1960s in fashion

1960s in fashion

The 1960s featured a number of diverse trends. It was a decade that broke with many fashion traditions that mirrored social movements during the period. Early in the decade, culottes were in style, and the bikini finally came into fashion in 1963 after being featured in the musical "Beach Party".
Mary Quant invented the mini-skirt, which became very popular throughout the 1960s. The hippie movement late in the decade also exerted a strong influence on braless ladies' clothing styles, including bell-bottom jeans, tie-dye, and batik fabrics, as well as paisley prints. The Beatles and Timothy Leary popularized the Nehru jacket, named for Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, which had a short-lived popularity in 1967.

Early 1960s

Fashions in the early years of the decade reflected the elegance of the First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. In addition to the pillbox hat which is discussed in detail below, women wore suits, usually in pastel colours, with short boxy jackets, and oversized buttons. Simple, geometric dresses, known as shifts, were also in style. For evening wear, full-skirted ballgowns were worn. These often had a low décolletage and had close-fitting waists. For casual wear, capri trousers were the fashion for women and girls. Stiletto- heeled shoes were popular.

The mid 1960s

After designer Mary Quant introduced the mini-skirt in 1964, fashions of the 1960s were changed forever. The mini was eventually to be worn by nearly every stylish young female in the western world.

The mini dress was usually geometric in design or a form-fitting shift. The skirt was typically A-line in shape.

In 1964, French designer Andre Courreges introduced the "space look", with trouser suits, box-shaped dresses, whose skirts soared three inches above the knee, boots, and goggles. These were mainly designed in flourescent colours and shiny fabrics such as PVC and sequins. [Fashion From Ancient Egypt To The Present Day, by Mila Contini, page317]

The leaders of mid 1960s style were the British. Carnaby Street and Chelsea's Kings Road were virtual fashion parades. In 1967, the space age was replaced by the Edwardian, with the men wearing double-breated suits of crushed velvet or stiped patterns, brocade waistcoats, shirts with frilled collars, and their hair worn below the collar bone. Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones epitomised this "dandified" look. Women were inspired by the top models of the day which included Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Penelope Tree, and Veruschka. False eyelashes were in vogue as was pale lipstick. Hemlines kept rising until by 1968, they had reached well- above mid-thigh. This was when the "angel dress" made it's appearance on the fashion scene. Short, with flared skirt and long, wide sleeves, it was usually worn with boots, patterned tights, and was sometimes made of lace or velvet. For evening wear, skimpy chiffon dresses with spaghetti-straps were the mode as well as the "cocktail dress", which was a close-fitting sheath, usually covered in lace with matching long sleeves. [Contini, page 317]

Footwear for women included low-heeled slingback sandals, and square-toed, square-heeled pumps as well as the Courreges boots. Both shoes and handbags were often made of patent leather. The Beatles wore elastic-sided boots similar to Winkle-pickers with pointed toes and Cuban heels. These were known as "Beatle boots", and were widely copied by young men in Britain.

The late 1960s

By 1969, the androgynous hippy look was in style. Both sexes wore frayed bell-bottomed jeans, tie-dyed shirts, workshirts, and headbands.

Fringed buck-skin vests, flowing caftans, colourful, gypsy-style skirts, scarves, and bangles were also worn by teenage girls and young women. Indian prints, batik and paisley were the fabrics preferred. For more conservative women, there were the "lounging pyjamas". These consisted of a loose fitting top over wide-legged, pleated trousers, and were usually made of polyester or chiffon.

Another popular look for women and girls which lasted well into the early 1970s was the suede mini-skirt worn with polo-neck top, square-toed boots, and Newsboy cap or beret. Long coats, often lined in sheepskin appeared at the close of the decade.


Head coverings changed dramatically towards the end of the decade as men's hatswent out of style, replaced by the bandanna if anything at all. As men let their hair grow long, the Afro became the hairstyle of choice for African Americans, while mop-top hairstyles were most popular for white and Hispanic men, beginning as a short version around 1963 through 1964, developing into a longer style worn during 1965-66, eventually evolving into an unkempt hippie version worn during the 1967-69 period, gradually fading in popularity as the 1960s became the 1970s. Women's hair styles ranged from beehive hairdos in the early part of the decade to very short styles popularized by Twiggy just five years later to a very long straight style as popularized by the hippies in the late 1960s. Between these extremes, the chin-length contour cut was also popular. The pillbox hat was fashionable, due almost entirely to the influence of Jacqueline Kennedy, who was a style-setter throughout the decade.

Additional fads and trends

Also, the 60s gave birth to the skinny jean, (slim-fit pants), worn by Audrey Hepburn, which is again popular with young women today.

In Britain the Mods subculture were a fashion phenemenon with their trademark anorak jackets, tailored Italian suits, and scooters.Their rivals, the Rockers, instead wore the same black leather jackets, Levi jeans, and pompadour hairstyles worn in the 1950s.

Mexican ponchos, mocassins, love beads, chain belts, culottes and puffed "bubble" sleeves were additional trends in the late 1960s.

New materials other than cloth (such as polyester and PVC) started to become more popular as well.

*# Make-up mogul, Estee Lauder with a client, 1966
*# A woman visiting a zoo, 1967
*# Two young men at the Woodstock Festival, 1969

ee also

* Yves Saint-Laurent

* Oleg Cassini
* Andre Courreges
* Lauren Hutton
* Veruschka
* Jean Shrimpton
*Penelope Tree
*Celia Hammond
*Mod (lifestyle)


# "Fashion From Egypt To The Present Day", by Mila Contini Crescent Books New York

External links

* [http://www.paperpast.com/html/1966_fashion.html Paperpast yearbook (1966)]
*cite web |publisher= Victoria and Albert Museum
url= http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/fashion/1960s/index.html
title= 1960s Fashion and Textiles collection
work= Fashion, Jewellery & Accessories
accessdate= 2007-06-08

* cite web |publisher= Victoria and Albert Museum
url= http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/fashion/features/round/rotations/index.html
title= 60s Fashion in the Round
work=Fashion, Jewellery & Accessories
accessdate= 2007-12-09


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • fashion, 1960s —    The emergence of British fashion during the 1960s as a leading force in international style and design is linked with its decisive role in the development of pop culture. Early 1960s fashion emphasized the eminently modern values of visuality …   Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture

  • 1960s — 60s redirects here. For decades comprising years 60–69 of other centuries, see List of decades. From left, clockwise: A soldier lays on the ground during the Vietnam War; The Beatles, part of the British Invasion, change music in America and… …   Wikipedia

  • fashion, children’s —    Fashion reflects changes in any given society, and can be usefully used as a socio economic barometer, especially as in times of hardship fashion and beauty are often the first to be affected. The study of the history of children’s fashions… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture

  • Fashion illustration — is the communication of fashion designs through drawing. The main focus is the fashion figure or croquis used for draping the clothing onto. The true female figure measures seven to eight head lengths in height; the fashion figure measures nine… …   Wikipedia

  • Fashion advertising —    Fashion advertising can be traced back to fashion plates, which were introduced in France and England during the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These fashion illustrations were the first advertising vehicles used to sell clothing.… …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

  • Fashion — For other uses, see Fashion (disambiguation). In Following the Fashion (1794), James Gillray caricatured a figure flattered by the short bodiced gowns then in fashion, contrasting it with an imitator whose figure is not flattered. Fashion, a… …   Wikipedia

  • fashion — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Prevailing mode Nouns 1. fashion, style, [bon] ton, society; good society, polite society; drawing room, civilized life, civilization; town; haut or beau monde, high life, court; world; haute couture,… …   English dictionary for students

  • fashion, 1970s —    British fashion trends of the early 1970s reflected the diffusion of the ‘total look’ which had been cultivated by the celebrity designers of 1960s London. Where the designers of ‘the look’ had laid claim to the values of urbanism and pop,… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture

  • fashion, 1990s —    The beginning of the 1990s was marked by the demise of the so called yuppie and the concomitant hard, metropolitan chic and Thatcherite values embodied in power dressing. In its place came a new hegemony, a belief in a New Age and its… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture

  • fashion — fash|ion1 W2S2 [ˈfæʃən] n [Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: façon, from Latin factio act of making , from facere to do, make ] 1.) [singular, U] something that is popular or thought to be good at a particular time fashion for ▪ the fashion… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.