1960s Fashion Style: The Decade of Fashion Revolution
The 1960s marked a profound shift in fashion, epitomizing a revolution of vibrant self-expression and cultural change. This era witnessed the emergence of iconic trends that continue to influence fashion and society today.
The sixties played around with fashion like never before. It was an explosion of bold colors, crazy patterns, daring cuts and innovative material. Fashion in the 1960s became progressively more casual across all genders and ages were driven around the youth market and featured a wide number of diversified trends. 1960s fashion was bi-polar in just about every way. Womenswear followed three broad trends:
A continuation of the previous decade’s ladylike elegance (boxy skirt-suits accessorized with white gloves, oversized buttons, pearls, stiletto heels, and a matching hat -pillbox-etc.),
The youthful and more affordable styles (Youthquake) spotlighted music and fashion and appealed to young women who embraced the child-like styles (tight-fitting style, mini skirts, embellished with lace, ribbons, and other frills) instead of dressing like their parents (mini skirts and Sheath and A-line minidresses, both without defined waists) along with Space Age influence defined by boxy shapes, thigh length hemlines, synthetic material and bold accessories (white-and-silver color scheme, astronaut-style accessories like flat mid-calf-length boots, goggles and helmets, non-cloth material, such as polyester and PVC -short plastic raincoats- etc.) and
The late 1960s “hippie” style gave people free rein to 'live different (fringe, tie-dye, crochet, maxi length, bell bottoms, bold florals, peace signs etc.) Starting in 1967, youth culture began to change musically and shifted to a more laid-back hippie or Bohemian style. Silhouettes also largely dominated this era as they were used as tubular silhouettes, straight lines, waistless shifts, bell sleeves, trapeze dresses etc. Please check our Bohemian Fashion Style page to find more details about this era.
What defines 1960s fashion style is its boldness and forward-thinking attitude. It represents an era that broke away from traditional norms, embracing a spirit of freedom, youthfulness, and cultural rebellion.
Micro Mini Skirts :Mary Quant, A British designer, was one of the pioneers of the miniskirt in 1960. It was the decade's most iconic look, as young women enjoyed the chance to 'dare to bare'.
Culottes :Divided skirts and trim trouser skirts were introduced for travel, streetwear and evenings.
Go-go boots :These white boots made of patent leather or shiny vinyl with low heels and high up till right under the knees were an iconic ’60s footwear style.
Vinyl :The vinyl fabric currently manufactured consists of a polyester base coated with a glossy plastic layer that can be of various colours. This fabric became popular with the "Space Age" and lent a modern structural look to the designers' new vision of architectural shapes rather than fluid draped lines. Garments were cut to suggest simple geometric forms, boxy with hard edges, angular straight lines, or circular.
Coloured tights :They were also popular in white, black and purple, fishnet, herringbone or lace.
Sheath Dresses :1960s dresses became shorter and shorter. There were different types of sheath dresses:
Baby Doll Dresses : One with the big bows, large round collars, pastels colours and polka dots were all dress details that made women look like little girls’ dolls were called Baby Doll dresses.
Paper Dresses : In 1966, the Scott Paper Company introduced the world to Paper Dresses, a type of disposable fashion that became a short-lived viral sensation, until 1968. They were made of a disposable cellulose material called Dura-Weave which was somewhat fire and water-resistant. The paper dresses were designed in a simple, shift-dress style with an A-shaped mini skirt.
Micro Mini Dresses : A micro-mini dress with a flared skirt and long, wide trumpet sleeves, it was usually worn with patterned tights and was often made of crocheted lace, velvet, chiffon or sometimes cotton with a psychedelic print.
Pussy Bows :Named for its resemblance to the traditional bow that would be tied around the neck of a kitten that became a fixture in American fashion houses, having been featured by designers such as Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent
Bold Jewelry :These bold accessories were influenced by pop art and featured striking designs, geometric shapes and bright colours. Key pieces included large dangling earrings, stacks of big rings and chunky bangles.
Bandana Headscarves & Skinny Scarves:Bandana scarves are used to be worn for the head and knotted loosely around the neck in a tie-like fashion, the printed silk scarf is strategically layered over a turtleneck sweater with a long necklace for a multifaceted look.
Cut outs:The cut-outs from 1965 and 1966 are singular large cut-outs in the upper half of a dress.
Animal Prints:Animal prints were popular for women in the autumn and winter of 1969.