Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sock Hops, Part 6: Women's Costumes

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.

These were worn often in more casual settings. They were popular in many different colors and fabrics. Jean versions were also seen though not as in style as some of the others.

Poodle Skirt:
What says 50s or 60s better than a poodle skirt? Poodle skirts are the best for a sock hop. They are comfortable and easy to move around and dance in. These are the typical skirts that would have been seen at a sock hop.

Poodle skirts also look the best with bobby socks. These are fun socks of the 50s. They typically rolled over and had lace or a design on the sides. Because you’ll be kicking off your shoes and dancing in your socks these would be the best to show off your dance moves in.

Any colored blouse would be the typical shirt that would be worn during the time.

Chiffon Scarf:
To add the finishing touch to whatever of the above choice you make, you’ll have to pick out the perfect accessories. A chiffon scarf would look great with any of the above options.

Even though you’ll be kicking your shoes off they are still an essential part of your outfit. Saddle oxford shoes will look the best with your poodle skirt. It is the classic combination.

Slipper or ballet shoes were popular at the time. They can be worn with either skirts or pants. They would look great with the pencil pants. These are easy to find right now because they too have come back in style.

A great addition to your custom would be cateye glasses. These are so fun and are sure to catch everyone eyes.

Just remember to figure out one style and stick with it. You’ll have more fun at a sock hop if your dressed the part.

Sock Hops, Part 5: Finding a Sock Hop

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.

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

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 na├»ve. Him following exactly what he was told to do puts him in the category of a ‘square’.

Dressing like Richie can be a real fun costume.

  • Pants- You’ll want a nice pair of slacks for the Richie look. If you don’t have slacks you could get away with jeans but those would be more appropriate for the ‘Fonz’ look.
  • Shirt- You have a couple different choices with your shirts. You can just wear a button up top; make it fun with colors or strips. A cotton vest would be a nice touch to wear over the shirt. In the trailer of Happy Days, Richie has a red and black thick cotton vest that goes over his button up shirt. You could also wear a full sweater over the shirt.
  • Jacket- A blazer is a perfect touch to your outfit. Richie frequently wore blazers. We might hesitate wearing a button up top, vest, and a blazer but this was typical in the 50s.
  • Hair- Part your hair to the side. You’ll want to slick it over. Make sure it looks like a prim and proper hairdo.
  • Shoes- Loafers or oxfords are the shoes that Richie would always wear. Once in a while you can catch him in a pair of Converse, but this was typically when playing sports.
The Fonz

The Fonz was a very popular character in Happy Days. Even if you haven’t watched the show you know who the Fonz is. He was portrayed as the womanizer of the show. All the girls loved him because he was the rebel. He is considered a greaser because he was always ridding around on his motorcycle and fixing cars. His outfit is the typical 50s costume that you would see at a sock hop. This outfit is a little easier to put together as well.

  • Pants- The Fonz always wore jeans. He would roll them up a little bit at the bottom and would tuck his shirts in. Make sure these are not baggy jeans or too tight of jeans. The Fonz’s jeans always fit just right.
  • Shirt- A white or black shirt was the only colored shirts he ever wore. Make sure it is a little more form fitting like he wore them.
  • Jacket- The jacket of the Fonz was a typical greaser leather jacket or faux leather jacket. Either black or brown would do even though his was usually black. Any leather-riding jacket will do.
  • Hair- The most important thing on the Fonz was his hairdo. No one was allowed to touch it and it was always in perfect place. This was considered an Elvis do. It had a part on the side but it was swept up in the front instead of slicking over. The sides were slicked with hair gel.
  • Don’t forget to carry a black comb in your back pocket.
  • Shoes- His outfits finishing touch were his black motorcycle boots. Any type of black boots will do.

You can always make your own look by mismatching some of the suggestions above to make a customized look. More than anything make sure you’re comfortable and that you can get out and dance in your outfit.