Costumes for Murder Mystery Games set in the 1950s

Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she’ll conquer the world.
— Marilyn Monroe
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1950s Icons

Marilyn Monroe. James Dean. Grace Kelly. Doris Day. Dorothy Dandridge. Elvis Presley. Frank Sinatra. Cary Grant. Audrey Hepburn. Marlon Brando.

Now that young women have more clout and more disposable income, they have more opportunity to look very different from their mothers. Teenage fashion has arrived. Full skirts, cinched waists, bobby socks, ribbons, bows, loafers, pumps. Gingham and polka dots. And, of course, headbands.

  • The Sweater Girl is also here to stay. Who should we thank for this? Marilyn and her Hollywood peers, of course. Plus major advances in bra science. The Push-Up, the Perma-Lift, the Stitched Long-Line Cone.
  • Women are no longer dressing to prove they can do whatever men do: shoot guns, drive trucks, make ammunition, etc. They are dressing to please men instead. To be wifely. To be nice adornments. Ready-to-wear fashions allow them to copy their Hollywood idols. And perhaps one day meet their Prince. By wearing what? Well, Capri pants, twin sets and circle skirts all seem to be working for Grace Kelly.
  • More choice on the High Street and lower production costs mean more social mobility in how women dress. Factory girls can now look like Hollywood stars, too. If only on their nights off.
  • Big buttons. Halter tops. Pencil skirts. Coat dresses. Bell dresses.

Costumes for Men in the 1950s

Simple choice for 50s men. Dress like your dad and never take your jacket off. Or dress like Elvis and wear anything. Even if it’s pink.

  • Not all dads are dull, of course. Jackets and suits can have daring little differences, don’t you know. Turn-ups! Pleats! Jackets and trousers which don’t match! Perhaps even a sports jacket. Perhaps chinos.
  • Meanwhile, what’s Elvis wearing? Eye shadow, for a start. Leather. Short-sleeved shirts. Open-necked shirts. Crazy colours. Crepe shoes. Skinny ties. Bling. Trousers baggy enough to hide rabbits in. Cowboy clothes. But no denim (too backwoods). And no jumpsuits (yet).
  • Other style choices:
  • Bowling shirts. Hawaiian shirts. Baseball jackets. Rockabilly. Teddy Boy. White T-shirt and jeans.  

Murder Mystery Games that can be set in the Fifties

Other Costume Eras