Women’s Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts

Early 50’s Short Shorts

The 1950’s decade was the first decade that embraced women wearing shorts for more than just beach wear. 1950’s Shorts came in several lengths and styles to fit a variety of leisure activities women enjoyed.

Short Shorts

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts

1950s Short Shorts- the most common short length

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts

Oh My! These are very short shorts! Late 50’s.

The shortest of the 1950s shorts were “short shorts.” These came to about 6 inches above the knee and had classic 1950’s high waists and side zippers. These shorts were mostly worn on the beaches, or on pin up models. Another name for these shorts is culottes. Culottes could be short or a bit longer and have wide leg openings that flair out from a tight waist and hip.

These are the most popular style short worn by vintage retro clothing fans. The high waisted short slims the tummy and creates a thinner waist than low rise shorts. The short length of legs makes them sexy (that is if you have a thighs for it!)

 

 Bermuda Shorts

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts

3 lengths of 1950s shorts (L to R) – Bermuda, Pedal Pushers, Short HSorts

The most popular shorts length for women was the Bermuda short. These came to about 3 inches above the knee, again with high waists and side zip seams. They could fit rather loose and baggy just like pedal pusher pants, or more fitted and slimming (much like Bermuda shorts available today.)

Short soften did not have pockets (they added to much bulk to a slim silhouette) but some had ornamental pockets that had angled slit pockets. The ad on the left is an example of angled pockets.

 

 Pedal Pushers

The longest 1950’s shorts

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts

(left) Pedal Pusher length, (Middle) Bermuda Length, (Top) Short Shorts

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts

Jeans Pedal Pushers at Unique-Vintage.com

could also be called pants. Pedal pushers, also known as clam diggers, toreador pants, motor scooter slacks, calypso, and pirate pants all came to just below the knee with either wide straight legs or cuffed bottoms. These short pants were developed for cyclists who wanted the comfort of shorts and the safety of pants that wouldn’t tangle in bicycle chains.

It was popular among teens to roll up their jeans into the pedal pusher length. Many jeans came pre rolled as well making the pedal pusher shorts/pants common among women as well. Read more about 1950s pants styles. 

All 1950’s shorts were inspired by casual sport and travel wear with materials suitable for warm weather days. Cotton and synthetic “wrinkle free” fabrics were the most popular.  Solid, tropical colors like lime green, sherbet orange, and Caribbean blue were in demand as well as checks and prints in the same color family. Think “tacky tourist” clothing and your not far off from 50’s summer fashion.

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts

1950’s Blouse

It was very common for women to buy a four piece matching clothing set with shirt, long pants, peddle pushers, and culotte shorts. This way women always had a matching outfit to wear for all kinds of  weather. If shirts didn’t match they were usually a light colored, short sleeve or sleeveless,  blouse.

What 1950’s shorts do you want to wear? Here are some new vintage inspired shorts and pants for your vintage wardrobe:

 

 

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Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

It's High Time Shorts from ModCloth

$39.99

Buy at: ModCloth

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Blue High Waist Super Stretch Button Down Shorts

$36.00

Buy at: UniqueVintage

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Skylar Black High Waist Color Short

$9.99

Buy at: dELiA*s

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Red High Waist Super Stretch Button Down Shorts

$36.00

Buy at: UniqueVintage

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Retro Floral Printed High Waist Shorts

$29.00

Buy at: ChicNova

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Red & Navy Twill High Waist Juniper Shorts

$50.00

Buy at: UniqueVintage

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Tandem Tour Shorts in Black from ModCloth

$34.99

Buy at: ModCloth

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Black & Gingham Twill High Waist Juniper Shorts

$50.00

Buy at: UniqueVintage

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Denim High Waist Stretch Shorts

$75.00

Buy at: UniqueVintage

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Retro High Waist Distressed Denim Shorts

$31.00

Buy at: ChicNova

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Pink Lily Print High Waist Shorts

$30.00

Buy at: ChicNova

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Retro Flower Embroidery Printed Shorts with Vent Hemline

$78.00

Buy at: ChicNova

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Retro High Waist Skinny Denim Shorts

$29.00

Buy at: ChicNova

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

boohoo Natalia High Waisted Metallic Jacquard Shorts - blue

£14.00

Buy at: boohoo.com

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

It's High Time Shorts in Plus Size from ModCloth

$27.99

Buy at: ModCloth

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Karaoke Songstress Shorts from ModCloth

$39.99

Buy at: ModCloth

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Black & White Twill High Waist Dixie Shorts

$64.00

Buy at: UniqueVintage

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Vintage Denim Norma Jean Shorts

$25.00

Buy at: UniqueVintage

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Black High Waist Deckhand Shorts

$24.00

Buy at: UniqueVintage

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Navy High Waist Deckhand Shorts

$28.00

Buy at: UniqueVintage

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Beige Floral High Waist Amelia Shorts

$25.00

Buy at: UniqueVintage

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Across Town Shorts in Black

$17.99

Buy at: ModCloth

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

All Too Adorable Shorts in Plus Size

$27.99

Buy at: ModCloth

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Rainbow with Me Shorts

$34.99

Buy at: ModCloth

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Tidal Track Shorts

$44.99

Buy at: ModCloth

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Deepest Blue Sea Shorts

$34.99

Buy at: ModCloth

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Tending the Topiaries Shorts

$24.99

Buy at: ModCloth

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Pass the Navy Down Shorts

$34.99

Buy at: ModCloth

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Beachside Bike Ride Shorts

$39.99

Buy at: ModCloth

Womens Vintage Retro 1950s Shorts
 

Made to Moto Shorts

$59.99

Buy at: ModCloth

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This entry was posted in 1950's Fashion History on by .

About Debbie Sessions

Debbie Sessions is passionate about wearing history through fashion. She and her husband, Oscar, have turned their hobby into a career by teaching others how to re-create vintage style with affordable new vintage inspired clothing and accessories. We connect shoppers to the best vintage inspired clothing, shoes and accessories and teach fashion history as it was worn by everyday people. Need more help? Contact us anytime.

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