The 4th Annual Doo Wop in the Desert is just around the corner… this Saturday, to be exact.  One of the biggest concerns of people writing in is what to wear!?!

Many of The Coachella Valley Art Scene readers did not have the opportunity to live through the Golden Years, so it’s a bit more of a challenge to know what to go for the night of.

With a little help from the Internet, fashion blogs, and magazines we have compiled an Outfit Inspiration Guide to the Doo Wop for all of our readers/party-goers.  Make sure to look at the photos and read the text to get a better understand of not just what they wore in the 1950’s, but why.

Also, make sure to scroll all the way down to get a hand-selected recommendation list of retail shops around town to purchase these types of clothing/accessory items.  Some shops we chose are more high end vintage while the others are literally thrift shops, you pick what your price range is.

Hope this helps!

doo wop in the desert, photo by sarah scheideman

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Look #1:

“Tea Time”

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How to achieve the look:

Women’s fashion in the 1950s was often sharp, decorative and tailored to fit. Dresses were the most commonly worn article of clothing, and a typical 1950’s woman had a dress for everything from housework to a night out on the town.
Swing skirts: The top of the dresses were normally form-fitting and often required a bodice to tightly hold in the chest and waist. The skirt was often pleated or otherwise textured and flowed out from the waist, whipping around the ankles or heels in the wind. The poodle skirt, similar to the swing skirt, was also popular in the 1950.
Pencil skirt: The pencil skirt dress, opposite to the swing, was equally popular in the 1950. More formal than the swing skirt, the pencil skirt and dress fitted tightly at the waist and all the way down the legs to the woman’s ankles, defining her curves. Pencil skirts were worn to work, fancy outings and other formal occasions.
Cardigan sweaters: In the 1950s cardigans became a staple since they could be worn well with any style skirt. Cardigans became more decorative and elaborate with lots of beading details, specialty buttons, and designs.
Patterns & Style:   Colors ranged from sober solids to bright and wild patterns. Strong, solid colors such as gray, black and navy blue were worn to work and for formal events; dresses in floral patterns were often worn for casual affairs such as a day in the park; highly decorative swing skirt dresses were reserved for formal, celebratory events.
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doo wop in the desert, photo by sarah scheideman

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Look #2:

“Cocktail Time”

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How to Achieve the LookWomen’s evening wear in the 1950s was graceful and feminine. New styles emphasized the female figure.  Dresses in the 1950s were simple and elegant, but used lots of fabric.

Shorter Cockatil Dress: Some women opted for the shorter cocktail dress, which featured more leg but often a higher neckline. Although simpler than the full gowns of the 1950s, they were evening attire and never worn before 6 p.m. These dresses were often of silk, lace, tulle, chiffon or satin. The popular trapeze dress came from this look, with a high bust and an A-line silhouette.

Longer Cocktail Dress:  Though full skirts were very popular in the 1950s, not all evening gowns were dominated by the petticoat look. Long, sleek lines were also in style. These dresses were often made of silk or satin and were sometimes reminiscent of night gowns. They were floor length, fitted at the waist and sometimes long-sleeved. They were classy, mature dresses that were still considered sexy for their form-fitting design.

Color: Black was the dominant color for ladies’ formal attire in the 1950s. Women often wore black tops with colored skirts in the evenings. Audrey Hepburn helped to popularize the “little black dress” with pearls and a wide brimmed hat.

 

Doo Wop in the Desert fashions for the Ace Hotel

Doo Wop in the Desert fashions for the Ace Hotel

 

Look #3:

“She Rebel”

(photo taken of Cynthia at last year’s Doo Wop)

How to Achieve the Look

CryBaby2-copy

 

The Accessories

Heels: The stiletto shoe emerged in the 1950s, and featured a tall, thin heel and rounded, or “peep,” toe which showed off the first few toes. During the day, more modest shoes with sturdier heels, like Mary Janes and flats, were common as well.

Hats:  Hats tended to be small, pillbox types, and scarves were also common hair coverings. Costume jewelry — big, gaudy, Gloves: Ladies wore gloves in public during the day and night.

1950's inspired purses

Purses: According to Stephanie Pedersen’s book “Handbags: What Every Woman Should Know,” there was a purse etiquette recommended to the 1950s woman: Women who were top heavy with broad shoulders were advised to avoid purses with short straps, as to not add more heft above the waistline. Similarly, women who are pear shaped were warned not carry bags with long straps that fell below the waistline. Other tidbits of etiquette advised women to carry bags that complemented their size. For example, petite women should stick with smaller purses and large women should tote more substantial bags. – as stated on ehow.com.  How silly they were!!!
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The Look:

“Tee Time”

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How to Achieve the Look

Men’s casual styles in the 1950s frequently featured several pieces, including khakis, vests and casual shorts with slip-on shoes. The casual look in this decade also was inspired by television programs.

Shirts: Men’s casual shirts in the 1950s took a plaid turn. Pink was a popular color for men in this era, and plaid often included pink and blue; multi-colored shirts featured yellow and black. Men often wore shirts untucked with the tail out.

Pants: Khakis were a fashion staple in 1950s casual men’s wear. Men wore them around the house after work hours and on the weekends. The 1950s khaki pant had a plain front, heavy zipper fly and was cut with a slightly tapered leg.

Shoes: The slip-on shoe was the style of choice in casual footwear for men. Slip-ons were dressy enough to wear to work, but comfortable enough to wear around the house.

Sweaters: Sweaters were popular casual wear in the 1950s. The cardigan sweater and wool flannel pants offered a clothing option for leisure attire. Men wore loafer-style shoes for casual dress. – as seen on ehow.com

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doo wop in the desert, photo by sarah scheideman

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The Look:

“Cocktail Time”

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How to Achieve the Look

The appropriate attire for a cocktail party during 1950s, for men became slim pants in silk or rayon with custom-made jackets. Ascot accessories cotton or silk shirts with slender ties were accepted as cocktail attire dress code.

The Suit: Businessmen in the 1950’s wore suits. Single-breasted suit coats, white dress shirts, and conservative ties.

The Shoes: Wing-tipped dress shoes were the norm.

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Doo Wop in the Desert fashions for the Ace Hotel

The Look:

“Rebel w/o A Cause”

(taken at last year’s Doo Wop in the Desert)

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Place$ to Purcha$e 

Stores we recommend around town.

Deja Vu Vintage Finery

644 N Palm Canyon Drive Palm Springs, CA

The POP Shop

66511 Pierson Blvd. Desert Hot Springs, CA

Gypsyland

66169 Pierson Blvd. Desert Hot Springs, CA

Fine Art of Design

73717 Hwy 111 Palm Desert, CA

Revivals Thrift Shop(s)

611 South Palm Canyon Drive  Palm Springs, CA

68401 Highway 111 Cathedral City, CA

1644 University Ave. San Diego, CA

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Doo Wop in the Desert 2013

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Looking forward to seeing you there!…..

Info/RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/439800916092010/

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