In the early years of the 60’s, the fashion icon was Jackie Kennedy with her perfectly white pearls and tailored suits. In the middle of the decade, model Twiggy inspired women to release their body and mind. The fifties fashion was revolutionary in many aspects, for example, with the appearance of the miniskirt, in which “there is no such thing as too short”. These changes were gradual, they were not overnight.
Fashion icons 1960s
Jackie Kennedy’s style was clean, simple, with perfectly adapted accessories. She wore neckless dresses and jackets buttoned only with a few large buttons. She wore low-heeled shoes (although many women still preferred high heels). She was the last woman to wear hats, mainly the pillbox hat. Jackie O ‘was very careful in her appearance, and both women in the US like the rest of the world, they copied their style with enthusiasm.
After the murder of her husband, Jackie stopped being in the public eye. Women had to find a new fashion icon to inspire themselves. Brigitte Bardot was that woman. While Jackie was simple and modest, Brigitte wore cheaper and flashier clothes. Her cheap pink cotton wedding dress with white lace became a new trend.
The YouthQuake movement brought the clothing designer Mary Quant, who was another fashion influence in the 60s. Her dresses were short, very short, with colorful “mod” prints. Her fashion, her personality, set the tone for the rest of the 1960s as “fashion is fun.”
Wide skirt, fitted bodice and waist
The wide skirt and marked bodice, a dress of the 50s, continued in the decade of the 60s, a bit above the knee. The style did not last long, since the tube dress of the 50s was released and became the straight and loose dress, the most used in the 60s.
This type of dress was casual wear for the home, running errands or going to the beach. They were not for the office. They were too short, and they became shorter and shorter. Anything above the knee was a “mini skirt.”
The short dress became a sign of confidence for the woman. The hem was directly proportional to how women felt about their own sexual liberation. Short skirts were not meant to attract men to satisfy their sexual interest, but were a way of saying that women were free to choose with whom, when and where.
This dress was an invention Mary Quant, who captured the youth, and was quickly adopted by women of all ages. Big ties and necklaces, pastel colors and polka dots were details of the dress that made women look like dolls or little girls. The more innocent, the better.
Colors and patterns are inspired by pop art and modern art movements at first. Chess boards, stripes and polka dots or colorblock.
There was also a tendency of colors in earth tones, especially in the years of the hippie movement. Green moss, earthy browns, yellow mustard, burnt orange were very common colors.
Tops and shirts 60s
Tops, shirts, blouses and sweaters, took the casual clothes in the 50’s. The main change was that the shirts and sweaters now adapt to the body without emphasizing the bust or waist. The tops could also be worn outside of the trousers or skirts. The necklines also became higher, back to the modest appearance of the 1930s. Round or pointed Peter Pan necks were also well received.
Thick knitted fabrics and turtlenecks were used extensively.
Skirts and pants
With the legs fully exposed by short skirts, the shoes took a drastic turn, adapting to urban fashion with low or no heels.
Thanks to the new materials, PVC (vinyl), the shoes could be mass produced, cheap and in a lot of bright colors. All the designs of the previous decades, Mary Janes, with T-straps, Oxford, etc. were designed in a flat format.
Even the boots had low heels. Thanks to PVC and an interest in all futuristic-looking things, tall white or silver boots became a new must have. They looked great with short dresses and skirts.
Sandals and flip flops made their debut along the beach in the 1960s. Women wore them with everything casual. The Birkenstock sandals became icons of the hippies.
The sneakers replaced the moccasins of children of school age. They had to be white and perfectly clean. They were worn with socks or stockings with a shade or two darker than natural skin, which made it appear even whiter.
60s costume jewelery
The new youth became obsessed with plastic, vinyl and bright colors jewelery, inspired by pop art. The geometric shapes made their way into hanging rings. Large thick bracelets or piles of thin bracelets decorated the bare arms.
Fashion of the late 60s: Hippie
The late 1960s saw an anti-fashion movement, a political statement, which became so popular that it became one of the main fashion styles. They used for example, worn jeans, with decoration of patches, embroideries and paintings.
Anti-fashion meant that anyone could decide what “works” and “does not work” in fashion. Forest green combined with brown suede, yellow sun with blue denim were typical combinations of hippie fashion.
The colors were not the only thing to be exaggerated. The clothes were of extreme proportions. The hats were big and limp, the vests hung to the knee and the coats to the floor.
Ethnic details covered everything. There were no rules hippie fashion. Mixing and combining and developing their own rhythm was the hippie fashion mantra of 1960.