When rock 'n' roll music exploded onto the social scene of the 1950s, dancers wanted nonrestrictive clothing that would allow them to move more freely to the beat. This unleashed one of the most memorable fashion fads of the era: the poodle skirt.
The poodle skirt was a colorful, full, swingy skirt that typically hit just below the knee. It was commonly made of felt fabric and appliquéd with an image of a poodle, hence the name. Other iconic images of the era, like 45 rpm records, dice, hot rods and musical notes, also appeared on the skirts. They were easily constructed following a simple pattern, and many variations included a crinoline net petticoat that gave the skirt its signature swish [source: Cox].
Girls often paired poodle skirts with sweaters, neck scarves, cuffed white bobby socks and saddle oxfords to create a casual, comfortable outfit and the iconic expression of '50s femininity and personal style. Even today, no self respecting Halloween party would be complete without at least one.