Friday, 2 August 2013

Retro Swimwear

In the middle of summer, when the sun is shining and the temperatures are rising, the best way to cool of is to go swimming. And what's even more wonderful than taking that refreshing dive? Looking fabulous while doing it! 
Today we have so many options when it comes to swimwear and almost anything is acceptable, but this wasn't always the case. Let's take a quick tour through 'bathing suit history':

In the 19th century swimming became considered a recreation (mostly reserved for men) and people started flocking towards the beach on warm days. "Bathing suits" for women consisted of stockings, bloomers, dresses and bonnets and they were meant to conceal as much as possible. Comfort was not in the least a priority.


Gradually, as time went by, swimwear became more revealing and comfortable, but it took a long time yet before any upper leg or midriff was allowed to be shown.

Turn of the century
By the 1920's most women wore one-piece swimsuits that looked like little dresses and this particular style stayed in fashion until, in 1946, a revolution took place: the invention of the bikini!! It brought on outrageous, scandalous excitement, but was embraced by the masses in no time at all (be it in a more conservative model).


The first bikini ever!

In the 1950's the bikini (not showing the bellybutton) and the one-piece bathing suit were equally popular and available in many different colors and designs.


Apart from the fact that we all know what happened after that (bikinis became smaller and smaller, or disappeared all together), we at Bennies Fifties also have the habit of getting stuck in the 50's... Just because we want to! :)

Find our assortment of vintage inspired beach- and swimwear at

Marilyn Bathing suit, Black

Old Hollywood Bathing suit, Black
Bettie Bathing suit, Black/White Dots

Nautical Bathing suit, Navy

Tiki Playsuit, Banana Yellow

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Chapter Ten: 50 Shades of Blue

While going through the winter 2012/2013 collections of the great designers, scouting for new trends, one particular thing stood out: the color blue.

The color blue is generally seen as trustworthy, dependable and committed, but of course this depends a little bit on the type of blue we're perceiving. More vibrant blues become dynamic and dramatic and deeper blues are associated with wisdom and spiritual realization. Of course in a more literal sense most people would probably think of the sky and the sea when they think of the color blue, things that are always all around us.
It is said that several designers where indeed inspired by the sea when they incorporated blue tones (especially cobalt) in their collections. The memory of how the deep (Mediterranean) sea cooled us in the hot days of summer is a happy one and therefore very comforting when found in our wardrobe.

In retro fashion there is a lot less dependability upon the latest fashion trends in terms of cuts and shapes. We still prefer the classic lines of the forties, fifties and sixties and will stick to them. We do like however, to combine the beauty of the past with the beauty of today; so we give you retro blue :).

Navy blue, the darkest shade of pure blue:

Valentino dress from winter 2012/2013 collection, Newport Dress by Stop Staring! and Natalie Dress by pinup Couture.

Cobalt blue, dynamic and vibrant:
Stella McCartney dress from winter 2012/2013 collection, Niagara Taffeta Dress by Pinup Couture and Heidi Dress by Pinup Couture.

Baby blue, elegant and uplifting:
Versace dress from winter 2012/2013 collection, Harrison Top by Pinup Couture and Dolores Top by Collectif Clothing.

Light (Sky) Blue, confident and sweet:
Miu Miu suit from winter 2012/2013 collection and Covergirl Dress by Stop Staring!

These examples (there's much more) already show us that blue is versatile and can fit so many different moods. So a touch of any kind of blue in our (retro) outfit might actually keep us from feeling blue this winter!
Find all the retro clothing you want at:

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Chapter Nine: The Pencil Skirt

Believe it or not, the story of the 'invention' of the pencil skirt is actually quite a good one. In 1908 the brothers Wright chose the wife of a business associate as the first female passenger on one of their planes, and because the possible flapping of her long skirts near the propellors and engines of the plane posed a dangerous threat they decided to tie her skirts around her legs. The pictures of this legendary flight went all over the world and almost everyone saw them. Parisian fashiondesigners were strangely inspired by this 'tied skirt' and they created a skirt shape that would soon become known as the Hobble skirt. It was a fenomenale hit and for a while the extremely tight and unpractical silhouette dominated the western fashions. Because the women who wore these skirts often had to tie their knees together they had great difficulty walking, and therefore the new fashion was jokingly called the 'speed limit skirt'. We know it now as the official predecessor of our beloved pencil skirt.

The first real pencil skirt was introduced in 1940 by French designer Christian Dior, who also created the complete opposite look of the wide circle skirt with petticoat. Women all over the world were excited about the tight and sensual shape of this new look; they had become tired of the shapless forms of the 1920's and the economic and social dullness of the 1930's, and the pencil skirt embodied their need for change and extravagance. This need became even stronger after the second world war and by the end of the 40's the pencil skirt was an enormous fashion hit.

At first it was mostly worn as an office outfit with a matching jacket, but eventually it was combined with fitted blouses and soft sweaters, accentuating the female forms with nipped-in waist and curvy hips. The trend was taken over by some of the hottest celebrities of the era such as Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, which is probably the reason why we still associate the sensual pencil skirt with the 1950's.

  It stayed in fashion all through the 60's, altough the lenght of the skirt became considerably shorter and became known as 'The mini'. The pencil shape is, like many other styles that were born in the 50's, a timeless piece of feminine fashion beacuse it is a classic silhouette that flatters women in many different shapes and sizes. 
It did not surprise us that this year (2012), when we watched the spring and summer collections of the big designers glide over the catwalks, we saw the return of an old friend. Take a guess..... Yes indeed

The Pencil Skirt! 

Of course we have a wide range of pencil skirts in our collection, here are some examples: 
Angle Skirt:

Cherry Pencil Skirt:

Pencil Skirt, Black:
 These, and many more, are available at our store Bennies Fifties in Scheveningen (Holland) or online at Come and have a look, we are available at any time with the largest collection of retro clothing for women and men.


Wednesday, 10 November 2010


Ann Lemmens in Jessica dress by Pinup Couture
This is about the Dutch version of SYTYCD. And it's a little more personal than the other pieces written down here: Because I loooove that show!!
The dancing is great, the dancers are great (finally a show where the contestants are not having a bitching contest between them), the judges (very hot..) and the presenters, all great. 
Having said that, we can now move on to what's really important: Clothes :).
The style of female presenter Ann Lemmens is very retro, vintage style, rockabilly, fifties or whatever you want to call it (again I love it!), and fits perfectly into the clothing that we sell at Bennies Fifties/Fiftiesstore.
In fact, she is sponsored by Pinup Couture which is a brand that is highly represented in our (online)store. 
So, watch this great TV show every sunday, check out Ann's outfit, be inspired and see what suits you at And, as ever most importantly, have fun!

Ann Lemmens in Deadly Dress by Deadly Dames

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Chapter Seven: HALLOWEEN

It's almost here! The greatest and most frightening holiday of the year: 31 October, Halloweéééén! (That probably doesn't translate in text but you can think up the sound effects for yourself).
This holiday is mostly very popular in England and America but it's starting to spread across the rest of the world, and there's no reason why it shouldn't, it's crazy fun and scary.

Now I could tell you all about the history of Halloween but that's not really what we're looking for here. We know why we like it. We get to dress up! It's one of the few good excuses we get to behave like children, put on some crazy outfit and pretend to be someone else for a whole night. If that's not fun I don't know what is.

Ever thought of being a Halloween style pinup girl?
You got the idea now. It's double fun really, being a retro diva and a monster at the same time. Or you can dress up as one of your favorite Hollywood stars of the forties and fifties, think Marilyn Monroe or Lana Turner in real vintage (gentlemen: Elvis Presley always does the trick...). 
Anyway, we got plenty of clothing to help you out with this theme. Take a look at some of our fabulous dresses and get in the Halloween mood. Available at Bennies Fifties in Scheveningen or online at Have fuuuùùùùn :).
Spiderweb Purple
Spiderweb Red

White satin/ Green Stars

Black Satin, Red/Purple

Black satin, Gold Stars

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Chapter Six: GREEN LIGHT

It is now officially proven: retro- fifties- pinup clothing (or however you want to label it) can be worn by everyone for any occasion. Check this link out to see the new video clip by Roll Deep called "Green Light".
The gingham halter-neck top that we sell is featured in this clip! 

The music of Roll Deep has nothing to do with the fifties, the forties, retro, vintage or whatever, it's completely of this age. But that doesn't stop the women in this video to look absolutely gorgeous in 50's inspired clothing!

So, to keep things short, here's the conclusion: EVERYBODY, no matter where you're from, what you do or what you're particular interests are; retro clothing looks good on you!
Don't hesitate, come see our huge collection of fantastically fabulous clothing for men and women at Bennies Fifties in Scheveningen or online at

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