Post-War American Style

Hattie Carnegie Suit, 1952

Hattie Carnegie Suit, 1952

The 1950s was a time of great change for fashion in America. Before the war, most wealthy fashionistas used to import their expensive clothing from Paris. They would follow whatever style was “in” without any regard for practicality.

But times were changing. Industries became aware of the average women who, too, wanted to buy clothing- but at a more affordable price. So designers like Norman Norell, Claire McCardell, and Mainbocher utilized the recent technological advances in the manufacturing process, setting up shop in the United States. These factories pumped out clothing that copied current trends but made them with an emphasis on wearability for on-to-go Americans.

Hattie Carnegie was one of first pioneers of the American style, specializing in ready-to-wear clothing and for creating an entire look. Her more affordable clothing was very popular during the 1950s post-war times.

And still, these styles remain timeless and worn. First Lady, Michelle Obama wore a vintage Norman Norell dress at a Christmas party in December 2010. Now, you can find similar dresses at Rubber Soul Vintage in San Diego, CA.

Photo attribution of Hattie Carnegie suit found here, Michelle Obama photo found here.

Michelle Obama Wearing Vintage Norman Norell Dress (Dec. 2010)

Michelle Obama Wearing Vintage Norman Norell Dress (Dec. 2010)



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