Blast from the Past: Five Fads from the Fabulous 50s

Female car hop roller skating-at 1950s drive in restaurant

As each decade goes by, we tend to reminisce over those times long forgotten. Longing for the comfort of the past, our minds are drawn to the “Good Ole Days.” When we think of the 1950s, we typically think of a fun and carefree time when things were simpler. While that may be true, the 50s were definitely ahead of the curve in terms of fashion and fads, many of which are being revived today as a form of retro culture.

Following are a few of our faves.

  • Carhops: Did a girl wearing roller skates precariously balancing a tray with a burger and shake immediately come to mind? Carhops were the most common way of getting fast food in the 50s. This novel approach to food delivery was created after many business owners decided to take advantage of the number of people who preferred to eat in their cars rather than sit in a restaurant. After ordering their food, customers waiting to take a bite of a delicious burger would park outside the restaurant and a waitress would skate to their car to serve them.
Marilyn-Monroe-1950s Cat Eye Glasses
  • Cat Eye Glasses: Inspired by masks that she admired during visits to Venice, Italy, socialite Altina Schinasi designed the first cat eye glasses in the 1930s after noting the lack of stylish options for women. These now retro-looking “spectacles” grew increasingly popular in the 50s after stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn began to flaunt this chic, eye-catching style in their films.

  • Letterman Jackets: Worn by school athletes, letterman jackets traditionally displayed the wearer’s name, the school mascot and a varsity letter. Though originally sported as a form of school spirit and admiration, girls began to wear their boyfriends’ jackets to show off their relationship with the school’s most popular “jocks.” This trend gained popularity through stars like James Dean and Elvis Presley, who frequently donned the highly coveted jackets.
Teenagers Dancing at 1950s Malt Shop
  • Soda Shops: Also called malt shops, soda shops were the most popular gathering spots for 1950s youth. Renowned for their scarlet leather spinning bar stools, colorful booths and lively jukeboxes blasting the latest tunes, soda shops were the place to hang out and be seen. Many teenagers and young adults eagerly anticipated taking a spin on the dance floor with their friends or dates, only stopping long enough to grab a soft drink, root beer float or juicy burger.
Fuzzy dice in 1950s car
  • Fuzzy Dice: When seeinga pair of fuzzy dice hanging from the rearview mirror of a car, most people associate the iconic adornment with the style and charm of the 50s. Originally, however, this emblem of retro flair was a symbol of fortune for World War II fighter pilots. These “flyboys” would hang a pair of dice on their instrument panel with seven pips (dots) facing them, as a sign of good luck.


Feeling nostalgic? Why not take a trip “back to the 50s?” And, if you’re looking to add a little retro style to your kitchen, game room or man cave, you might want to consider 50s-inspired Northstar appliances!

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