Fashion in the 1960s: A Changing Decade

Fashion in the 1960s is marked by a wide diversity in styles and trends. Jacqueline Kennedy provided the inspiration for much of women's fashion in the early part of the decade. By 1964, when Mary Quant invented the mini skirt, fashions of the 1960s were forever changed. Hippie clothing that was almost androgynous in nature made its appearance at around 1968. This type of fashion centered on tie dyed shirts, bell bottom pants, and sandals for both women and men.

Characteristics of Fashion in the 1960s

Fashion in the 1960s

Women's fashions during the early 1960s followed the elegant style of Jacqueline Kennedy, the First Lady of the United States. The pillbox hat was a popular accessory to the skirt suits that were in style during the fashionable 1960s. These suits were designed with oversize buttons on their boxy jackets. They were usually in shades of pastels. Shifts, which were simple dresses, were often worn as well.

For formal wear, women often wore ball gowns with full skirts, waists that were close fitting, and revealing necklines. Men's formal wear fashions in the 1960s include a move away from the more conservative colors and a move toward colorful and bright hues. There were also many decorative accents such as Jackie Kennedy in India 1962

frills and wide ties. Later in the decade, baby doll dresses and cocktail dresses were the noted formal wear options. Men wore suits in striped patterns or crushed velvet, shirts with frills on the collars and waistcoats with brocade for a popular dandified look.

For casual wear in the early 1960s, women wore capri trousers while men wore slacks and button down shirts in a plaid pattern. That soon changed, however, as the British influence began to be felt in the choices of clothing that were available. Bell bottom trousers, along with ribbed sweaters, midriff baring tops, or chiffon blouses, were the casual fashions of the 1960s as well.

Notable Influences on Fashion in the 1960s

The Beatles, the Mod Squad, and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, all influenced the men's fashions of the 1960s. Brian Jones popularized the dandified look of frilly shirts with suits with bold striped patterns or crushed velvet. The Mod Squad dressed in a dignified manner that still allowed for a casualness. They wore jeans and helped usher in the bell bottom trend. The Beatles and their white leisure suits with the wide lapels, for example, helped to turn men's fashions of the 1960s on their collective heads.

Jacqueline Kennedy inspired the fashions of the early 1960s with her understated elegance. She favored pillbox hats and simple yet elegant suits with boxy jackets. The popular female models of the decade, such as Twiggy, Penelope Tree, and Jean Shrimpton, were also key influences for women during this time period. They helped to make the bell bottom pants and baby dolls dresses popular fashion items for the 1960s.

The most influential event that took place to dictate the fashion in the 1960s was the British Invasion. America was overcome by British fashions and British music at a time when social changes had began in earnest. These radically different clothing choices and musical choices ushered in an entirely new era of fashion for the 1960s. It inspired the Hippie movement that embraced free love and a wild clothing style unlike any seen before.

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