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Poodle Skirts

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 If you were in high school in the 1950s, you probably had at least one poodle skirt in your wardrobe. And if you didn't make it yourself, then your mom or grandmother did.


The first poodle skirt was made in 1947, and soon became a must-have fashion item. It was one of the first garments marketed specifically for teens. The circle shape was flattering to many figure types, and swayed nicely for dancing at the school sock hop.


So why poodles? They have long held a spot on the list of most-popular dog breeds. Their characteristic fancy haircut made them a natural for fashion, though it's a misconception that the breed originated in France. It's true that France proclaimed the poodle its national dog. But despite its haute couture image, the breed originated in Germany in the 1500s as a hunter and water retriever. The word "poodle" comes from the Low German "pudel" which means "to splash in water." Poodles may have even older roots in central Asia.


No matter where they came from, poodles' popularity made them a hit when appliqued on a felt circle skirt. But poodle skirts weren't limited to poodles. Some had flamingos, dice, 45 rpm records, or many other images--even lobsters! The skirts came in a rainbow of colors, though red and pink were popular.


Whether you're taking a stroll down Memory Lane or just need a retro 50s-style costume for a party, we have a poodle skirt for you. Sizes range from toddler to women's plus. And they don't just come in the traditional period-authentic just-below-the-knee length. They also come in sexy shorter versions. So there's a size and style for any taste or occasion! How To

Poodle Skirts

Dance Moves for Your Next Sock Hop

If it's not enough to simply dress like you're back in the 50s, then take a minute to learn how to dance like you're in the 50s too! You'll look extra sensational in your poodle skirt costume when you master these popular dance moves from back in the day!

The Twist

Anyone can do the twist! Inspired by Chubby Checker's cover of a Hank Ballard tune this was a cool dance that was born from rock and roll music. You stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms bent at the elbow. Rotate your hips, torso and legs on the balls of your feet as one unit. Then grind your feet back and forth on the floor as fast or slow as the music commands!

The Madison

The Madison is a line dance that has a regular back and forth pattern and can have called steps. Here's how you do the Madison basic: Step the left foot forward and place the right foot beside it (no weight) and clap. Step back on the right and then move the left foot over the right. Move the left foot to the left and then back and across the right and you've got it!

The Jive

You might have seen some of your favorite Dancing With The Stars contestants do the Jive, and now you can too! This is a form of swing dancing that originated in the United States and is often featured in ballroom dancing. There are lots of video tutorials available to help you learn this dance, and they are going to be much more effective than any description we can fit here!

The Jitterbug

The Jitterbug is a high energy dance that will give you a challenge, but learn to do it and you'll win any dance competition you decide to enter! 'Jitterbug' was the slang word used to describe swing dancing. It will take some dedicated practice to learn these dance moves!

The Hand Jive

The Hand Jive is as easy as it is fun! It involves a series of hand moves that includes thigh-slapping, fist pounding, hand clapping and more. It is most often associated with 1950s rhythm and blues music. When you and your partner are rocking your best hand jive in vintage 50s attire you'll be unstoppable on the dance floor!

1950s Poodle Skirt Fashions

There is more than one way rock a poodle skirt! If you are looking for the perfect 1950s outfit to wear to your next costume event, the first thing you need to do is figure out which look matches your own personal style. Are you a goody-goody who always follows the rules or a bad girl who likes to break them? Do you always find a way to add glamour to your look or are you more of a plain Jane book worm? These costume ideas will help you figure out which poodle skirt look is right for you.

The Cheerleader Poodle Skirt Look

Her shirt matches her skirt. Her pink poodle purse is the perfect mix of practical and pretty. She's outgoing and follows the rules. If this describes you, the 'Cheerleader' look might be your look! This 50s themed costume comes perfectly coordinated so that you'll have a put together outfit for your retro event.

The Bad Girl Poodle Skirt Costume

Do you treat most rules as 'suggestions' and shudder at the thought of someone calling you a square? This 'Bad Girl' look features a poodle skirt that's shorter than most and an off-the-shoulder top that would have created more than a little controversy back in the day.

The Prom Queen Poodle Skirt Look

Do you need a poodle skirt that is dazzling? Get this 'Prom Queen' look and go glam for your next 50s event. Add a platinum blonde wig and some costume jewelry and you'll look like a movie star from another era.

The Valedictorian Poodle Skirt Look

Is studying your favorite? Get the look that matches your bookish charms with this 'Valedictorian' poodle skirt outfit. Add a pair of cay eye glasses and you're sure to make the grade.

1950s Couples Costume Ideas

Now that you've picked the perfect poodle skirt costume, it's time to pick out your date's look. Check out these 50s costumes for the guys and plan your own retro date night. We've paired each personality with their ideal partner but that doesn't mean you have to do the same. After all, sometimes opposites attract.

Soda Shop Poodle Skirt Couples Costume

This soda jerk is the friendliest guy you'll ever meet. He'll pour you a Coca Cola, ask you what your favorite record is and wipe down the counter with a smile when you're done. He might even compliment the pink poodle patch on your skirt.

Trouble Poodle Skirt Couples Costume

She knew he was trouble when he walked in. But she didn't make any attempts to stay away because she liked the look of his leather jacket and dark shades. What kind of mischief will these two cause?

Prom Poodle Skirt Couples Costume

He worked up the nerve to ask her father if she could be his prom date, and put on a proper suit to pick her up. They have to be home before curfew but in the meantime they'll be the best looking couple out on the town.

Nerdy Poodle Skirt Couples Costume

She loves books, he loves that she loves books and they both seem to like each other. He considers his outfit more practical than stylish: suspenders to keep his pants from sagging, glasses so he can see, and a bow tie to look respectable. She's smitten anyways!

Poodle Skirt Accessories

What cool pieces can you add to your poodle skirt for a complete look? How about a poodle purse or some 1950s saddle shoes? Getting an authentic look is all about paying attention to details. Accessories don't have to be flashy or expensive, they just need to coordinate with your costume and give your look the finishing touch it needs to set it apart from the rest.

Poodle Purse

A soft, plush puppy that keeps all of your valuables tucked out of sight while looking adorable at the same time? It exists! This pink poodle purse has an attached shoulder strap or can be carried by the attached handle.

Polka Dot Scarf

This polka dot scarf will jazz up your poodle skirt outfit and get you all of the compliments. You'll love it so much; you'll want to add it to your regular wardrobe!

Cat Eye Glasses

We can see that these glasses make a great accessory. If you look closely you'll see there are rhinestone accents on the edges. If you have an eye for fashion, don't pass these up!

Saddle Shoes

These black and white saddle shoes are a quintessential 1950s accessory that adds a genuine and wholesome look to any poodle skirt outfit. Today they are also available in cute high-heel versions to add a twist on the traditional look.

1950s Slang

1950s Slang