The Bettie Page/Rockabilly Look: How to Dress the Part

The Bettie Page/Rockabilly Look: How to Dress the Part

There’s an era in fashion that’s so distinct that a singular name comes up each time a modern woman dons the retro dresses inspired by this iconic woman – Bettie Page.

Page single handedly defined the look of an era, specifically the early 50’s with her uninhibited pin-up photographs. The ultimate queen of pin-up, Bettie Page’s style has transcended through the times with legions of style makers all over the world copying her signature naughty-and-nice ensembles.

The rockabilly style of dressing is a big homage to Bettie Page, with women donning her signature jet black hair and her short “U” shaped bangs. Pencil skirts that hug the body and sweetheart neckline tops are a favorite of rockabilly followers, distinctly representing Bettie Page’s own version of what a 1950’s woman should look like.

To get the rockabilly look down to a tee, these are the wardrobe essentials that you must keep in your closet to look like the daring yet sweet icon herself.

What the Rockabilly Look Really Is

Rockabilly is actually one of the earliest styles of rock and roll that emerged in the 50’s. The term is a combination of “rock” from rock and roll, and “hillbilly,” which was used to refer to country music in the 40’s.

This interesting mix of music genres gave birth to a very distinct look that featured country wardrobe essentials such as gingham, denim, and work shirts, with stilettos, kitten heels, and corset type sweetheart tops. Imagine a sweet country girl going to the city and incorporating urban elements into her wardrobe but still keeping her country spirit shine through – that pretty defines the rockabilly look.

Wardrobe Essentials for the Rockabilly Chic

When you want to emulate this fashion style, you have to start with the basics. Wardrobe essentials that build the foundation of your outfits are key to making the rockabilly look contemporary.

Start with the skirts and pants – stock up on pencil skirts that go a little over the knee, full swing skirts, and cigarette pants with hemlines slightly above the ankle.

For dresses, you an opt for two style choices – a tight, skin hugging number with a hemline that hits the knee or over the knee, or a highwaisted dress with a waist cinching bodice and a full skirt.

Tight sweaters are also a must – those that are about 2 sizes smaller than your size, as well as shirts with short sleeves that you can roll up. Prints include gingham, plaid, polka dots, cherry prints, or bright solid colors such as red, royal blue, and bright yellow.

If you have no idea where to get your wares, a good vintage shop will give you what you need, or you can go online and visit sites like for all of your Bettie Page and rockabilly essentials.

The rockabilly style is more than just dressing the part – it’s a lifestyle that includes loving all things retro, as well as old mannerisms that defined the era. Bettie Page was a sensation because she ushered in a new image of how a woman should embrace both modesty and sensuality all at the same time. Bringing with her a sense of confidence never seen before, the rockabilly look will definitely give you that very same sense of character.

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