Plus Size 1950s Costumes

Woman in 1950s dress

Choices abound when it comes to 1950s costumes for plus size women. Whether it's for a themed party, Halloween, or any other costume event, options range from fun and flirty styles to elegant looks.

50s Costume Ideas in Plus Size

Choose a costume that reflects your favorite look from this decade. Many of the fashions from this era are extremely flattering for curvy figures, so you can have fun figuring out the look you want knowing you'll end up with a great costume.

Sock Hop Costume

A classic look from the 1950s is the wide skirt, blouse, and belt traditionally worn for the informal dances known as sock hops. This Black and Pink Poodle Dress Costume from Anytime Costumes includes the dress with a black-and-white striped top and a pink bottom with a classic pink poodle design, a wide cinch belt, and a matching scarf. It fits plus sizes 16-24 and sells for about $35. There's also a flat rate ground shipping fee of $6.99. The company does accept returns, but certain fees and policies apply.

Saddle shoes are sold separately from Anytime Costumes for about $30.

Pink Ladies

The classic 1950s-based film Grease is the inspiration for many costumes, such as this Pink Ladies Costume from Candy Apple Costumes. This fun outfit includes a pink satin zip-front jacket with a black printed "The Pink Satin Ladies" logo on the front and back, and a black neck scarf with white polka dots. It comes in sizes 1X (size 14-16), 2X (size 18-20), and 3X (size 20-22) for $25. Shipping is free on orders of $75 or more, and starts at $7 for orders under that. Returns are accepted if postmarked within 14 days of receiving your costume.

You can purchase a pair of retro-style glasses, such as these rhinestone cat-eye glasses sold separately for $12 at Candy Apple Costumes. Complete the costume by pairing it with black leggings and black t-shirt or tank top and your favorite pair of black pumps.

Rockabilly Pin-Up Girl

A flirty rockabilly-style pin-up girl costume is easy to achieve with so many stores offering reproduction vintage clothing. Figure-flattering pin up style dresses, like this Heidi Dress in Black Cherry from vintage reproduction shop Pinup Girl Clothing, show off curves in sexy style. Available in plus sizes 1x through 4X, it retails for just over $100. Shipping is free if the order is at least $100 and rates vary on smaller orders. Orders can be returned within 14 days of delivery.

Pair it with a pair of Black Pumps for just under $60 to complete the look.

Marilyn Monroe

Available at Halloween Costumes, this Marilyn Monroe Costume features an elegant white halter-style dress with a plunging neckline and knee-length flared skirt. A costume based on the iconic star is a great option for women looking for a more sophisticated costume, and the style of the dress is flattering to curvy figures. It is available in sizes 1X to 3X and retails for approximately $30. Standard shipping rates apply based on the details of your order. Returns and exchanges are accepted if the item purchased is still in new condition.

You can purchase a Marilyn Monroe Wig separately for about $20 from the same website. Finish the costume with a pair of your own fancy, strappy heels, or easily find a pair at a major department store, such as one these pairs from Nordstrom.

1950s Flight Attendant

If you're considering a themed look, a 1950s-inspired flight attendant costume, like this one available at Heven Costumes, is a fun choice. Featuring a peplum-style blue dress with gold trim and faux belt detail, it includes a small red neck scarf and a blue and gold cap to match the dress. The v-neck and peplum style provide a great style option for women with curves. This costume sell for just over $90. Orders over $85 qualify for free express shipping, and the company offers a "no nassle" return policy.

You can buy red satin gloves separately on the website for around $7, and red Mary Jane Heels for about $40.

DIY 1950s Costumes

There are many reasons to create your own plus size 50s costume. Making a DIY costume can save money, allow you to customize the fit, or create a last-minute costume.

1950s car hop costume

DIY Car Hop

A car hop costume captures a popular 50s theme and is easy to make.

Basic Outfit

For the outfit, you'll need:

  • A shorter skirt, either above the knee or knee-length
  • A short sleeve button-down shirt (this can be a blouse or bowling style shirt) or polo shirt
  • White ankle socks
  • Canvas tennis shoes

Popular car hop outfit colors were pink, red, white, or navy. You can have matching colors for the shirt and blouse or mix colors, such as a white shirt with a colored skirt.

Apron Instructions

For the apron, you'll need:

  • A white tea towel
  • A length of white ribbon
  • Fabric glue or hot glue

To make the apron:

  1. Measure your waist and add approximately 18 inches, then cut that length of ribbon (the extra length is to tie the bow for the apron).
  2. Next, place the tea towel in the center of the ribbon so the ribbon is equal length on both sides.
  3. Use fabric glue or hot glue to affix the ribbon to the teal towel and allow to dry.

Waitress Hat

You can easily make a paper waitress hat to finish off your 50s costume. You'll need:

  • White card stock
  • White tissue paper
  • Craft glue or clear tape

To make the hat:

  1. Begin by cutting two 12-by-3 rectangles from the cardstock.
  2. Cut the tissue paper in a 17-by-4 rectangle and fold in 2 inches on each of the short sides.
  3. Fold the tissue in half so the short sides meet.
  4. Glue or tape the folded portion of the tissue to one side of the cardstock, then repeat with the other end of the tissue and second piece of cardstock.
  5. Apply glue to the approximately half an inch of the inside ends of the cardstock, or if using clear tape, tape from the outside so that each end is attached to form the hat.

DIY Poodle Skirt Costume

The poodle skirt was an iconic 50s look. While these are available at many costume retailers, you can also make a simple costume yourself. Popular colors for poodle skirt outfits were black, light pink, hot pink, blue, and powder blue. Choose a simple fitted top or blouse in the color of your choice to match, or pair the skirt with a flirty tank top and brightly colored satin jacket.

Skirt Supplies

poodle skirt costume
Poodle Skirt costume

To make a simple poodle skirt, you'll need:

  • Fabric in a color that coordinates with your top
  • A 10-by 12 inch sheet of contrasting felt for the poodle design
  • Ribbon for the poodle leash
  • Fabric glue
  • Elastic in a length to fit your waist
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread (to sew the elastic on the waist)

Skirt Instructions

You'll need to know the measurements for your waist circumference and the length where you'll want the skirt to fall. You will also need to know your radius of your waist circumference, which you can approximate by dividing your waist circumference by 6.28, or visit a radius calculator for an exact calculation.

At this point, add the radius to the desired skirt length. You can use standard width fabric if the total is less than 22 inches; if it is between 22 and 30 inches, you can use fabric that is 60 inch width. The felt should be twice as long as the waist radius plus the measurement for the skirt length.

  1. Fold the fabric into fourths (you'll be cutting out a fourth of the circle in the folded fabric).
  2. In the folded corner, measure the waist radius.
  3. Measure from the folded corner to get to the measurement for the waist radius plus skirt length.
  4. Cut out both curves, and you'll be left with a large circle of fabric with the waist cut out.
  5. Sew the elastic to the interior of the skirt using a needle and thread or sewing machine. Make sure to stretch the elastic as you sew so it fits the skirt correctly.
  6. Cut out a poodle shape on the contrasting felt, either freehand or using a template.
  7. Affix the poodle and desired length of ribbon for the collar using fabric glue.

To finish off your look, tie a sheer scarf around your neck in a coordinating color, and put on pair of high heels or canvas tennis shoes and ankle socks.

DIY Rockabilly Chic

The rockabilly fashion of the 1950s, tough and chic at the same time, was a popular style that emphasized a woman's curves. You can create a simple rockabilly costume with clothing items. If you don't have these items in your closet, you can often find them at vintage resale stores or vintage reproduction stores.

Costume Supplies

Rockabilly Retro Swing Dress
Rockabilly Dress

You'll need:

  • A short-sleeve fitted blouse with a v-neck or plunging neckline
  • A polka-dotted knee-length skirt
  • High-heeled shoes
  • Temporary vintage-style tattoos
  • Red lipstick
  • Bobby pins, a curling iron, and gel or mousse for a rockabilly pin up hairstyle

Popular rockabilly colors were bold and included red, black, and white, so use clothing and shoes in those colors.

Put the Look Together

  1. Apply the temporary tattoos and make sure they are completely dry before getting dressed.
  2. Wear the shirt tucked into the waist of the skirt to create an hourglass look.
  3. Apply red lipstick.
  4. Finish with a rockabilly hairstyle such as pin curls or victory rolls.

Fun and Fabulous

Costumes from the 1950s era offer a variety of fun and figure-flattering looks. There are plenty of great options in these costumes for costumes for plus sized ladies, no matter what type of costume event you're attending.

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Plus Size 1950s Costumes