The 1960s will always remain a revolutionary decade in the history of fashion. The average woman before the 60s lived a very conservative and secluded life. Buttoned-up shirts and skirts below the knee with common resources available. The swinging 60s came with the storm and changed the whole idea of a woman’s dress. A decade full of legends is the time that created the difference in the world.
If you are a fashion enthusiast, you know what kind of fashion existed in the 60s. This article tells and informs you about all the possible information on the trends of the 1960s. We have done deep research to provide you with the correct and accurate description by giving you a little atmosphere of the 1960s. So, read this article and transport back in time and relish the moments.
What Did Women Wear In The 60s?
The fact that the 60s happened 60 years ago is surely going to make you go insane. And to be honest, Nancy Sinatra’s “How Does That Grab You, Darlin’?” “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” sums up everything that the fashion 60s stand for today. Ranging from different lengths of skirts and pants to tights to boots to psychedelic and groovy patterns, everything about the 60s screamed something unique and modish.
60s Fashion Trends
While denim jeans were invented a long time ago, they were specially designed for miners. So it can and arguably said that it was the 1960s which made denim jeans and acceptable where among women. And it was also the year when denim jeans were experimented with. Ranging from tapered to flared too tight, the genes that we wear today formed a bases in the 60s.
The 60s were an era of invention, innovation, and experimenting. It was also an era of bold colors and patterns. And mixing innovation and bold colors gave way to the colored tights. With the advent of mini skirts in the market, colored or patterned tights became the go-to matching pair. Tights became the perfect item were to add a little color and shimmer to the dress. It was the ultimate casual-looking outfit design that was welcomed with open arms by women of all ages.
French Fashion Designer, Andre Courreges, introduced her moon girl look and taught women to embrace flat-heeled boots. After that, the go-go boots were soon added to every fashion collection available and became a defining moment in the swinging sixties. When it’s a unique style and its ability to look good with miniskirts, the go-go boots were a part of every teenage girl of the sixties.
Chunky and Colorful Jewelry
Jewelry with one of the less explored areas in terms of women’s fashion before the arrival of the 1960s. Some of the most popular designs were of the Mod or pop art colors, including yellow and green, black and white, and pink and red. Long dangling earrings with geometrical shapes and patterns paved their way into the market. While the jewelry designs were from the 1950s, this decade saw a rise in the amount of expressive jewelry, be it earrings, necklaces, or bangles.
The year which was all about liberalism and welcoming the free-spirited young generation, saw the return of the ever-popular Mary Janes. Well, the design may be for a child, women of all ages sported Mary Janes because of its casual yet sophisticated look. From Queen Elizabeth II to Alice of Alice in Wonderland, everybody has worn this pair of ultra-popular and evergreen dancing shoes. Its versatility made it famous back then and contributed to its marketability to this date.
The 1960s was a decade when animal prints flooded into the mainstream markets. With the likes of celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy, Jean Shrimpton, and Britt Ekland, animal prints, especially the leopard print, gained acclaim and recognition. This style continues to inspire young and aspiring designers across the world. However, owing to the popularity of this fad, this period also saw a substantial rise in the killings of jaguars and leopards for the fur trade. Hence, faux fur came into the scene.
Feathers have a long history serving as a fashion style tracing back to the 1500s. But it was the sixties that gave it the current look that we see at runways today. Ever since Yves Saint Laurent unleashed his view on femininity, feathers came to be associated with womanhood. The eccentric yet vibrant style of feathers, whether it be in coats or fedoras, or dresses, gave a new sense of trend that would go on to rule the industry for a long period.
Capri pants were a fashion mania in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Fashion legends like Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and Brigitte Bardot famously wore capri pants at a time when trousers had just become normal by society. Though the credit of making these longer than shorts and shorter than pants apply to the average American woman goes to Mary Tyler Moore, who adorned them in almost every episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show and made it Tinto a staple causal wear of every day.
The 60s are perhaps most well known for this. Clothing items that changed the 20th century were the invention of miniskirts by the fashion icon Mary Quant herself. While originally they were thought to be too provocative that sparked some controversies as well, miniskirts became a mania as the years passed by. And this is one such trend that has stood the test of time and has got revived with different versions over the past few decades.
Short and Long Empire Waist dresses
Empire waist dresses, both long and short, can be traced back to the 1920s when wives of businessmen and industrialists were in the confines of the mansion. With progress and struggles, women achieved their freedom and have since showcased to the world that they are inferior to none. And fashion was one of the ways they showcased it. The Empire waist dresses available in a variety of lengths led to the rapid popularity all over the world of above me dresses in general and broke a lot of taboos and stereotypes.
These kind of dresses what a first of their kind. Giving a feeling of a sweater, jumper dresses showcased being playful and childlike side of women. They became an instant rage as a casual wear and could be seen worn by every American woman. Especially worn by young adults, the colours and patterns in which it was available made them very attractive and unique. They were often accompanied with tights, big collars, contrasting bows and laces.
Another Mary Quant invention, shift dresses, were considered as the ideal dresses for running errands and all the casual outings. As the years passed, dresses became shorter and shorter, symbolizing a woman’s confidence which showed her legs. And the shift dress is a perfect example of that. Worn by 50-year-olds and 15-year-olds alike, Shift dresses that lacked a waist and sleeves made them look like dolls. Shift dresses are undoubtedly one of the most defining moments of the 60s fashion trends.
A short voluminous and flared dress above me with an empire waist consisted of the classic baby doll dress look. Designed with cutaway armholes and halter necks, these baby doll dresses were available in block colors and prints. None of the baby doll dress looks was complete without a white tie and matching Marie jeans. Focusing on the youth and providing them with something fresh and Play Phool, baby doll dresses proved to be a big hit unexpectedly among the young women and middle-aged ladies apart from the teenagers.
1960s Fashion Timeline
1960- The year 1960 saw most of its fashion inspired from the 1950s. Women still wore conservative clothes while the length of skirts became a little shorter. In addition to that, the two- or three-piece suit, mix-and-match, was very popular.
1961- John F Kennedy became the President this year, making Jackie Kennedy the first lady. And with that, she became the most photographed and fashionable woman in 1961. The beehive coiffures adorned by Jacqueline Kennedy were imitated and copied by women of all ages.
1962- Breakfast at Tiffany’s released and made history in the world of films and fashion. Hubert De Givenchy designed Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress and created the most iconic look of all time. Yves Saint Laurent recognised the fashion designer in himself and established his brand.
1963- Leather, tweeds, fur, and animal prints, particularly, leopard dominated this year, making it a hot favorite among women. Cabs made a reappearance but were not very successful. Yves Saint Laurent Launched his fishermen’s jacket, which became a worldwide sensation. Boots came into the scene and replaced the high heels.
1964- This was the year of miniskirts and go-go boots. This style spread like fire and broke all sorts of taboos. Coco Chanel brought back the popularity of hair bows as a hair accessory. With miniskirts, colorful, patterned, and bold tights and stockings became extremely popular and in demand.
1965- The so-called youthquake happened this year. Many designers like Foale, Tiffin, and Quant traveled from Britain to the US to spread their groundbreaking designs. Andre Courreges designed and shook the world with his fresh concepts and designs.
1966- Twiggy, one of the most successful models of all time, stepped into the fashion world and became an instant hit. This was a year without waistlines and loose-fitted clothes. Mod style took over and continued for the rest of the 60s.
1967- By this time, miniskirts were well accepted by society, and women associated wearing short skirts and exposing their legs as a sign of freedom. In addition to this, chain belts turned out to become a massive hit.
1968- Bonnie and Clyde released and influenced fashion in every way. Making people nostalgic about the 1930s and 1940s, Fane Dunaway’s iconic style got imitated from head to toe. Berets, midi skirts, capris pants were adorned by common people, opposing the fashion designers’ wishes.
1969– With their way to the 70s, the long, lean, and linear look was the most wanted trend in 1969. Hippies and bohemians were taking over by starting influencing the mainstream fashion trends. Coats and jackets were a favorite accessory worn by gentlewomen.
1960s Fashion Icons
Words fall short to describe this superstar. An iconic fashion legend, Audrey Hepburn is the definition of elegance and sophistication. From the little black dress to the fringe haircut, Audrey Hepburn has created a high niche which seems to be extremely difficult if not impossible to reach. All her clothes, be it on screen or off screen have inspired and motivated young girls and designers and have changed the fashion history of the 20th century, least to say.
Those big eyes full of makeup, fake eyelashes, wafer thin figure and yes, that pixie crop all given by the one and only Twiggy. What is more than just a new model. She was a trendsetter, a daring fashionista who wasn’t afraid of the society and its so called norms. The success of ripped sweaters, shift dresses Boots and loafers was all because of Twiggy. It is remarkable that she was so ahead a time without even realising it. It is this quality which makes her the biggest icon of the 60s.
It cannot be argued with the fact that Mary Quant changed the look of the 60s for women all over the world. Her designs created what was dubbed as a “youthquake”. One of the most revolutionary and perhaps one of the most controversial items in womenswear, miniskirts were envisioned and created by this genius. Mary’s hemlines were the talk of the town 60s. And not only her designs, she herself was a woman who carried all her designs with poise and grace.
The model who gave name to ever-popular Hermes bag, Jane Birkin, can be called a true fashionista in every way. We still admire her ability to carry every outfit outstandingly. Her carefree looks matched her French mixed with British styles and created such iconic looks which are relished and hailed by designers and common people alike. While the trends she might have worn are outdated, her it-girl style is definitely what today’s young generation is looking for.
If you see anybody donning the look of smoky eyes and messy hair, you can see them channelizing Brigette Bardot. The thing about Bridget Bardot was that she was able to pull off an unconventional and uncanny look with the least amount of effort, which made her one of the definite fashion icons of the 60s. And while the world was still accepting miniskirt as a fashion, she donned a bikini and created a sensation which lasts till now.
The single girl look was quite famous in the 60s, and Jean Shrimpton was the cover face of it. With her or wide-eyed gaze and those long luscious hair, Jain Shrimpton was one of the most successful models of her time. She even served as a muse to Mary Quant. And while it may be Mary Quant who made mini skirts, it was Jean Shrimpton who brought the look to the common masses. Known for her minimalistic yet trendy look, her looks are still known as an inspiration for young and upcoming designers.
We cannot even begin to express the style impact that Jacqueline Kennedy had on the timeline of the 60s. The former First Lady of America, Jackie Kennedy, was one of those few people who just left you in awe. The Pillbox hats and formal monochrome suits became synonymous with her. And despite the tragedy that she had to face, she maintained her strong image and became a true inspiration for young women.
Big groovy bold patterns, Peter Pan collars, and short pixie cut dominated most of Mia Farrow’s looks. And she is most fondly remembered for it. Having done films like Rosemary’s Baby, The Great Gatsby, and Hannah and Her Sisters, there is no denying the fact that Mia Farrow was more than just a celebrity. The way she carried the latest trends of the 60s and gave them her unique style made her an icon that young girls could look up to.
1960s Fashion Moments
The Supremes was a perfect combination of fashion and music. Donning those ever-popular and stylish beehives along with sequinned gowns is one of the most iconic national movements in the history of the 60s. Their impeccable choice of dresses ranging from matching skirt suits to gowns made them world-famous in a span of a few years.
Anita Pallenberg was a German-Italian actress who was and is still known for the long-lasting effect that she had on the Rolling Stones. Whether it is the rocking look of the thigh-high boots or the fringes covering all of that forehead, Anita Pallenberg was not only an inspiration to the Rolling Stones but the whole of the world.
Yoko Ono can be called the Pinterest aesthetic girl in today’s language. Never wear a single color except for white, Yoko Ono experimented and set trends in that basic color and managed to pull each of her looks with grace and class. She made white the symbol of innocence and engraved this moment in our minds.
Fane Dunaway created one of the most recognized looks with her character Bonnie from Bonnie and Clyde. Fane’s most well-remembered role is surely an iconic fashion moment with truly defined chic in all dimensions. We all hope to be able to stylize that beret once in our lifetime.
The famous muse to Yves Saint Laurent, French model Catherine Deneuve created history with her smashing portrayal of a dual life in Belle de Jour. From her acting skills, it was her dressing sense and modish appearance which was widely acclaimed. And every moment of that movie was an iconic moment of fashion and vogue of the 60s.
What’s popular from 1960s in 2021
It would be correct to say that miniskirts never left the fashion world after the 1960s, and there is no doubt that they are becoming a hot favorite among women in 2021. Available in bold colors, pastel shades, psychedelic patterns, miniskirts continue to shape the fashion industry. Be it body con or A-lined, sequinned, or shimmery miniskirts have worked for more than fifty years and have seemed to have dramatically altered the course of fashion history.
Knee-high boots and thigh-high boots
Knee and thigh-high boots were a rage in the 60s. With mini skirts and short dresses out in the market, boots worthy of the ultimate combination with them. Boots were mainly for utility purposes before the 60s, and after them, the perspective of boots changed. In 2021 people are appreciating and acknowledging this fashionable trend, and reviving it was a different approach. Today supermodels like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid are spotted walking with these boots.
Peter Pan Collars
Peter Pan collars were a craze back in the day. When Pattie Boyd wore them in the Beatles movie, it generated a brand-new style called the schoolgirl look, which went on to be copied by millions of young girls. Be it shift dresses or the Empire waist dresses or the jumpers, Peter pan collars were everywhere. And we guess this popularity is the reason No they’re making a comeback in 2021. We can already see several big celebrities wearing it and creating buzz.
The shaggy fur clothes are a gift of the 1960s. An item of every day where shaggy coats were the only option for the winters. A perfect item for outwear which can you give a casual or formal look according to your style. And what inspired this fashion was the hippie movement. But slowly, they got to the general public. These coats are widely acknowledged to be very chic and elegant, which is why they are making a comeback in 2021. And they are bound to become a big hit.
With the 21st century, there has been an exponential rise in a fashion trend that existed 60 years ago. Psychedelic swirls were the starting of the hippie and bohemian movement. Psychedelic swirls with smileys give the classic and most defining moments of the 60s. And this fashion seems to be returning at a rapid speed. Psychedelic swirls mixed with Y2K fashion are all that designers can think about. And why shouldn’t it? Bold colors and vibrant patterns make it funky and very attractive.