Friday, 24 September 2010

Chapter Five: GINGHAM

Gingham is a printed or dyed fabric that was originally intended to be woven into stripes. It was imported into Europe in the 17th century and by the middle of the 18th century it had changed from a striped to a checked motive.  
This checked version of the fabric quickly turned out to be a huge success. With grace and speed it spread across Europe and America, until gingham was no longer a novelty, but a well-known phenomenon.

Today it is used in many different contexts. The print can be found on curtains, tablecloths, handkerchiefs and bedspreads. And of course it has found it's way into daily fashion, most famously on the shirt of man. Gingham could be related to the earlier mentioned polka dot, in the way that it never really goes out of style.

Check out these examples where gingham is incorporated into high profile brands and worn (again) by celebrities.

Gingham nikes
Gingham on the catwalk (2010)

Lauren Conrad in gingham dress (2010)
Keira Knightly in gingham dress and coat (2010)

In retro and vintage inspired clothing gingham is also a frequently used pattern. It mostly reminds us of the 40's, but it's equally represented in 50's fashion. It simply seems to breath the true retro style. 
One other fantastic detail about gingham: it comes in all colors and sizes.

Here they come.... a few examples the gorgeous tops, shorts and dresses available at Bennies Fifties or online at (where there's much more). All in the here-above mentioned print and all super cute and stylish! Yes you can look absolutely fabulous in gingham...

Dress medium gingham black and white

Halter-neck top in purple and white gingham 

Holly gingham top by Pinup Couture

Gingham Pinup shorts

Friday, 17 September 2010


The petticoat has been around for centuries, it can be traced back as early as 1585, when it was made of linen and horsehair! Throughout the ages women have used this rather strange undergarment to form the skirts of their dresses in the desired shape. Although this particular shape changed a little as time passed, "extra full" stayed in fashion for a very long time, be it with little intervals. The wider the skirt, the thinner the waist and the fuller the bust, the more perfect your figure.
Frederick Worth, 1865-67

At some point the required width of a skirt was only accomplished with the use of no less than six petticoats overlapping each other. The weight of the skirts combined with a too tight corset became almost unbearable, especially when worn in the heat of summer. It became clear that a more airy solution needed to be found, which led to the invention of the crinoline. 

This contraption kept being used up until the beginning of the 19th century when finally full was no longer cool, and the tight skirt took over. Before the fifties the petticoat had been reintroduced into fashion several times but mostly because of the financial and social unstableness of those few decades it had not been a great success. Then, in the year 1946, Christian Dior created a legendary line in which he used the petticoat, immediately launching it back into popularity.

All through the fifties it stayed in fashion and nowadays we almost always associate the petticoat with that fabulous decade.

It's been a long time, and maybe that means that the petticoat will become fashionable again soon. It is on occasion still worn, even by celebrities. 
Megan Fox

But maybe we have become to practical and the modern day crinoline will never fully return to the masses. Of course that's no reason to not wear one! And underneath the full skirt of one of our retro and vintage style dresses it does look incredibly gorgeous.
Jazmin Flare, Purple Rose  Bettie Page Clothing

At Bennies Fifties, or online at, we sell petticoats in 8 different adjustable lengths, in 3 different widths (2 different fabrics) and an enormous variety of colours, for children and adults. We've got the right one for any dress. Here are some examples, please go to our online store to see the rest.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Chapter Three: MAD MEN

Maybe you're familiar with the award winning TV series Mad men. It's about the employees of an advertising company at the start of the 60's, and it involves a lot of drinking, smoking and cheating. Sounds good already.
Yet this series has particularly been praised for the incredible accuracy and detail in the sets and costumes. The style of mad men is incredibly inspiring. While watching the gorgeous actors walk around in the most flattering, feminine vintage creations you might feel like dressing up yourself. In all honesty, there's rarely been an area in time when women's fashion was more fabulous.
The great news is, it's not that hard to look that look in one of our retro or vintage dresses.
Here's a design by Pinup Couture that is almost identical to a dress worn in Mad men:

Female cast of Madmen- Ava dress green by Pinup couture

The Ava Green dress (also available in teal), is now available at Bennies Fifties or online at And if you want a little bit more choice, we have more than 200 different dresses alone!  Plenty of choice, plenty of fun.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Chapter Two: NUDE & BLACK

So no talk of origins or how it was invented. Just simply the trend: Nude and black. It's been around in 2009, but continues to be seen this year. Examples:

Dannii Minogue

Hilary Duff

Jennifer Aniston
Katy Perry

So check out this cute trend with a vintage twist by the well-known American retro brand Stop Staring! Available in Europe (Holland) at Bennies Fifties or online at
They make the most wonderful 40's and 50's style clothing. Sophisticated or playful, it's always super gorgeous.

Harlow Dress

Madison Dress

Or check out this cute bag that just came in. It's retro chic in a shade called blush, which is really a nude spin off with a hint of pink. Combine it with a black top, skirt or dress and you're ready to go. Enjoy!

Regina Bag, Blush

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Chapter One: POLKA DOTS

Nobody knows who invented the polka dot or where it came from exactly. The name  was used in a magazine as early as 1873, and was strangely related to the dance with the same name. The dance and the spot have nothing to do with each other but were apparently in fashion at the same time, hence: the polka dot.

It's a very simple thing really. Just a spot, nothing more. Yet since it was born it has been in fashion practically non stop, and it's everywhere! Furniture, kitchen utensils, clothes, shoes, bags, wallpaper, tablecloths and rubber duckies. Whatever you can think of, it exists somewhere covered in polka dots. 
It might have something to do with the strange versatility of the dot. It comes in all sizes, colours, frequencies and even (very experimental) in different shapes.

The dot was definitely very popular in the fifties, and is very often associated with that particular area. 
Marilyn Monroe

But it's not just a fifties thing; the sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties have known polka dots to be in fashion at some point, and even in this decade they are still pretty 'hip'. In 2010 we have seen it on the runway and worn by celebrities of all sorts. 

Christina Applegate
Kate Moss
Katy Perry (Glamour)
Katy Perry

As seen in vogue

So if you're feeling ready for a polka dot right now. Here are some suggestions, all available at Bennies Fifties or online at You can go completely retro and vintage style or just combine a cute piece of polka dot clothing with something from your own closet. It'll be a guaranteed succes.

Betty Page, Bettie Dress

Deadly Dames

 Have fun!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Everything Fifties

The Fifties are back! At least fashion wise.
Altough they've probably never really left- there's something effortlessly chic and incredibly feminine about the shape of the fifties - now is the moment to go back in time and feel like a diva in figure hugging and shaping dresses, skirts and tops. 
The fifties are everywhere, vintage and retro, on tv, in music and back on the catwalk. Celebrities are all to happy to wrap themselves in the flattering shapes of times gone by. 
This blog will show you all the possibilities of retro clothing, and if you feel inspired to spend some money and dress yourself up just go to and find the perfect outfit. 

De jaren 50 zijn terug! In ieder geval in de mode.
Natuurlijk zijn ze nooit helemaal weg geweest, maar dit is het moment om terug te gaan in de tijd en je te voelen als een diva in de vrouwelijke en charmante silhouetten van de fifties. Overal om ons heen zien we de jaren 50 terugkomen, op tv, in de muziek en zelfs op de catwalk is het weer helemaal terug. Menig beroemdheid  showt zijn retro of vintage creatie op de rode loper.
Dit blog gaat over alle mogelijkheden die retro kleding te bieden heeft, en mocht het je inspireren om zelf ook een super outfit aan te schaffen kijk dan op, waar je de grootste collectie retro en vintage stijl kleding van Nederland kan vinden.