How to Dress in 1950s Clothing in Autumn

Last updated on April 19th, 2024 at 11:46 am

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The 1950s Outfit Ideas to Wear in Autumn!

Autumn is without a doubt my favourite time of the year. It’s also the most vintage-friendly season. I can wear a 1950s skirt suit, like the Handmacher beauty in the picture below, or a dress, without the need of having to cover it with a coat.

In this post, I will show you examples of how to dress in 1950s clothing in autumn and give you styling tips on how to incorporate authentic 1950s pieces with contemporary designers for an everyday look.

You will also discover the most stylish colour palette of 1950 introduced by the Costume Color Council.

1950s Handmacher suit. how to dress in 1950s clothing in autumn.
The 1950s Handmacher suit. How to dress in 1950s clothing in autumn

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The 1950s Accessories that Will Always Make You Look Chic in Autumn

How to look stylish in autumn dressed in 1950s fashion with the help of accessories such as; gloves, hats, tights and shoes.

1950s-inspired faux fur from Helen Moore


Long 1950s or vintage-inspired leather gloves will not only keep your hands warm during cold autumn days, but they will also add a bit of glamour to a modest black dress.

The picture was taken during my trip to Krakow in the Klezmer Hois hotel. It was the perfect backdrop for my simple 1950s dress which I paired with 1950s gloves, a patent belt from the same era, and a faux fur Diana Ribbon Collar from Helen Moore.

Photography by Gregory Michael King.

The perfect weekend in Krakow. Vintage fashion blogger.

The choices in styling and accessorising a 1950s garment for the autumn season are endless. Hats, scarves, gloves, tights and shoes, be it authentic vintage or contemporary, can completely transform the look of a 1950s ensemble.

Swapping flat brogues for high heels or booties and adding a sparkling brooch is all you really need to turn a 1950s-day dress into an evening look.

How to wear 1950s clothing in Autumn

If I was a woman, I would be dressed in the same thing for a month and just change my hat and gloves. Maybe my shoes too; yes, I see what you mean but, really, it’s jewels that change an outfit.

Manolo Blahnik

The 1950s Velvet Bolero for the Perfect Autumn Outfit

I found that what works with wearing 1950s clothes in autumn, whether it’s a blouse with a skirt or trousers combination, or even a dress that you opt for, is a velvet bolero or a cape.

The authentic 1950s outfit consists of; the 1950s dress by Junior First Fashion, a 1950s velvet bolero, gloves and hair snood from the same era.

how to dress in 1950s clothing in autumn

How to Dress in 1950s Clothing in Autumn

“A woman without gloves is a marked woman. It’s like going barefoot to be without them. Gloves are traditionally a sign of dignity. Everyone needs a good glove collection: short, long, glacé, doeskin, pigskin, cotton. Short gloves suit some people, some clothes and some occasions very well, but longer ones, crushed at the wrist, are more dignified.” Claire McCardell

For the 1950s autumn outfit with a modern twist, I paired the 1950s velvet bolero with a Wolford body, 1980s slacks and Miu Miu shoes.

As you can see, It’s a perfect example that vintage clothes can look quite contemporary depending on styling.

How to wear 1950s clothing in autumn. Photography: Gregory Michael King 

Polish Aviation Museum in Krakow

The 1950s velvet cape that started its life as a coat goes with absolutely everything in my wardrobe and is my number one piece in autumn.

I remember that it was a very cold October morning when we took this picture during our trip to Krakow but the cape was warm enough for me to wear a spring 50s dress underneath.


1950s fashion. How to wear 1950s clothing in Autumn.
How to dress in 1950s clothing in autumn.

“The ‘costume look’ has developed into a strong fashion idea for fall and winter. The news is in the mismatched fabrics and colours used in this year’s go-togethers. Highly-textured (and often noisily patterned) coats and jackets are sold frankly as suits with solid colour dresses or skirts. Wool capes or stoles teamed with evening dresses made other texture combinations. Brilliant colours, so popular in this year’s town suits and coats, added still another mismatched note. (…)

Fashion’s new running mates, often mismatched, were as important in cocktail and evening clothes as in daytime fashions. Examples: Rough tweed and yarn-dyed will make another daytime team in Adele Simpson’s cut-away jacket and one-piece dress. Fitted basque jackets or full-length satin coats teamed with matching skirts were among the new cocktail-time go-togethers.”  Quick NEWS WEEKLY SEPT.24,1952 p.37

1950s Handmacher suit


History of the Handmacher suit.

The costume colour council presents costume colour families for fall 1950. Discover how to dress in 1950s clothing in autumn!

Presented to help you choose your fall costume colors and to assemble your fall wardrobe, here are the colors which we, top fashion experts in our respective fields, have found are the leaders in fall apparel and accessories. The colors are displayed in such a way within each color family you can work out your own combination of color tones for coat, suit, blouse, dress, bag, shoes, hosiery and gloves.

Dan River Mills. Inc.: Woven Cottons, John R. Evans & Co.: Smooth and Suade Kid, Julius Kayser & Co.: Gloves and Hosiery, Stehli & Co.: Silks, Worumbo Manufacturing Co.: Coating Suitings and Drss Woolens, I.A. Wyner Co.: Worsted Wool Jersey

The Brown Tones in the 1950s

Popular colors in fashion in the 1950s.

To Match

“Choose either a black-brown or red-brown-both are top fashion-for your basic color, follow through with this color in apparel and accessories for a smart monotone effect.”

To Contrast

“With the ever-increasing trend to combine black and brown, you can achieve distinctive contrast by uniting red-brown and black-brown in your costume. Sometimes you will find them combined in a single fabric. Sometimes you will want to select one as a basic color, use the other as accessory contrast.”

I must admit that brown is my least favourite colour but I see accents of yellow and green in this palette and that’s much more to my liking.


For this 1950s autumn look, I opted for an authentic 1950s skirt which I paired with a Silvia vintage-inspired cardigan from the Sistre brand, a 1950s patent belt and yellow leather gloves.


Best vintage-inspired cardigans!

Best vintage-inspired cardigans. Vintage fashion blogger.

The Grey Tones in the 1950s

We learn from the pamphlet about the 1950s colour palette that ” greys for coating and suiting are deeper this fall. Oxford and charcoal are the key greys with which to start your costume.” I’m mad about different shades of grey colour both, in fashion and interior. If I were to count all my 1940s and 1950s suits, grey is the most dominant colour in my wardrobe, right after black.

Popular colors in fashion in the 1950s.

To Match

” You will find dark greys in many fabrics and leathers. With charcoal, black becomes a match. For a livelier effect, however, you will probably prefer to add other tons of grey or accent colours.”

To Contrast

“Shades of orange through persimmon offer sprightly contrast to the new greys. Or, if you feel that the bluer tones become you better, there are the bright cherry reds for accent.”

1950s dress. Vintage fashion blog.
How to dress in 1950s clothing in autumn.

The Plum Tones in the 1950s

” The newest and smartest of these is not wine-not purple-yet combines beautifully with either as well as with other colors. Almost black, dark plum has a color character all its own. The lighter red plum and blue plum tones are also fashion wise choices this season.”

I adore purple and plum, although, I’ve never had much choice in finding a 1950s skirt suit or a dress in either colour.

To Match

” For a highly sophisticated color effect choose apparel and accessories in dark plum – or one of the light tones. Achieve contrast in weights and textures of fabric and leathers.”

To Contrast

” Royal blue and yellow are alternates as vivid accent colors for the plum tones.”

Popular colors in fashion in the 1950s.

The Red Tones

” Reds are real reds this fall, ranging from true scarlet to glowing cherry. Because of the intensity of red, you will probably want to blend this color with lighter tones, or to contrast rather than match.”

Popular colors in fashion in the 1950s. how to dress in 1950s clothing in autumn

To Blend

” Reds blend with dusty pink in a new and flattering way. Choose your most becoming shade of red, as a basis for your costume, then blend pink and perhaps another shade of red with it.”

To Contrast

” Set off reds with grey-light, dark or silver-toned. For sharp contrast try black and white.”


If you are not keen on adding the colour red to your vintage wardrobe, at least choose a red lipstick that was very popular in the 1950s.

My wonderful readers receive 25% off the entire first order on all Bésame cosmetics!

best vintage-inspired red lipstick

” A glowing color alone, copper has many tons in its own range, combines well with other colors, is a color basis for many different costumes.”

Popular colors in fashion in the 1950s. how to dress in 1950s clothing in autumn

To Match

“Copper in its deepest tones makes a beautiful costume in monotone.”

To Contrast

” Gold and green, used separately or together, are sparkling accents for a copper costume.”

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  • Anji bantegui
    August 11, 2022


  • Mona
    October 19, 2018

    Love your vintage look! The dress is really beautiful and it’s incredible how contemporary it looks.

    • Dominique de Merteuil
      October 24, 2018

      Thank you! Yes, vintage clothes can look very contemporary depending on how you style and accessorise them.