1957 - An Eclectic Year for Fun & Funny, Fads & Fashions, Food & Fizz
Americans have always liked to laugh at themselves and their foibles. In 1957, comics ranged from the topical humor of Bob Hope, the slapstick antics of Lucille Ball, the sharp-wit of Groucho Marx, to the raw, push-the- envelope style of Lenny Bruce. For fun, families would go to Disneyland or try to master a Hula Hoop. Blue jeans moved from farmhand work pants to a fashion statement and every young girl had a Poodle skirt. Chrome was as popular in kitchen design as it was trimming cars. The casserole was a mainstay on the dinner table, coke was a soft drink and the ‘Tunnel of Love’ was an amusement park ride—it was all a part of the American-style, middle class, way-of-life in 1957.
Fashion trends were changing in clothes, shoes, and hairstyles. Men wore gray flannel suits and women wore dresses with pinched-in waists. French designers, Dior and Chanel, influenced America fashions. Hairstyles for women graduated into French braids and complex hairstyles that were often compared to beehives, achieved by using curlers and lots of backcombing.
All teenagers owned blue jeans and girls wore them tight. Saddle shoes and white bucks were popular. Girl’s poodle skirts were made of felt and decorated with sequins and poodle appliqués. Girls wore their hair in ponytails and guys’ flattop haircuts needed ‘Southern Rose Butch’ mousse.
After a decade of rationing, quick, processed, ready-to-eat canned and frozen foods came to the American table. Mom made bacon and eggs for breakfast, bologna sandwiches for lunch, and pork chops, mashed potatoes, and a green-bean casserole for dinner. Going out for American ‘EATS,’ Italian pizza, Chinese chow mein, or a TexMex taco were enticing options in 1957 and McDonalds elevated the hamburger-and-fries into the All-American meal.