(PAWP.yuh.luks, -looks) n. Low-cost consumer goods that are also perceived as being stylish or fashionable; a style that is reminiscent of or based on 1950s architecture and design. Also: Populuxe. —adj.
"Populuxe" is a word created by the author and historian Thomas Hine for his 1986 book by the same name. It was this book that helped me to finally get a grasp on my interest and growing obsession with that period.
"Populuxe is a synthetic word, created in the spirit of the many coined words of the time. Madison Avenue kept inventing words like "autodynamic," which described a shape of car which made no sense aerodynamically. Gardol was an invisible shield that stopped bullets and hard-hit baseballs to dramatize the effectiveness of a toothpaste. It was more a metaphor than an ingredient. Slenderella was a way to lose weight, and maybe meet a prince besides. Like these synthetic words, Populuxe has readily identifiable roots, and it reaches toward an ineffable emotion. It derives, of course, from populism and popularity, with just a fleeting allusion to pop art, which took Populuxe imagery and attitudes as subject matter. And it has luxury, popular luxury, luxury for all. This may be a contradiction in terms, but it is an expression of the spirit of the time and the rationale for many of the products that were produced. And, finally, Populuxe contains a thoroughly unnecessary "e," to give it class. That final embellishment of a practical and straightforward invention is what makes the word Populuxe, well, Populuxe."
-Thomas Hine

* You may note, that as a result of my perceptions and experience, I have taken the liberty of extending "populuxe' into the early 1970's
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