Guest Post Francesca Rhodes: Fabulously Feminine and Frilly 50's Fashions

The 1950s were a time when women's fashions were both more tailored and more elegant. Stars like Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page were sex symbols showing off their curves in form-fitting ensembles. At the same time, everyone seemed to be a bit more dressed up, with matching sweater sets for women and proper hats for men. Popular television shows like Mad Men have brought the retro look into the twenty-first century. Women everywhere have responded, descending on vintage shops and online outlets that stock designer wear such as Vivetta designs. The fifties look has also influenced hairstyles and makeup. Stylish women across the United Kingdom and around the world are adapting their look to reflect the thoroughly modern phenomenon of retro fashion. How to Dress in Fifties Finery Whether your fifties style trends toward playful poodle skirts or sexy sheath dresses, the keywords for capturing the retro style are tailored and structured. There was nothing sloppy about fifties style. Even so-called greasers had standards about how their t-shirts and leather jackets should look. If you're more the Saturday-night date type of woman, go for proper full skirts and cute sweaters and tops. You don't want to wear anything too tight or too low-cut.  Coordination is also important, with matching purse and shoes if you can find appropriate pieces. If you can't quite manage the matchy-matchy look, your shoes and purse should at least be the same colour and made of the same type of leather. If you're more of a rebel, show off your curves in a dress or skirt that Marilyn Monroe might envy. Kitten heels are easier to walk in than stilettos and provide a similar sexy vibe. Think bright colours and bold patterns - the idea is to stand out and make a statement whenever you walk into a room. How to Create the Fifties Face If you tend toward going about with a bare face, you'll have to put that notion so that your makeup matches with your ensemble. You mother or grandmother may have spoken about putting on their "faces." The figure of speech is not far off. Except for her very early pictures (before she was a true star), Marilyn Monroe never appeared in public without a full makeup job. To create the fifties face, a complete layer of foundation, plenty of mascara and definitive lipcolour are called for.  If you don't want to wear true red lip colour during the day, try a sheer lip stain that still allows your pout to stand out but is still office worthy. Set your face with a layer of sheer or matching powder to set your face so that your makeup stays in place all day. At night, the same general rules apply, except lip colours can be brighter and eye makeup can be bolder. How to Style Your Hair to Fit the Fifties Fashion As the saying goes, a woman's hair is her crowning glory. In the fifties, a woman's hair required hours of curling, crimping, clipping and teasing. Fortunately the technology exists that eliminates much of the drudgery of maintaining beautiful locks Whether your hair is short or long maintaining your hair in top condition is the key to duplicating the demanding hairstyles of the fifties. You don't have to subject your hair to one hundred strokes like your grandmother might have, but you might want to try her trick of washing your hair with beer to create softness and shine. Raiding Your Kitchen for Beauty Treatments In fact, your kitchen orntry may be a veritable treasure trove for many fifties-type beauty treatments. For example, Sophia Loren, by all accounts one of the sexiest and most beautiful women in the world swears by bathing in olive oil to maintain silky skin. Katherine Hepburn, elegant even into old age maintained her flawless complexion in part through her own exfoliation concoction of lemon juice, granulated sugar and a few drops of water. Iconic film star Bette Davis combined the old standby Vaseline with chilled cucumber slices to reduce under-eye puffiness. The real take-home lesson from fifties-era beauty and fashion traditions is that proper care and a bit of pampering can only enhance your natural good looks. Take a bit of extra care with your makeup and hair. And of course, ensure that your ensemble fits perfectly and that every piece is cleaned, pressed and polished. Francesca Rhodes is a fashion blogger with an eye for retro chic. She enjoys writing about reinvented styles for a classy and modern wardrobe. Image kindly provided by: