The 1960s is an era that broke fashion norms and conventions. It was heavily influenced by British fashion, with the popularity of shorter hemlines and the rise of Twiggy in the fashion industry. Although the early years in the decade were a lot like the 1950s – restrained, classic, and conservative – the latter years turned to brighter and louder designs and colors. Some of the defining hallmarks of the later 1960s were psychedelic tie-dye shirts, shorts skirts, and tunics and capes for men.
Here are some of the hallmarks of 1960s fashion.
First, the early years were heavily influenced by the classic elegance of Jacqueline Kennedy, the First Lady. Women wore 1960s hats, also known as pillbox hats, and suits, typically in pastel. For more casual wear, they wore simple, geometric dresses referred to as shifts or capri trousers. For evening wear, they wore formal, full-skirted gowns with form-fitting waists and low d?colletage. Men wore more bright and colorful suits with frills and cravats. These suits were also characterized by bold prints and patterns and wide ties. Some ties were as wide as five inches. For casual wear, men wore comfortable slacks and plaid button downs.
Second, in the middle of the decade, box shaped PVC, culottes, and go go boots rose in popularity. After the release of the musical, Beach Party, bikinis also became more popular. The mod style also became extremely popular. It is defined by a long, slender shape for women paired with bright hues and a young, modern appearance. Some of the most well-known accessories are over-the-shoulder bags and excessive jewelry including antique pins and geometric earrings. Men wearing the mod style also became a lot flashier. They wore lower, wide-belted skinny pants that were often paired with attention-grabbing ties and floral shirts.
Third, short skirts made their appearance around 1966 to 1967. Designer Mary Quant is credited with its invention when she introduced it into popular consciousness. The style quickly became typical of the fun-loving and youthful vibe of the era. These skirts were approximately 6 to 7 inches above the knee. They quickly took off because they were different than anything ever worn by women in the eras beforehand. It was released into London, where young girls wanted to wear something that was controversial among the adults. The shapes they were released featured simple and clean cuts. They were from both traditional materials such as cotton gabardines as well as experimental ones such as PVC.
Fourth, for most of the decade, skirts were still well below the knee. In fact, even the straight shift, which was an offspring of the 1950s sack dress, often featured lower hemlines. Pleats also become very popular, particularly when dancing because they allowed freer movement when doing the dance craze of the era, the twist. Sweater dresses made from wool or Orlon, which is a synthetic acrylic material, became in vogue, and were often worn with wide belts at the waist. Pencil skirts were paired with cardigans and sweaters.