days. Also, the bathing suits! Not nearly as revealing, yet sexier than today’s barely there styles…why is that? Great post. BTW, my father-in-law looked a lot like James Dean back in the day! 🙂

    • I feel that the world would be a lot better off if we returned to the innocence of the 50’s! And the swimsuits were fabulous weren’t they? They left a lot more to the imagination resulting in a modest and sexy look! I am so happy you liked my post! And thats pretty neat about your father-in-law! 🙂

  19. I LOVE this post! This is exactly what I have been thinking lately! The clothes, the hair do’s and the rules of dating! The rules of dating today – especially as a 31 year old single girl – are SOOOO confusing depending on the guy. I am going to make my own rules!!

    • I am so happy you enjoyed my post. And making your own rules is a fabulous idea, I highly encourage it! making your own rules weeds out the guys you are not compatable with, which is what dating is all about.

    • Chilvary so does rock, my mom raised my brothers to be chilvarous from a young age so I expected that from every man, boy was a taken back by lack of chilvary! I swear people ought to learn more ettiquette haha. Thanks for liking my post it is always so encouraging to get such fabulous feedback!

  20. Sarah – this was so much fun! Thanks for bringing it all back – maybe we’ll start to take a hint 🙂 It seems to be happening with 60’s fashions a little with the Mad Men craze, so who knows?

  21. I think what we’re talking about here is style. I was around then (a school kid) but, take it from me, women’s figures may have looked more natural to our eyes now, and the roundedness is more whe way we ought to be, but everyone wore a girdle! Oh, yeh, not to mention a long line bra. (I can’t speak for Audrey Hepburn, tho, who, as a trained dancer always looked like she would fit in right now with the female image) But just look at those bathing suits – those stomach areas have double panels in for support, I bet ya. I have to say tho, all the ghastly girdles and support costumes made you stand better and helped you feel good and the clothes were superb. (The support stuff and girdles were mostly still around in the early 60s when I was bundled into them) — Oh, dear. 😉

    • After reading your comment I went to look up 1A (as I am not old enough to know what the term means, my mom was a military brat but I’m not) and came across a song by Martha Tilton He’s 1A in the army and A1 in my heart. I must say I quite enjoyed the song and thought I might share the title with you…just in case you didn’t know it already 🙂

  22. Each generation think that their generation was the best, but I think the 50’s. 60’s, 70’s were fabulous years, the lost generations really started in the mid 80’s. imagine today’s generation will vaguley remember Sponge Bob as their mascot, and i just cannot imagine by the time they reach their golden years they will revert back to some rapper raping expletives and they look adoringly at each other and say: “Honey, they’re playing our song”. LOL!! Give me the 50’s back anytime exludiing all modern technology that instead of making life easier has complicated our lives, and stole valuable time! Love the post.

    • Hahahaha I loved your comment so funny! You have an incredible sense of humor! I was actually talking to my mom about how I had asked her how to dress for a 70’s party and then thought “my goodness what will I say when I have children and they ask me mom how should I dress for a 2010 party? and what music was popular then” hahaha Oh my just the thought of that tickles me pink!

  23. You use a lot of exclamation points. 😉

    I think everyone who is in love with 50’s styles ought to try and start a 50’s trend. For realsies. 😀 And did you notice that the ladies still have eyebrows? Nice thick, distinguished eyebrows.

    • Hahahaha I do you a good deal of exclamation points, I just feel so strongly about things I think they express the inensity of what I am trying to say!!!!!!!!! 😉

      And I could not agree with you more about starting a 50’s trend. And I do love the eyebrows, I actually did a post on beauty no no’s and spoke about how horrible the skinny brow look is lol!

  24. Eat your heart out, guys! 🙂 I grew up in the 50s and 60s and yes, it was a great time! I think I would pick the 50s for fashion, but the music has got to go to the 60s! I would not want to go back to the 60s hair. I spent lots of time teasing my hair sky high. Wow! Can’t believe I did that! The cars…yeah, they were great! My Mom and Dad had a blue and white 55 Chevy. I can still remember when the hot student teacher drove up in front of our high school in his brand new Mustang when they came out in the 60s. Loved the GTO too! Such good times!

  25. Great post, such a good style of writing. So positive! Did you mention all the catchy melodies on all the pop songs, even ones as dumb as How much is the doggie in the window? stay in the kind forever.

    If there is a thread running through your post it may be that you like a present to be well wrapped with a nice ticket attached saying Happy Birthday, etc I am speaking metaphorically of course.

    • Being that I’m Cherokee I know a thing or two about prejudice, I still have to put up with a lot of racism even today! But this post is not about that, it’s about some light-hearted entertainment. 🙂

  26. I love this! …I definitely feel like I have been born in the wrong era! I would just love to travel back in time to the late 50’s and 60’s…then maybe hang out in the 70’s for a while hehe – I am a fan of Johnny Cash tooo, but more recently I have been listening to the sounds of Jackie Wilson (LOVE HIM!) and Chuck Berry 😀

  27. Aaah!! I love your blog. I just read through a few other posts as well, and O-M-G! 😀

    This one I just had to comment on this one.. well.. because it’s the 50’s!! I think that things were pretty okay until the 70’s came along. There was something about that decade that just changed too many things. Before the 70’s, everything was so classy and there was a decorum to everything. Sigh. If only.. ❤

  28. I remember the fifties- I have very early memories….yeh my Dad came home from work in a long belted raincoat and trilby wearing handmade shoes that lasted ten years, but things were not all glamourous, everyone felt the need to tell us children that we were privliged, ” you wouldn’t have got that in the war”, was said to me so often I got snotty about it. Infact you could still see the war damage in London right through to the ’80’s. A glamourous dressy woman where I lived would have attracted deep suspicion, there was a putdown phrase ” Oh you know the sort ,all fur coat and no knickers”.

    We were privileged though, a youngish middle class man (junior surveyor) could buy a comfortable house in London and there was no need for my mother to work until after we were all started at school. We had parties and holidays and trips out. We almost never ate out but we ate well at home, all home cooked of course. I think it was closer to the life of the Amish than to modern life- so glamourous? no I don’t remember it as that. Comfortable and secure yes….on the other hand there was the day I got my first stiff petticoat to hold my party dress out like a ballroom dancers- I was beside myself with exitement and showed off quite unbearably, I was five.

    • It is so true, this year for my birthday I’m mailing out invitations, throwing a dinner party, and dressing up despite the fact I will be at home. Just because I feel the need for a more old fashioned way of living 🙂

  29. The 1950s was the era of McCarthy and censorship, women were expected to conform, get married, have babies, and not many opportunities in the workplace unless they came from a prestigious family. In the 1950s many ethnic groups struggled for civil rights. Segregation was a big issue. And dating wasn’t more innocent in the 1950s, women got pregnant, had illegal abortions (the birth control pill wasn’t invented yet). Only the white middle or upper class man did well in the 1950s. And if a young woman did not conform to the norms of her time, she could end up in a mental hospital which happened to a lot of young women during that era, especially women involved with the Beat Poets.

    On the other hand, you are right about the fashion women and men were more stylish then, but did you know that women washed their hair less often and usually went to a beauty parlor to have their hair washed?

    Music from the 1950s was cool, so was the poetry and literature, movies. But I would never take a time machine back to that decade.

    • I was aware of all of the serious issues during the 50’s while I was writing this post, I was mearly writing about the “superficial things” of the 50’s that I enjoy. I would never want to actually leave the time period I am living in…especially because I want a career and I am Native American (which was practically a death sentence back in the day and sometimes is even today). I just prefer to keep a more light-hearted blog, in a world with far too much despair and reality!

  30. I love your post. I WAS a teen in the 50s and loved everything you mentioned: the styles, clothes, and music. It was a time of peace, no wars, and there’s a difference when all newspapers aren’t so depressing. I wrote a post on my blog called “Guilty Pleasures,” which is about listening to that wonderful music on golden oldie radio stations.


  31. having been born in the late 40’s i had the distinct pleasure of growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. very cool indeed. though if i could go back and do it again i would have to pass. most of my peers feel the same way. once was and is enough.

  32. I agree and yet I could never wear those high-waister skirts and pants again. They are coming back in style and soon I will be forced to buy my jeans in the men’s Levi’s department again!!
    Fun Post!
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  33. I totally agree with you! I am only 18 years old, so I think it’s quite rare that someone my age wishes they had grown up in the 50s. Although some may argue it was sexist/stereotypical, I would prefer it when a man was a man and a woman was a woman, if you know what I mean. I would also add to the list the quality of speech in the 50s. No one speaks so clearly and eloquently anymore, especially the men!

  34. I agree with you about the 50s. The clothes, hairstyles, cars, buildings, music – even the food was REAL food not with so many additives like we have today. Big corporations hadn’t taken over yet and you could find a good paying job almost right away. Here’s to the fabulous fifties!

  35. I can’t get enough of the 50’s style! Love, love, love how the dresses made the women look so feminine! And the hair! Completely agree with the music, too (Cash, Presley, and Orbison, oh my!). However, I could do without the rampant bigotry and sexism. Other than that, love your post!

  36. How I imagine myself living in the 50`s? Post World War 2, boy of my age just back from war, definitely Pacific front. In Asia, 50`s era is Chaos. Well, I`m trying not to ruin the mood here, so this is what I imagine living in the 50`s in my country. I best go to farming, mining or into trade.

    Great post!

  37. I grew up in the 50’s….I was Born in 1947. Yes, they were Great Years. There were a Lot of Firsts in those Days. Some Great Rock n Role and Country Music. And Movies at the Drive-in and Saturday Day Matinees. And the Girls always Dressed up, for the Friday Night Hops….And I Do Remember…Thanks for the Trip…

  38. Why I should’ve grown up in the 50′s!

    Because I secretly long for sex-segregated help-wanted ads where all the ones I’m qualified for and that pay well are under “Help Wanted Men” and all the ones that pay for crap are under “Help Wanted Women!”


  39. I think you are a very romantic person. It’s all romance personalities and things you have there. Yes, sort of very different was James Dean but he never lived long.

    For some there would be Peter Cushing [horror], there would be James Cagney, Steve Reeves [action, adventure]. There used to be a lot of them. And, yes, songs. That would be “Tonight” probably flip side with “Moon river” if in 78 RPM disks that were very thick .

  40. A 50s mom talking here. We didn’t do housework in heels and pearls, usually peddle pushers, shorts or slacks and we wore flats; like ballet slippers but made of leather with leather soles and a flat heel. We did wear a nice dress, skirt and sweater and possibly pearls, and heels to PTA meetings and teacher’s conferences. We made an effort to look “nice” when we went somewhere even to the grocery, movie or shopping at the new malls. Fun reading your wanna be blog about the very best time period in written history. I write a blog about living with Alzheimer’s at annromick.wordpress.com

  41. I would have loved to live in the 50s too, but the only reason I might have never liked it was because of discrimination. Other than that, I think I would have loved to give it a chance and find out what is so good about that time, really, I ravenously devour every art from that time period, and I still watch those good old time movies…. Great article by the way, when I read it, I automatically thought of Hairspray!

  42. Oh the 50’s, the wonderful era of sexism, promotion of smoking, racial purity, “barefoot and in the kitchen”, and forced heterosexuality. Not to forget the entirely wonderful Cold War.
    But the fashion was nice.
    And we’re not perfect–People 60 years from now will likely be simultaneously admiring our fashion and admonishing our archaic behavior. It’s been that way for a long time.

  43. Personally, if I lived through 1940 – 1959, I’m a happy camper. I mean those were like the golden ages of music, hair, clothes, and MOVIES! Gotta love Classic Hollywood… =) And you are certainly right about the whole dating thing. (I wonder where all the respect went now days?)

    Now only if we could build a time machine, or maybe steal Dr. Who’s tardis… Man, it must’ve been a blast to live back then!!!

    I love your post!

  44. I can’t wait to hear Beyonce’s new fifties themed album that she will make after reading this post. To hear her in a duet with Billie Holiday would be divine. Unlike the fifties we can do this now. Terrific post. Did I mention terrific post?

  45. I DID grow up in the Fifties. My only regret is that it was in repressed, sexist, narrow-minded South Texas instead of someplace really cool, like Greenwich Village or North Beach in San Francisco. Now I live in Mexico and I love it here just as it is.

  46. I’m with you on the definition of beauty at that time. Women should be expected to have curves on them and look healthy, unlike the unrealistic nonsensical expectations that prevail today.

    Great post, and I love the pictures.

  47. I was a child of the fifties, and my mom was gorgeous in those fashions. I don’t know what has happened since then, but we’ve definitely gone downhill from there. Loved your post, Sarah. 😉

  48. Great post Sarah. I think you captured the nostalgia that so many people have for such a glorious time period. The pictures that you posted made me experience my old longings for the cars of the day most especially, so powerful and so strong-looking.

    I also enjoyed what you said about dating then – it precisely echoes the words that my mom often says about the time period.

  49. I can related, but for me it’s the 1970’s where I’d go if I had a time machine.

    I’m positive that it won’t be as great as I think, but it’s great to dream if you want to.

    Instead, I’ll try to go to as many places as I can think of which are like the 70’s. Some other countries fit my bill.

  50. Thank you for this. I agree with you. Things were so much more graceful then. Now that I think of it, I would love to wear those clothes and rock those hairstyles. Couples got together young and stayed together to get married, happily ever after, at least for some. Now, its so different…

  51. There are some good things from the fifties. Although, I did not live in that time period.

    From what I’ve read, the values were strong. We knew that the Nazis were bad, and rose to the occasion. We were not constantly debating issues with relativism.

    The ladies had a lot more class. You can see it in the actresses: Audrey Hepburn. Grace Kelly. Rita Hayworth.

  52. I DID grow up in the 50s and even though I love my life now, I feel surges of nostalgia from time to time. You would have loved the elegant department stores (no malls), walking up and down the aisles of glitzy 5 and dime stores filled with the aroma of freshly made caramel corn and all sporting lunch counters, myriad movie theaters with double features (you could go in at any time and stay for as many showings as you wanted). You could “try out” a 331/3 record in a little booth in a record store to make sure you liked it before you bought it. I could go on and on, of course. Actually, I put together a little stroll down memory lane of the 50s on my blog http://sweetpaprika.wordpress.com/about-me/ Good times!

  53. Yes 50s were definately very cool. The cars, the music, the fashion, the movies, everything about them. I love the crome and neon art deco arcitecture. I love going to the old 50s style diners that are still around, the ones that are shaped like railroad cars. One of me and my boyfriend’s dream vacations is to someday get one of those little vintage silver Airstream campers, hitch it to a 1957 Chevy Belair convertible (can a Belair tow a camper?), and spend like two weeks driving along Route 66 from Chicago to California, enjoying the sights and listen to nothing but oldies music like they would have done back in the days before we had a modern highway system.

  54. I grew up in the ’50’s. What I miss was that, back then, Long Island was nothing but a huge potato farm – farm after farm after farm – and the most exciting thing back then was driving the long distance to civilization (Sayville), when the farmers got together in the middle of someone’s field and put up tents and you could buy almost anything they sold in the city. Now, that very land that once grew potatoes is buried under condos and concrete and so expensive that Queen Elizabeth probably couldn’t afford it, or the taxes! The land and the freedom and the open, unpopulated shoreline of the Great South Bay – that was what was so great about the ’50’s. The bad thing about growing up in the 50’s is that those who did are now old. I am 61. Enjoy your youth and recreate the best of the 50’s any which way you please. This is your world and you are free to make it beautiful..

  55. Really fun post! Sometimes I wish I grew up in the 20s, but Elvis, Audrey, and James Dean sound lovely. Great photos, too!

  56. There are good reasons why people rejected a lot of that in the sixties, including those “beautiful” things you mentioned. People have written books about it, so I won’t try to explain here, but I’m sure you can find something beautiful in any period.

  57. Oh I would so love a time machine! I love history and to just drop in and visit those time periods we dream about……lovely….. In Melbourne a lady called Trish Hunter has a retro caravan done up as a travelling vintage shop. It is wonderful!
    Love your photos, and those hairstyles were great. I bet if I lived then I would still have bad hair though 😉 Men were much better dressed in those days, no butts hanging out of trousers showing off their underwear in those times!

  58. Very nice post. I also missed the 50s being born in the mid 60’s. The idea that the 50’s were innocent (as some people think) is only partially true. At the surface everything looked great, especially for the burgeoning middle class. But below the surface things were ugly. Jim Crow was still a way of life in the south, the CIA (born less than a decade before) had covert operations all over the world and and messed with foreign governments such as Iran in 53′. What disappoints men most about the 50s is how it showed we could have a truly strong middle class, based on fair capitalist values that encouraged civil responsibility. Where has that dream gone. Also, I would like to add, that “sex, drug and rock and roll” didn’t steal the innocence of the 50s. There was a little conflict call the Vietnam War happening as well. The 50s, 60s, 70s, will never be revisited. The 80’s began to change this country into cynical “Every man for himself”. And we still suffer that fever today.

  59. I’ve always thought the 40’s were more my sort of time. I often joke to myself that I was born in the wrong decade, or sometimes even century. The 1800’s were probably a lot tougher to live during, but everything was more simple then.

  60. To tell you the truth, I clicked on this post because of the James Dean pic. Sucker for Dean. This turned out to be a really great post. I love the old cars too . . . my dad has two ’57 T-birds, and they are a trip. The steering wheels are huge.

  61. hello, sarah…

    am afraid there’s no reason to raise objections. people had style back then and their hairstyles and clothing were not put on, or heavily influenced by media ads. they seemed to feel it was natural to be stylistic, ahaha.^^

    excellent post. congrats on a well-deserved FP! 🙂

  62. I love the 50s so much I had a big 50s bash for by 30th birthday last year – made my hair up into victory rolls and had the best DJ ever play all my favourite music from the 50s. It was totally swell! Thanks for this post – made my day 🙂

  63. Love your post and it’s optimistic tone. I would want to keep the style and courtesy of the 50s which gave it the hope to get out of austerity and would want to get rid of the prejudice (as seen in the politics etc. ) and lack of opportunities for women….. I suppose I would want the rose tinted spectacled version!

  64. Dear Sarah,
    I found you post on the “Freshly Pressed” page and I have to say I’m a bit disappointed. I like your enthusiasm but I find the lack of specificity in the post so damaging I just had to leave a reply. Please next time you post about a historical time, about a period that actually happened, don’t confuse your perception of the time for a fact. I can’t emphasize how important making that distinction is, I’m a teacher and I can’t tell you how disheartening it is to see that bright teenagers today still confuse Hollywood with history. What you’re describing here as the ‘ethos’ of the time is actually the ‘ethos’ of a 50’s Hollywood movie. There is a huge difference between how a period is portrayed and what it was actually like, and I think it’s our responsibility to make that explicit, out of respect for those who actually lived the harsh reality of the times, and for the sake of education.

    I think we owe it to women who were restrained by corsets, girdles, and barriers in education and employment, who were harassed (and often raped) by employers and and overbearing husbands not to say that ‘chivalry’ and ‘romance’ “rocked the 50’s”. And to speak of innocence? How innocent was the KKK and lack of civil rights for African Americans?

    I am aware that this is not the sort of blog that would touch upon things like that. It is rare to find a blogger who is aware that what they write has an effect and that they should write responsibly, even if it is all in “good fun”. But I’m sure, since you yearn for the past, you’ve often wondered why our present is so bleak, and one of the roots of conflict in society is ignorance. So please, don’t sustaining a false image that is damaging for those who might want to listen to the truth. Please take the time the to think about what it is you’re actually portraying. It takes two seconds of reflection and maybe 3 more to find the right words to make an better, more accurate post. I hope you will take my criticism as constructive and think about it if you decide to post a 60’s piece. We should be more responsible about what we write, even if it is the internet.

    Yours sincerely,
    A concerned blogger whose mom lived in the not so cheery 50’s

    • Who got your shorts in a snit? Loosen up a bit. I grew up in the fifties and I agree with this bloggers viewpoint. It was about Hollywood and cars and fashion. We lived it and breathed it.

  65. WOW! I was born in 1950…in India and have always remained in India…
    But this blog-post does vividly bring up similar images of the the unique events and things and trends of 50s and 60s .. Th ejoys of childhood.. in that period…
    I look forward to put up a similar blog-post ASAP on that 50s and 60s ………………..

  66. Pingback: Why the 70′s were our downfall. « Cribbings

  67. definitley agree on all those points – cars, style, hair and rockabilly – basically anthing with a stand up bass, a twangy guitar and a quiff….I often get this overwhelming feeling that I was born in the wrong era. Grea post.

  68. Funnily, I watched “Walk The Line” recently and would have to agree about Johnny Cash! For me, I’m a big fan of Lindy Hop and the swing dances, so it would be nice to live in the era of swing too…

  69. I adore the fifties and the nostalgiac, fuzzy haze that surrounds them. Johnny Cash is one of my all time favourite musicians. However, I think we have to be careful when glorifying these “Golden” times. I’m an American studies student in the UK, so I have had the chance to study it in great detail. The cars, the milkshake bars, the girls, the post-war growth, it all seems like a lovely time to be growing up in…

    …. or was it?

    McCarthyism and the anti-communist paranoia…
    The retreat of feminism as women left their jobs that they had secured during WW2 and the “domestic goddess” image was promoted in sexist advertising…
    The suburban flight that crippled inner cities as their tax base fled…
    …and let’s not forget, lingering racism and lingering poverty, particularly in the South, old industrial communities and the inner cities too.

    The fifties had a shiny and attractive appearance, but what was behind it all really?

    • PS I hadn’t seen pnwauthor’s post airing some of these points already, so sorry for repeating some of the slightly more pessimistic points. Plus, I get that it was a light-hearted appreciation of the appealing aspects of the fifties. I wasn’t trying to bring about too much despair or reality, just make people consider that not everything is always as it seems.

  70. I completely agree! Nothing better than a tousle haired James Dean type in a white t-shirt – yes please! I’d also be happy to stay home all day wearing cute fitted dresses and heels while baking cakes.

  71. Have you seen Midnight in Paris? Nostalgia for a time you didn’t experience is fun but not to be trusted. As someone else implied the sixties sucked (I lived through it) except if you are a rebel — lots to rebel against. James Dean had the right attitude and so did Brando. In I think it was the Wild Ones Brando’s character was asked “what are you rebelling against” his answer — “What’dya got?” But most people were narrow minded and fearful. McCarthy almost destroyed the country. Of course he didn’t and we got to see Edward R. Murrow (great attitude but smoked himself to death) cut him down to size. I am a Dylan idolater — I admit it — and I think Dylan took up the attitude of James Dean (as Don Mclean wrote in American Pie) and so Dylan is best understood as a child of the 50’s rather than the 60’s. He picked up where Buddy Holly left off except he combined the sensibilities of the Beats with the R&R of Little Ricard and Buddy. He and many others could be shocking in a way no one can today — that’s why so many are trying so hard to shock — it is practically impossible to do it now.

    You are right to focus on the superficial in your post otherwise you would have to write a much longer one. And BTW those cars — dead on the road after 60,000 miles!

  72. Such a fun post and just a delight to read. I’m with you on appreciating the feminine glamor of the time, the rugged handsomeness and the overal cool factor. I love that our youngest snaps his fingers to Deano and Frank and knows the words to “Ring-a-ding-ding!” The good stuff bubbles to the surface and we can forget the other struggles of the time.

    Congrats on being FP’d – so deserving!

  73. What an amazing insight and you know what, I agree with you. The 50’s just seem like a better time then what we have now. Seems like everything just moved easier back then and I am sure it didn’t, but it just seemed more.. Respectful? Does that work? Anyway great read!

  74. I AGREE WITH YOU 100%!
    Life would be blissful if today was the 1950’s. I just wish they already invented the internet and at least a desktop computer during that time. Some things would actually be PERFECT.

  75. My mom was in her twenties then, and she always looks so fashionably striking in her photos from then. She’d say no, but I think she was gorgeous.

    On the dating front, you forgot something else that was different (and I think better) then. People casually dated several people at once. I’ve gotten into conversations about this before, that we should date the way our parents dated (if your parents came of age in the 50’s, as mine did). I think it’s because nowadays sex becomes part of relationships so early (much earlier than it did then!) that people think they can only date one person at a time. That severely limits your options and puts so much pressure on a matchup “working,” it’s no wonder everyone hates dating! I say go out with a person and have a good time. It doesn’t have to be anything more than that.

  76. I enjoyed your post very much. I was born in the fifties but grew up in the sixties; the sum of it: I have sincere appreciation and nostalgia for the fifties; BUT I SURE HAD A BALL GROWING UP IN THE SIXTIES! All the best.

  77. I thoroughly enjoyed your post. I did grow up in the fifties, and I’ve often said that if I had known it was going to be so popular, I’d have enjoyed it more. Regarding the cars, in 1950 I was twelve years old, and started riding my bike around town, picking up new car brochures from all the dealers so I could study them and become an expert on how to tell one car from anotther, features, etc. You’re right. They had some style back then. The cars now still do, but there’s something captivating about those cars from back then. I’m from California, and there’s where the custom cars developed, and it wasn’t unusual to see a beautiful car, and not see a badge on it anywhere to tell you what it was.

    I joined the Navy at 17 and began to travel around the world, and saw a lot of things, including the women. They were gorgeous, and the vast majority of them had the curves you speak of. Did you know that Marilyn Monroe was usually about a size 16? To this day, I think the most beautiful actress of all time was Gina Lollabrigida. Sophia Loren might be more famous, but Gina outshone her for sheer beauty. Audry Hepburn was beautiful too, but compared to most of the world’s beauties, she looked like a homeless waif!

    I feel lucky to have lived all this, and I’m pleased you feel the way you do about that time, but don’t wish you had grown up then, because if you had, you’d be like me by now. Old. Now in my mid-seventies, I have a lot of great memories to look back on, but the prospect that I won’t be making a lot of new ones. Embrace what you have, and look forward to the prospect of making your own “now” what mine was for me.

    Thanks for the post!

      • I’ve been reading the comments you have received on this post, and it appears that you have opened up something of a Pandora’s Box. I’m sure it’s all well-intentioned, but a lot of negative things have reared their ugly heads. Every era has them, and the 50’s are no exception. I suppose it would be great to be able to “cherry pick” the good things from each era and create a new utopia. I suspect that’s what Nero was doing when he lit the fire on Rome.

  78. Excellent post. I’m a sucker for all things vintage, 20’s, 40’s and 50’s!
    Going to a 50’s themed night next month and I cannot wait to get the gladrags on and go dancing. Proper dancing too- that’s another thing I wish was more common today. Less nightclubs and more speakeasies, less techno and more jazz or rockabilly. Good music was so plentiful back then and it’s so far from mainstream now!

    • oh how exciting a 50’s theme is going to be a blast and a half, be certain to take pictures, those kinds of things are always great fun to look back on! And I could not agree more about the music and dancing, you ought to do some research in your area and find a jazz club and reccomend and vintage night!

  79. Hello, I’ve always thought this would have been a good era to grow up in, mainly for the clothes, hairstyle and of course the music. Good to see it’s not just me.

  80. As a San Francisco resident, I would rather hang out with the Beats in North Beach if I could go back to the ’50s. They had a vibrant artistic scene in contrast to the decade’s repression and conformity. Also, it was cheaper to find a place …

    • Awe thank you very much, and I have found that this blog is relatively simple to navigate, it took a little getting used to…but so did facebook for me, I’m not the most tech-savvy hahaha.

  81. Awesome post! I often feel the same way! Great points and pics. I know the ’50s were no panacea, but often think I would have fit in better. If nothing else, everything was simpler and the culture was much stronger. Thanks for sharing & congrats on FP!

  82. Ah! I have been finding more and more blogs about the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, and I’m so happy! Oh yes…to have been alive back then would have been so satisfying. I am a huge 40’s/50’s fan, so I’m on the same page with you. Especially about the cars and the style! I try my hardest to dress like I was alive back then whenever I can. I just did a post on old movie actresses like Audrey Hepburn, Cyd Charisse, Debbie Reynolds, etc etc…I noticed a lot of great people in your post! Hepburn, Sinatra, Hope and Cosby! And a few more. 🙂 Anyway! This comment is long enough. Thank you for sharing and reminding us (me) to live better. It was such a beautiful and elegant time, I wish it was more like it today. Have a great day, God Bless.


  83. The 50’s were great, however, I think any time between the 1950’s and late 1970’s were great. The music in the 1970’s really rocked. I Loved the wedding fashions. They were so romantic. All the great love songs came out in the 70’s.

  84. Totally agree! I’m almost 19, and I definitely wish that I grew up in the 1950’s. But come on now, Cash before Presley? Cash is also a great artist but I’m definitely pushing Presley before Cash. 🙂

  85. I completely agree with you. I’ve always dressed a sort of a 50’s rockabilly style and everyone finds it weird. I’m constantly asked why I’m so dressed up when I’m just going to the store. I was unaware that I had to be going somewhere fancy if I’m wearing skirt and kitten heels. Its how I dress around the house.

  86. Pingback: Welcome to (my small tract of) the Cyberspace. | Twelve Os

  87. I have just recently returned from a brief visit to The Fifties. While there I took a short and decidedly unscientific survey of some of the simple fifties folk. The results were eye-opening. Most said they would prefer living in 2012, especially when I described that modern marvel, the microwave oven. Odd, really, that they had no trouble believing in such a device, but scoffed when I mentioned $3.50 a gallon gasoline . . .

  88. Love the 50s and loved your post; long been a fan of James Dean and Audrey Hepburn – and Maralyn and Sophia Loren, Elizabether Taylor, Elvis … I’d loved to be one of the cast of Happy Days – just for a day! Love it xx

  89. I dont live in America so I don’t get full understanding about your culture, but the 50′ is also the golden age of our previous government here in Vietnam … the vintage pics of vietnam in the last century is really amazing and i think it’s far better than now …

  90. Honestly it’s hard to locate a worthy blog worth commenting on nowadays, the internet is truly too flooded. Love this post, love your blog. Just thought i would let you know!

  91. Pingback: Retronauten « Urbane Wildnis

  92. Have been reading this blog by way of rss for really sometime now, i wanted to finally make a comment and say hello. I ought to put in some effort because you definitly do.

  93. Hi Sarah,
    I totally agree with you. The times had changed and the people too. Do you ever wonder, where the humanity is going? As you mentioned, the women had real curves, now days most of the models are as skinny as a broom can be. The way the men dressed were elegance with finesse.
    The comedian were really funny people and the jokes wasn’t about sex or mean stuff. The music, the architecture, the movies, everything. Today why on a movie you have to show a couple on the bed making love, you can suggest that and leave it to the imagination of the viewer and make the movie more interesting instead.
    I’m also a photographer and have a crush on old images.
    Great writing.
    Good Luck!


    • I must say Nestor comments like yours give me hope, a hope for more people returning to humanity! I have noticed a rise in 50’s fashion I am also hoping the manners and grace of the time come in style too! All it takes is a few people to start a trend! Let’s start bringing manners back!

  94. The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it won’t fail me just as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, but I genuinely thought you would probably have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you can fix if you weren’t too busy searching for attention.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s