Wedding Fashion in the 1960s


Oh, geez, sorry to wake you up so early, Amy.
As you know, the time machine's been acting up lately so the  temporal length adviser of your existence in the 1960's is  off just a touch.

But I have to say that the bedroom you're staying in looks pretty cozy. 

You're staying with the family of a girl you met on the road? Yes, I can see by the epoch domicile display on the time machine that you're currently in Calgary, Alberta.

The brother of the girl you've been hitchhiking with is getting married?
Okay, well it looks like he's ... uh ... good with it. Thumbs up!

I'm not surprised that they invited you to the wedding.

The people who live in Calgary are very friendly.

Thumbs up again!

In the early 1960s, many brides adopted the traditional wedding style of their parents' generation. Wide full dresses with the swing look of the fifties was still popular.


But from the early 1960s to the end of the decade, the fashion style of brides changed in a major way. Dresses tapered to a  streamlined silhouette with  narrowed skirts and higher waistlines.

By the end of the 1960s many brides will choose the bohemian look, shifting fashion once again. 

Oh my gosh, Amy.


I just re-configured the coordinates on the time machine to see how the bride of the wedding you're going to in 1960-something is doing.

Don't think she's doing well at all.

Please tell a family member to give her a call because it sure looks like she needs some cheering up.

Just don't tell anyone how you got this information.

And by the way, here's a list of the most popular first dance songs of the 1960s:
When a Man Loves a Woman - Percy Sledge
Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Frankie Valli
Can't Help Falling In Love - Elvis Presley
God Only Knows - The Beach Boys 
Everybody Loves Somebody - Dean Martin
At Last - Etta James

Bride Doll in the 1960s

Bride Doll in the 1960s

Makeup in the 1950s

Hi, Amy. Just wondering how this past week in 1950-something has been going for --

Please tell me you're getting ready to celebrate halloween, Amy.
Let's just say that your makeup might be a touch over the top for the 1950s.


In the 1950s cosmetic companies are aware of the growing number of women entering the workforce, and are beginning to promote cosmetics any and every way possible.

Classes are offered to teach women the benefits of the many new products reaching the shelves of department stores:


Max Factor - started in the early 1900s
Revlon - founded by two brothers in the 1930s
Estee Lauder - began in 1946. First to offer a gift with purchase
Elizabeth Arden - began in Manhattan in the early 1900s

These cosmetic icons are expanding their beauty businesses and are bringing femininity to the forefront in the 1950s. They dictate the colours of the fresh new version of facial enhancement.

Corals, pinks and reds are all popular for lips. Light rouge highlights cheekbones. Dark brows present themselves as dark and distinct against popular pale skin. Powder and liquid foundation create the soft feminine look of the time.

The  makeup of the fifties is elegant and classic.

Audrey Hepburn has famously stated. "I believe in pink."


Marilyn Monroe creates her famous wing-tipped eyes in this time period using black eyeliner and false lashes glued only at the outer edges of her eyes.


You greaser boyfriend, Tony,  doesn't want to hear anything about makeup?

He says you're beautiful without it?


I think  I'm starting to like this guy.

Eight Rules of Dating in the 1950s

Hey, Amy. Just my usual check-in with you to see how you're managing in 1950-something.

Hmm. Introspective today, are we? Well, in reality, you are actually waiting for me to get the time machine repaired enough so I can transport you back to the 21st century. But, for now, you're stuck in the 1950s. 

Okay. So, last time we communicated, you rudely took off with the new greaser guy you met without saying goodbye to me. 

So, let's delve into what's going on there, shall we? At least tell me his name.

Tony? The greaser guy's name is Tony? 

Wow, what a ... surprise. Maybe you should ask him his last name so you don't, you know, mix him up with all the other greasers named Tony in the 1950s. Just sayin'.

Since you've decided to date, let's go over some of the "rules" of mid-century dating that you have no idea about yet.




Guys do the calling to ask girls out on dates from a telephone that is connected to a wall by a cord.

Girls do not initiate a first date -- well, with the guy realizing it, anyway.

 Cell phones, texting and emails do not exist. 


The 1950s are a simpler, more innocent time than the 21st century, and dates are as well. 

Going to a movie or to a bowling alley are considered ideal things to do as a young couple.


The guy always pays. Always.



Soft kissing and hugging are considered acceptable in public, as are necking and petting in cars. But, not on the first date. 

Virginity is held in high regard at this time for, and mostly by, young women.


The guy must come to the front door of the house his date lives in to pick her up.

He must also meet the parents who are probably standing near the front door waiting and smoking.


Approval by the parents of a young woman regarding who their daughter is dating is of the utmost importance.
Same goes for the grandparents -- they are probably also waiting near the front door.


If you are going to a dance or fancy occasion with your date, the guy will bring a corsage and give it to you in a see-through plastic container.

However, wrist corsages are not a thing yet and when your date awkwardly tries to pin the corsage to your clothing just above your chest, he will jab your bra strap by mistake and stab you by accident. This is a common occurrence in the 1950s.


It is considered acceptable to date only one person at a time in the 1950s, although at dances it is totally okay to dance with others.

Eloping in the 19th Century

Yes, Amy, I'm here.
Just writing at the moment, cause that's like, what I do.


I've been worried about you and all the, ahem, wonderful decisions you've been making in the 19th century. Let me just grab a coffee before you upset me...

Okay. Last I heard you were heading back to town to get to the house above the store where Charlotte the maid (who was banished from the awesome house I put you in) fled to. 

Am I right so far? Is this your new home now, too? Was Charlotte thrilled to see you?

What? What's happened?


George came to get Charlotte!!! And the owner of this place said they eloped! I can't even get in touch with her. When the f*** are they gonna invent the phone?

Seriously WTF?

Hmmm, looks like you've gotten yourself into a bit of a pickle. All I can suggest at this point is to settle in for the night. Is the owner of the house willing to let you stay there until you figure out what to do?


Yeah, as long as I work in the store. They gave me a stupid outfit to wear and told me to wear my hair in a stupid braided ponytail. 

Not to say, "I told you so", but I actually did tell you not to make the rash decision of leaving the (totally awesome) house I put you in. I have no idea how you're going to locate Charlotte because you're absolutely right - no phones, no email, no technology, no way to reach her.


Normally in 1868 when you currently (and resentfully) live, marriage brings together friends, family and the community where festivities can go on for days. But perhaps because of a new found rebellious temperament beginning to form, running off to get married is becoming increasingly heard of.

As a matter of fact, "Life" magazine, which will begin circulating in 1883, will state in 1884 that an "elopement epidemic" ... has played havoc with so many hearts and homes."

In Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813, we can see elopement took place even then, as one of the five sisters, Lydia Bennet, elopes with officer George Wickham and risks her entire reputation.

And what would propel our ancestors to elope? Well, perhaps money was an issue, or rather the lack of money for such a lavish affair. But more often than not, the situation would be similar to Charlotte's - eloping is the only answer when one's partner is deemed not acceptable or has been shunned by the community.

The word elope literally means to run away and not come back to the original place. But to elope has over time come to mean a marriage that has been conducted in impatience, without family engagement or knowledge.