Cruise fashion in the 1950s

Cruise fashion in the 1950s

  • Appearance was very important to women during the 50s, 60s, and 70s.
  • Ladies always looked their best when they stepped outside their homes.

Newsreel clip of fashions 1950 onboard the SS Homeric. 

  • It didn’t matter whether they were going to the grocery store, the airport, to run errands or to pick up the kids from school.
Aboard the SS Monterey in the 1950s.

Aboard the SS Monterey in the 1950s.

This was especially true for women of the 50s and 60s, just take a look at January Jones’ character Betty Draper from Mad Men.

Cruise fashions – the Paul Parnes signature collection – in the 1950s

Betty’s make-up and clothes are always pristine no matter where she is going.

  • When traveling for vacation many women would go out and purchase an entire wardrobe just for this occasion.
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"!

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”!

The ship sailing from New York in the movie "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"... Looks like an Italian Lines ship...

The ship sailing from New York in the movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”… Looks like an Italian Lines ship...

  • Remember Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe aboard The French Line in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”?  They are seen arriving in the First Class dining salon of the French Line ship.  They are crossing the Atlantic from New York to France. 

The clothes that the models wore were all vacation or resort inspired and featured elaborate details and accessories. Designs from these decades were elegant and glamorous.

  • Fashion embraced a woman’s femininity and always featured bright colors, beautiful fabrics, and patterns. Lilly Pulitzer’s designs were very popular for women who were planning a summertime vacation. Her dresses were full of exotic colors and prints.

Today the fashion scene is revisiting some of the trends of the past by incorporating the wide leg pant from the 70s into runway shows and of course bright colorful prints.



About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…