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Fashion in the 60’s

The 60’s were a time of change and challenge. They brought hippies, space age, folk music, and the Beatles. Women’s skirts got shorter, men’s hair got longer, and everyone talked about love. The 60’s was characterized by the feeling that a break with the past had been achieved. Clothes, furniture, and products all looked newer, brighter, and more fun. The swinging 60’s were at their height. Women’s hemlines were very short. Fashion in the 60’s tended to encourage exhibitionism.

Miniskirts, bold colors, and see through dresses were all geared to showing off women’s bodies, and on rare occasion men’s bodies. Gaudy accessories such as perspex rings and earrings and fold chain belts. For women, there were long flowing skirts in intricate cotton prints. For both sexes, Indian Kafthans, headbands, “love beads”, bell and bell – bottomed hipsters were the big thing. Hipsters were unisex trousers that rested on the hips rather than the waist. A wide belt with a heavy buckle was added.

The light weight ski-pants of the 50’s gradually gave way to flares, bell bottoms, and loon pants, bright colors, novel materials, chunky rings, and sports cars were all part of the 60’s look. In the early 60’s, the teenagers world was suddenly hit by the rock- n- roll of phenomenon of the Beatles. Teens idoled rock stars and let their hair grow long and wore bright, wild colored clothes. Leather offered great opportunities for self – expression. The clothes were influenced by stage performers.

The 60’s was a reflection of the power of Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. It was the beginning of the fashion reversal. Some pop groups in particular, the Rolling Stones, cultivated a rebellious attitude that was reflected in their unconventional, scruffy clothing. Strict rules dictated what was worn and when. Casuals for wearing during the day were very distinct from formal evening wear. The 60’s saw the abandonment of these traditions and it became perfectly reasonable to wear the same outfit to work as for and evening out.

For evening wear, fabrics such as velvets and satin ware used. For men, suits became more tight fitting and chelsea boots more popular. Yves Saint Laurent had fashionable society wearing Mondrian dresses in 1965 and pop art dresses decorated with comic strip. Op art = the use of patterns to create an optical illusion were very popular. The patterns first seen in paintings of Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley found their way into graphic and fabric designs. By the middle of the 60’s, the term had shifted from popular to fashionable.

Badges became a popular means of self-expression. Their messages concerned political persuasion and sexual preference. Designers in Britain and the United States experimented with fabrics and materials like paper, nylon, plastics, and elastic. The Hippy movement, which first surfaced in California, nurtured a form of anti-fashion in which virtually all types of clothes were permissible whether short or long, new or second hand, patterned or plain, as long as the materials were natural. All the fashions of the 60’s were care free and expressed each individual person.

Some of the fashions of the 60’s are coming back and are popular now in the 90’s. From the two people I interviewed, I learned that in the 60’s everyone did what they wanted to and nobody cared. You could wear the weirdest clothes and a week later, they became the style. Nobody was judged for their opinions , and most people respected what you had to say. A lot of things changed and thats what the people wanted. They enjoyed being teenagers in the 60’s and it was a fun time for them. Some wish things could go back to the way the 60’s were.

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