“Teens,” 1950s

Japanese American National Museum (Gift of Mori Shimada, 92.10.2AY)

After World War II, teen girls demanded clothing made just for them. Finding nothing in department stores, they got creative and made their own clothes or remixed from boys' closets. When marketers and retailers gave in to these demands, it marked the beginning of teen fashion.

Most girls wore skirts, the dominant and gender-defining item in every closet.

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Lois Greene made this for herself.

Lois Greene's Carousel Skirt, 1954

Gift of Lois Greene Stone and G.E. Stone, M.D.

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See Girlhood in 3D! Explore a model of the carousel skirt.

 

Lois Greene and her clothing designs.

Lois Greene, 1954

Lois Greene, 1954

New Fashions to Sew from Old, 1940s–1950s

New Fashions to Sew from Old, 1940s–1950s

 

As teen girls became a market force, dozens of new magazines clamored for their attention.

Color magazine, 1953

Color magazine, 1953

Calling All Girls

Calling All Girls

Jet

Jet