Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne in February 1952 upon the death of her father King George VI. She wasn't actually officially crowned until June the following year, so this summer's Jubilee celebrations combine the year of her accession with the date of her coronation. So if you're looking to put together your jubilee outfit, here's some inspiration from 1952-53 (with a bonus pic of the Queen from '54).
The early 50s look - especially in Britain - is not, as most people suppose, one of circle skirts and layers of froufrou tulle petticoats (Vivien of Holloway is not an early 50s style). Though Dior's New Look had by then caught on, ongoing fabric rationing meant that vast skirts were impractical for many; skirts on early 50s day dresses mainly took on a full A-line or straight, slender shape, hanging somewhere around mid-calf.
The classic shirtwaist was big news - single breasted, double breasted, small buttons, big buttons or zip-front - and available in just about any fabric you can think of. Oversize collars were quite the thing.
Period-correct sleeve styles include cap, sleeveless, short sleeve and halterneck (though less common in daywear; the halterneck is usually reserved for beachwear).
Sheer fabrics were popular, from the cotton voiles below to diaphonous printed nylons.
Novelty detailing was a la mode, like the two-tone polka dot dress below. Accessories are also key: It was also common for a dress to come with a matching jacket or bolero. Hats tend to be close-fitting to the head, either brimless Juliet caps or wide-brimmed sunhats. And naturally, don't forget your dainty day gloves.
Sheer yokes were popular at the time (often with a prim Peter Pan collar), but this crochet net style is interesting. Also love the dress with matching mini cape.
There was a lot of variety in novelty fabrics in the early 50s. Textured cottons and whimsical prints were popular, and early synthetics (polyester was just starting to become available, but wouldn't have been common in 1952) were gaining ground, popular with a postwar generation eager to embrace the new, the modern, the scientific.
Lastly, here's dear old Queenie herself, photographed in Australia in 1954 wearing this delightfully chic pastel (or white - can't tell in b/w!) ensemble - a simple short sleeved, square necked pencil dress with lace overlay and skinny belt. Loving the long gloves and neatly furled parasol.