Archive for 2009

Sock Hops, Part 6: Women’s Costumes

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

When you go to a sock hop you have to have the perfect fifties costume. You want to look as if you just walked out of the fifties. In order to dress the part typically you would have to do a little research on what type of fifties or sixties style you want. No worries, we’ve done the hard part for you. Read through some of these descriptions and mix and match to find the perfect fifties outfit for you.

Pencil Skirt:
Pencil skirts were huge in the 50s and 60s. They were usually worn by the more mature women of the time. These skirts are actually coming back in style for us now so they are something that would be easy for any women to find. Pencil skirts, or silhouettes, come high around the waist where they are fairly form fitting, accentuating the waist. The length of the skirt typically drops below the knee. This was considered a great office skirt but because of how form fitting it tends to be it was considered a sexier skirt of the time, revealing more of the curves of women.

Pencil Pants:
These were considered a more casual version of the pencil skirt. When pencil skirts first came out they were actually called wabble skirts due to how difficult it was to walk in them. They were able to adjust that and make it more comfortable, but some women still found it more comfortable to wear the pencil pants. These were cute, form fitting jeans or pants that would fall right below the knee. Some had 1-2 inch slights on the outside of each pant leg.


Sock Hops, Part 5: Finding a Sock Hop

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Want to go to a sock hop? Surprisingly there are a lot of sock hops that still go on. They are a fun party where you can kick off your shoes and have fun dancing with friends. Sometimes the hard part is to find them. Many people are surprised when they find out that there are sock hops going on right in their cities. Here are a few tips to help you find some sock hops near you.

Google can be used to find so many things. It can also help you find local sock hops. I’ve been able to locate some near me by typing in ‘sock hop’ and then my town.

Another popular thing are car shows (find car shows) and sock hop parties. If you type in ‘cruise in and hop sock’ or ‘car show and sock hop’ followed by your state or city, you’ll have a lot of success finding fun 50s and 60s parties that include sock hops.

Another popular idea would be searching for cruises that have sock hops. Most cruises are centered around entertainment and dancing. Sock hops are a popular addition to any cruise. I’ve been able to find them by typing in ‘cruise’ and ‘sock hop’.

Many studios will offer 50’s and 60’s dance lessons as well as throw sock hops for students and the neighborhood. If you’re wondering if your local studios do, call them up or check out their websites. (more…)

Sock Hops, Part 4: Men’s Sock Hop Costumes

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

A fifties custom is just as essential for the men as it is for the women. It’s important to find the perfect costume for you that will be both fun and easy to dance in. When deciding what style is right for you, Happy Days, the old comedy television show, is the perfect place to look. They have Richie Cunningham the ‘square’, and the ‘Fonz’ the ‘greaser’. Because both characters are widely known both costumes can be really fun for a sock hop.


Richie Cunningham was known as the quintessential boy of the 1950s. He was extremely wholesome and at times even naïve. Him following exactly what he was told to do puts him in the category of a ‘square’.


Sock Hops, Part 3: Four Steps to Having a Blast!

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Sock hops can be a lot of fun if you follow these 4 simple rules.

1. Dress the part

You are sure to ruin the fun by not taking the time to get all dressed up. Most of the fun is seeing all the different outfits. A lot of conversation is centered on everyone’s outfits and how they got them and designed them.

Also, make sure that the outfit you do pick out is comfortable. You will be dancing and moving around a lot and playing games. If your outfit isn’t comfortable your fun won’t last very long.

It’s important to remember that you will be dancing around in socks so make sure that you don’t care that they get dirty or possibly ruined from the dance floor. If you choose to leave on your shoes make sure that you’ve bought some nice comfy ones like oxfords.


Sock Hops, Part 2: The Essentials

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

There are so many things to think about when putting together your own sock hop. In the midst of all the plans and outfits and other stuff, our minds can forget about the most essential things. Just to make your life easier, we’re going to go over the ‘must needs’ for a perfect sock hop party.

Sock Hop Invitations:
When throwing a theme party we first have to make sure that our invitations are consistent with that theme. Our friends need to be able to feel from the invitation what kind of party this is. You can keep it real simple if needs be. Try making your own invitations. They don’t need to be fancy, just fun. Remember to keep with the colors of the 50’s and 60’s, and certain patterns can even bring out that time period. Don’t forget to tell your friends to dress up in their best fifties outfits!

Sock Hop Costume:
When picking out the perfect outfit you’ll need to study up on what was popular. Girls can never go wrong with a classic poodle skirt, poodle top or blouse, crinoline petticoat, saddle oxford shoes, chiffon scarf, cinch belt and cateye glasses. Guys will be able to pull off a nice fifties outfit with a pair of rolled up jeans, white t-shirt, oxford shoes or Converse shoes, leather jacket and greased back hair.

Sock Hop Food:
Don’t forget to serve good ol’ American food. Anything you would find in a malt shop will do. Serving hamburgers, fries and a malt is the perfect 50’s treat. Don’t forget some ice cream in tall serving glasses. These were seen everywhere during the fifties and sixties. If you are having servers, you can have them wear roller skates too. This was very popular at the time.


Sock Hops, Part 1: What’s a Sock Hop Anyway?

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Movies depicting the fifties and sixties show fun sock hops with great music, dancing and of course, the latest men and women’s fashion of the day. By the late sixties sock hops started to disappear but recently themed parties and people wanting to relive those happy days have brought them back.

Sock hop dances started out first in high school auditoriums because the teachers didn’t want the students, mostly the young girls, to scratch the wooden floors with their shoes. So, they started asking the students to take off their shoes when they would go out and dance. The young teens would kick off their shoes and dance around in their socks. This started a new cultural trend that lasted all through the 50’s and most of the 60’s.

The name sock hop, or soc hop, was soon a commonly heard name for teen parties. Teens during the 50’s and 60’s were brought together at these parties by their love of the new music appropriately called rock ‘n’ roll. First parents thought the name was derogatory, but soon realized it was a description of dance moves taken on by some of the singers.

Sock hops in many ways were a way for teens to kick off their troubles and get out and enjoy music with their friends. Sock hops were enjoyed mostly at high school auditoriums, then moved to more private parties at homes or at malt shops. Anywhere they wanted a crowd they would advertise for sock hops. Like the young teens of the fifties and sixties, many people today love to relive these parties. Some like the theme, others the fifties and others the fashion. Whatever your reason, you are sure to have fun at a sock hop.

The King!

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Elvis Presley is recognized by millions as one of the most influential people in music history. Elvis’s influence was so widespread and so profound that many refer to him as the ‘King of Rock ‘n’ roll’. His career included acting, singing, song writing and performing.

Elvis wasn’t always the cool popular boy we usually think of when we think back on the 50’s. He was described in his youth as a “well-mannered and quiet child.” At times he was the target of classmate cruelty. Things were thrown at him because he was different. He stuttered and he was a considered a mama’s boy.

Even when he first started performing in the fifties he was described as a shy, well-mannered, quiet boy. Yet he was an amazing performer. None who talked to him could believe that he was the same guy on the stage singing and dancing in such controversial ways. The reaction of the crowd was something that had never been seen before. Yet, when he first started recording no one looked at him as anything different. Right before his first recording they asked him who he sounded like. His response was, “I don’t sound like nobody.” He soon proved that true and this was the voice and music America had been waiting for.


The Immortal Jimmy

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

James Dean was a huge icon during the 1950s. He had it all going for him, the look and fashion, talent along with a great progressing movie career. His life was cut short at a very young age but this didn’t stop him from being a powerful fifties icon that is still idolized and discussed during our age.

His acting career first started when he appeared in a Pepsi commercial.

Soon after, he quit college to work full time as an actor. He appeared in shows and movies such as Hill Number One, Fixed Bayonets, Sailor Beware and Has Anybody Seen My Gal.

In the fifties his career picked up when he appeared in The Web, studio One, Lux Video Theatre and Omnibus. Omnibus was a stepping-stone for his role in Rebel Without a Cause because he played almost the exact same character.

Rebel Without a Cause (see trailer) was the movie that truly immortalized Jimmy Dean. Every girl in the fifties fell in love with him. Joe Hyams said that Dean was “one of the rare stars, like Rock Hudson and Montgomery Clift, who both men and women find sexy.”


Men’s Shoes of the 50’s

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Mostly slip-ons or loafers dominated men’s shoes during the 50s. When you had to tie your shoes it usually meant one of two things, it was either a formal event or you were playing a sport. Converse shoes changed some of that. They were considered both sporty and fashionable.

Interesting to note, the famous Chuck Taylor Converse shoes, sometimes called chucks, weren’t very popular when they first came out in the year 1917. They were made in an attempt to be the number one basketball shoe but for the most part they were a failure. It wasn’t until basketball player Chuck Taylor called Converse his number one choice that the demand for Converse went up.

Black was the typically preferred color but soon the demand for other colors and styles came. At one point they even had knee high Converse. During the 50s, Converse ruled the basketball court. It wasn’t until the 1970s that athletes would choose other shoes for basketball.

During the early 50s Converse shoes unveiled their low top. The shoes were no longer just for the basketball court. They became the number one, top selling shoe. Men would wear these for sports, school, hanging out and dates. These came in any color or design. They were also available in leather.


Women’s Shoes in the 50’s

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Women’s shoes and socks of the 50’s were the perfect added touch to complete any outfit. Even now, when dressing up for a sock hop or Halloween you have to have just the right shoes to make the outfit a hit.

Flats as well as heals were in during this time period. Saddle oxfords are the traditional shoes to complete any poodle skirt. These were worn to school or a date. The flair of the poodle skirts and the comfort of saddle oxfords would make it a perfect outfit for any dance as well. Oxfords were white and black. They were best worn with white shoe laces as well.

The ‘ballet’ shoes were flats that were frequently worn to school and church. They were best worn with a pair of white socks with lace that was folded over.

Penny loafers were also a hit during this time period. These were flats worn by both men and women. They are much like the loafers worn today but they had a slit that was located toward the top of the shoe that you could put a penny in. If the shoes were really cool sometimes you could fit a quarter in it.

Many believe that the trademark shoe of the 50’s wasn’t the saddle oxfords but the stiletto-heeled shoe. These were very fist seen at a Dior fashion show in 1952. These shoes were all different colors and heights. They would go up to 5 inches and would be both open toed, close toed or pointy.