During the dynamic and transformative 1960s, fashion underwent a remarkable evolution, embracing nonconformity and incorporating diverse cultural influences. As the decade progressed, innovative styles originating in small towns and cities began to make their way into urban hubs, capturing the attention of the media and influencing both high-end fashion houses and mass-market brands. This intersection of grassroots trends and elite design resulted in a fashion landscape that was both rebellious and stylish, reflecting the era’s spirit of change and embracing the diverse tastes and aspirations of individuals across society.
1. The Beret
The increasing fascination with French New Wave cinema during that era was closely intertwined with the popularity of the beret in 1960s fashion. As the decade progressed, the influence of these iconic films spurred a heightened appreciation for the artistic movement, consequently elevating the status of the beret as a prominent fashion accessory. This cultural synergy resulted in the beret becoming a symbol of sophistication and creativity, embodying the free-spirited essence that defined the era. Its presence in ’60s fashion became a distinctive hallmark, reflecting the intersection of cinematic inspiration and sartorial expression.
If you’re looking to rock the iconic beret, you can elevate your style by pairing it with some of the best outfit ideas for Italy in 2023 (link: What to Wear in Italy: 35 Stylish Outfit Ideas 2023). Whether you’re exploring the streets of Rome or enjoying a gondola ride in Venice, this classic accessory adds a touch of sophistication to any ensemble. Embrace the European charm with this fashionable combination.
2. Vidal Sassoon Bob
Vidal Sassoon’s iconic haircuts have stood the test of time and continue to inspire hairdressers even today. His revolutionary angular bob, first crafted for renowned British designer Mary Quant, remains a fundamental part of cosmetology training programs. The precise angles and skillfully shaped face-framing sections have solidified this hairstyle as a timeless favorite in the world of fashion, extending its influence well into the year 2023. The Sassoon bob serves as a testament to Sassoon’s unparalleled artistry and enduring impact on hairstyling trends.
3. White Boots
The enduring influence of music and iconic figures like Nancy Sinatra, as well as the memorable fashion statement of go-go dancers sporting knee-high boots, has solidified the ongoing popularity of white shoes and boots in our wardrobes. From the catchy lyrics of “These Boots Were Made for Walking” to the trend-setting ensembles of dancers, the timeless appeal of white footwear continues to captivate fashion enthusiasts. Today, a quick glance at current street style during this season is enough to witness the enduring presence of this stylish footwear choice.
For a trendy and versatile look, try pairing your white boots with different outfits. Whether you’re rocking a casual jeans-and-tee combo or a chic sundress, white boots can add a touch of style and elegance. Check out these outfit ideas with white shoes for inspiration on how to make a statement with your footwear.
4. Space-Age Style
In the 1960s, the excitement surrounding the space race inspired a wave of futuristic fashion designs. Young designers eagerly embraced the idea of intergalactic travel becoming a reality for everyone, envisioning a need for stylish attire even on the moon. André Courrèges emerged as a prominent figure in this movement, creating avant-garde designs that embodied the space-age aesthetic. His mod-influenced bonnets, dresses, and boots were characterized by their sleek silhouettes, high-tech fabrics, and clean lines, capturing the spirit of an era enamored with the possibilities of the cosmos.
5. Mini Skirts
No discussion of 1960s fashion would be complete without acknowledging the iconic miniskirt. In 1966, Mary Quant played a significant role in popularizing this daring style with her designs of minidresses and skirts that hit six or seven inches above the knee. While André Courrèges is credited with pioneering shorter hemlines as early as 1964, Mary Quant deserves recognition for the widespread success and enduring silhouette of the miniskirt.
6. Leopard Print
Although floral prints are often synonymous with the era, leopard print was equally prevalent and highly sought after. Embraced by style icons like Elizabeth Taylor, this bold and fierce pattern became synonymous with a “rock star” aesthetic, solidifying its cult status in the world of fashion. Its ability to exude confidence and make a daring statement contributed to its enduring popularity and ensured its place as an iconic motif of the time.
7. Tulle Dresses
Regardless of whether your personal style leans towards romantic or not, there’s no denying the enchanting allure of tulle. This ethereal fabric has long been associated with stage performances, much like the glittering allure of sequins. In the 1960s, iconic performers like Dionne Warwick and Diana Ross embraced tulle as a go-to choice for their glamorous ensembles. Fast forward to today, and we still see the influence of this trend in the form of party dresses, strapless tops, and even the exquisite two-piece coordinate sets crafted by esteemed Italian fashion designer Giambattista Valli.
If you’re looking to add a touch of whimsy and femininity to your wardrobe, tulle dresses are the perfect choice. Whether you’re attending a wedding, a bridal shower, or a winter birthday party, tulle dresses can elevate your outfit with their ethereal charm. Pair them with stylish shoes to complete your look. From delicate ballet flats to statement heels, there are endless options to choose from. Embrace the romance and grace of tulle dresses and make a fashion statement with your outfit.
8. Pillbox Hat
The timeless elegance of Jackie O’s fashion choices transformed her into a revered style icon, captivating women across the globe. Her iconic ensembles, characterized by impeccably tailored and structured boxy suits, oversized sunglasses that exuded glamor, and the ever-chic pillbox hats, became synonymous with her unique fashion identity. Through her impeccable taste and distinct signatures, Jackie O left an indelible mark on the fashion world, inspiring women to embrace elegance and sophistication in their own personal style.
9. High Ponytail
The sky-high, flippy ponytail, a masterpiece from the 1960s, has made a comeback in the new age thanks to celebrities like Ariana Grande and Hailey Bieber. To add a touch of elegance to this hairstyle, adorn it with a stylish bow or a subtle twist of hair, cleverly concealing the abundance of elastics required to secure it in place. For a contemporary twist, pull back and sleekly smooth all of the hair around your face, foregoing the traditional deep side part. Embrace this retro-inspired look with a modern flair.
To achieve the iconic and sleek high ponytail look, consider trying one of the 36 best ponytail hairstyles for men. These hairstyles offer a range of options that can elevate your style and add a touch of sophistication to your overall look. Whether you prefer a classic ponytail or a more intricate braided ponytail, there is a hairstyle that will suit your taste and complement your fashion choices.
10. Fringe Clothes
Even though fringe may seem impractical and purely decorative, it played a significant role in ’60s fashion, adding a touch of flair and charm to outfits. Celebrities like Marsha Hunt effortlessly rocked this stylish detail, showcasing its versatility and appeal. Today, fringe continues to make its mark, with designers and fashion enthusiasts incorporating it into modern ensembles, paying homage to its iconic presence in the ’60s.
11. Off-Color Buttons
Continuing the trend of economy from the previous decade, the clever use of contrasting buttons emerged as an affordable and stylish method to revitalize garments in the 1960s. This creative technique not only added a touch of modernity but also imbued garments with a distinct sense of direction. It’s fascinating to note that this design trick remains relevant even today, as evidenced by the recent obsession with tortoiseshell buttons in 2019, showcasing the enduring influence of this timeless fashion element.
To add a touch of uniqueness to your outfit, opt for garments with off-color buttons. They can serve as subtle focal points that elevate your style. Need inspiration on how to wear them? Check out these outfit ideas on what to wear over a dress and discover new ways to incorporate off-color buttons into your fashion choices.
12. Festival Beads
In today’s fashion landscape, the influence of the ’60s is evident not only in the popular crochet-knit trend but also in the proliferation of quirky DIY accessories. Balenciaga charms and vibrant beaded necklaces have become ubiquitous, transcending their association with music festivals. To elevate a simple ensemble, consider adorning your wrists with a collection of Rosie Assoulin’s beaded bracelets. Whether paired with tailored khakis and a tank top or the timeless combination of jeans and a T-shirt, these whimsical accessories add a touch of retro-inspired charm to any outfit.
13. Flare Pants
Towards the end of the decade, flared styles gained popularity as a more socially acceptable choice for evening attire. The flowing and voluminous nature of these garments made them less perceived as revealing, allowing individuals to embrace a sense of freedom and expression while maintaining a certain level of modesty. The acceptance of flared styles marked a shift in societal norms, reflecting a growing appreciation for diverse fashion aesthetics and a departure from the strict conventions of earlier years.
14. Flipped Bob
During the swinging ’60s, chic mid-length haircuts with playful flips and a thick fringe were all the rage. Whether your hair was short or long, adding those signature flips to the ends was a popular styling choice. To fully embody the era’s spirit, consider complementing the hairstyle with a dramatic side part, a full fringe, or a stylish headband. Achieving this iconic look only requires a flat iron and a touch of dedication to perfect those charming flips. Let your inner ’60s goddess shine through with this effortlessly stylish hairdo.
To add a playful and trendy twist to your bob hairstyle, consider opting for a flipped bob. The flipped ends add movement and bounce to the hair, creating a fun and lively look. Check out these messy bob hairstyles for some inspiration on how to achieve this stylish and flirty hairstyle.
15. Mod Style
Mary Quant, the renowned fashion designer, left an indelible mark on the fashion landscape of the 1960s. While her contributions like the iconic Peter Pan collar and the daring miniskirt are widely celebrated, it was the amalgamation of various elements that birthed the influential mod style. This trend encompassed bold silhouettes, vibrant colors, and innovative designs that resonated with the spirit of the era. Even now, the impact of the mod movement continues to inspire and shape contemporary fashion trends.
16. Round Oversized Sunglasses
In the vibrant era of the 1960s, oversized and rounded sunglasses played a pivotal role in shaping fashion. Whether it was the iconic spectacles donned by John Lennon or the alluring cat-eye hybrids sported by Jane Fonda, these stylish eyewear choices remain relevant and popular even in contemporary times. The timeless appeal of these statement sunglasses continues to captivate fashion enthusiasts, reminding us of the enduring influence and lasting charm of ’60s fashion.
17. Sequin Dresses
Sequins played a prominent role in The Supremes’ iconic and glamorous signature style. As the lineup of the groundbreaking girl group evolved over time, so did their dazzling outfits. Whenever a member departed, they had to bid farewell to their distinctive ensembles, which became synonymous with the group’s legacy. The shimmering allure of sequins remains a timeless element in fashion, continuing to captivate and inspire artists and fashion enthusiasts alike, as they seek to capture the same glitz and glamor that defined The Supremes’ unforgettable image.
For a glamorous and eye-catching look, consider wearing sequin dresses. These dazzling and sparkly garments are perfect for special occasions such as weddings, proms, or even a night out on the town. Pair your sequin dress with some statement accessories and heels to complete the look. If you’re looking for outfit ideas to wear to a club, check out these 35 Outfit Ideas for 2023 for some inspiration on how to rock sequin dresses in a stylish and trendy way.
18. Satin Blouses
Cher’s style has always been captivating, both in the past and present. We can’t help but admire her fashion choices, including that unforgettable lace bodysuit. However, it was in the ’60s when Cher truly showcased her coolness, effortlessly pulling off a variety of satin blouses. Her ability to rock these silky tops added a touch of elegance and sophistication to her overall look, leaving a lasting impression on fashion enthusiasts.
19. Paper Dresses
The paper dress quickly became a sensation, capturing the hearts of many. Its appeal lay in its versatility – individuals could easily customize its length by simply using a pair of scissors or make adjustments with a little tape. The convenience of disposal was another key factor, as it offered an affordable and hassle-free fashion option. Priced at less than $5, it epitomized the concept of disposable fashion, allowing wearers to effortlessly discard it when necessary. Companies even experimented with incorporating additional materials into the paper to enhance durability, enabling the clothing to withstand multiple washes before its eventual demise.
For a unique and trendy look, consider wearing a paper dress. These dresses were a popular fashion trend in the 1960s and are making a comeback today. They are made from lightweight paper material that is surprisingly durable and can be printed with bold and colorful designs. Check out these outfit ideas to wear to a comedy show for inspiration on how to style your paper dress for a fun and fashionable look.
20. Sheer Style
Sheer fabrics are undoubtedly a key player in today’s fashion scene, making a significant impact on current trends. From elegant maxi-length gowns to alluring going-out tops, these translucent textiles offer endless possibilities for layering or highlighting beautiful lingerie. The versatility of sheer fabrics allows individuals to play with different styles, creating visually captivating ensembles. Whether it’s a delicate peekaboo effect or a bold statement, incorporating sheer elements into one’s wardrobe adds a touch of sophistication and allure to any outfit.
21. Uniform Style
In the 1960s, uniform dressing took on various forms, ranging from the preppy ensembles sported on college campuses to the impeccably polished attire of flight attendants. This fashion trend embraced a more literal interpretation of uniformity, featuring neatly folded and pointed collars, elegant cap sleeves, and modest tailoring. The structured and refined aesthetic of this style resonated with the desire for a polished and put-together appearance.
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22. Women’s Tuxedos
Even though looser and shorter styles dominated the fashion scene, women wearing trousers were still frowned upon as inappropriate. However, in 1966, Yves Saint Laurent defied conventions with the introduction of Le Smoking, a sleek and seductive tuxedo. This ensemble exuded a powerful allure that was deemed so captivating that it faced bans from restaurants. While critics initially criticized the look, accusing Saint Laurent of pandering to the youth, Le Smoking ultimately became a resounding success, solidifying its status as an iconic and boundary-pushing fashion statement.
23. Crochet Dresses
The enduring appeal of crochet-knit designs and woven patterns owes much to the influence of renowned fashion brands. This trend, which celebrates the do-it-yourself spirit, has firmly established itself in the fashion world and shows no signs of fading. While cardigans and jumpers are popular choices, the stylish versatility of netted dresses and shell tops, as exemplified by the iconic Nina Simone, cannot be overlooked. These garments not only add a touch of bohemian charm but also serve as perfect options for those cool summer evenings when a light layer is needed.
For a boho-chic summer look, try pairing your crochet dress with summer outfits for women. These outfits offer a variety of options that complement the intricate patterns and textures of your crochet dress. From casual beach days to stylish garden parties, you’ll find inspiration for every occasion. Show off your unique style with these beautiful outfit ideas.
24. Trendy Chain
Chain belts have made a stylish comeback in recent times, capturing the attention of fashion enthusiasts. However, delving into their history reveals that the jewelry-accessory fusion originated in the ’60s. A prime example of its timeless appeal is supermodel Twiggy, who effortlessly showcased its chic allure while leaving the airport in a breezy ensemble accentuated by a cinched chain-link belt.
25. Tonal Clothes
The vibrant color palette that defined the era reached new heights with the trend of monochromatic dressing, where individuals embraced the art of wearing a single hue from head to toe. This bold and impactful style choice remains a prominent feature on runways during fashion month and is still widely celebrated on social media platforms like Instagram. The enduring popularity of this trend serves as a testament to its visual appeal and ability to create a cohesive and statement-making ensemble.
To complement your tonal outfit, try experimenting with different color combinations. For a modern and sophisticated look, consider wearing a monochromatic ensemble in shades of gray, such as charcoal and dove gray. Alternatively, you can opt for a tonal outfit in warm earthy tones like beige, tan, and brown. These color schemes will add depth and dimension to your outfit, creating a stylish and cohesive look.
26. Hippie Style
During the transformative era of the 1960s, the rise of the counterculture movement brought forth the hippies, a vibrant subculture that challenged societal norms. Embracing ideals of peace, love, and experimentation with mind-altering substances, both men and women participated in this movement. Male hippies were recognized by their long hair and beards, often sporting a deliberately disheveled appearance. Additionally, there were those who maintained shorter hair but allowed their sideburns to grow out, known as the distinctive “burnouts.”
27. The Single Girl
In 1962, renowned writer Helen Gurley Brown authored the groundbreaking book “Sex and the Single Girl.” This literary work served as an empowering guide for women, irrespective of their marital status, to assert their independence both financially and emotionally. It challenged traditional norms by advocating for sexual liberation before marriage, a concept that had long been stigmatized. The tremendous success of Brown’s book paved the way for the media to further promote and embrace this progressive ideology, contributing to a significant shift in societal attitudes towards relationships and personal freedom.
28. Men’s Business Wear
In the early 1960s, the fashion scene in both the UK and America embraced the sleek and tailored aesthetic of slim-fitting, single-breasted continental-style suits and skinny ties. These iconic suits, famously worn by style icons like Sean Connery as James Bond, Frank Sinatra of the Rat Pack, and the cast of Mad Men, were typically crafted from fabrics like gray flannel, mohair, or sharkskin. Tuxedos followed a similar form-fitting design, featuring shawl collars and a single button, and came in classic black as well as vibrant colors such as red or sky blue, popularized by Frankie Valli of The Four Seasons.
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29. Ivy League Style
During the early to mid-1960s, Ivy League fashion emerged as a sought-after style for middle-class adults in America, serving as a precursor to the modern preppy look. This casual yet refined attire encompassed a range of garments, such as polo shirts, harrington jackets, khaki chino pants, striped T-shirts, Argyle socks, seersucker or houndstooth sportcoats, sweater vests, cardigan sweaters, Nantucket Reds, basketweave loafers, Madras plaid shirts, and narrow-brimmed Trilbys, occasionally crafted from straw. This ensemble captured a sense of timeless sophistication, reflecting the aspirations and tastes of its wearers.
30. Surf Fashion
From 1962 to 1966, the rise of surf rock in America and Australia influenced the fashion choices of many teenage baby boomers who sought to emulate the style of popular bands like The Beach Boys. The affordable, warm, and durable Pendleton jackets became a staple among surf enthusiasts. These jackets perfectly aligned with the carefree spirit of the surf culture, providing both warmth for the coastal California climate and practicality with utility pockets designed to hold surf wax and VW car keys, two essential items for any surfer.
31. Peacock Style
In the late 1960s, the futuristic space age mod fashion began to give way to a revival of Victorian, Edwardian, and Belle Époque influences. Men embraced a dandified aesthetic, opting for double-breasted suits made of crushed velvet or adorned with striped patterns. Brocade waistcoats and shirts with frilled collars further emphasized the vintage-inspired look. Hair was grown long, reaching below the collarbone. Brian Jones, the guitarist of the Rolling Stones, became an iconic figure embodying this style. The era’s vibrant and flamboyant menswear earned it the moniker of the Peacock Revolution, while fashion-forward men in Britain and America were affectionately referred to as “Dandies,” “Dudes,” or “Peacocks.”
To complement your bold and colorful Peacock Style outfit, consider adding some peacock-inspired highlights to your hair. Check out these peekaboo highlight hairstyles for a fun and vibrant look. With pops of color hidden beneath your top layers, you can showcase your personality while still keeping a professional appearance.
32. The Twiggy
Twiggy, the renowned British figure Dame Lesley Lawson, left an indelible mark on the realms of modeling, acting, and music, solidifying her status as a cultural icon. One of her most significant contributions was redefining the popular 1950s pixie cut with her unique androgynous aesthetic. This edgy, sleek hairstyle challenged traditional notions of femininity, representing a rebellious spirit of the time. Its enduring appeal is evident as even in 2023, girls and women continue to embrace and emulate this iconic look, testament to Twiggy’s lasting influence on contemporary fashion.
33. Off-the-Shoulder Top
Brigitte Bardot and the iconic Jane Birkin solidified the off-the-shoulder top as an essential piece in women’s fashion during the 1960s. This daring and flirtatious style quickly became synonymous with the carefree allure of jet-setting to the luxurious French Riviera. Today, the off-the-shoulder top continues to captivate fashion enthusiasts, maintaining its immense popularity and timeless appeal. Its ability to effortlessly enhance femininity and exude a sense of casual elegance has ensured its enduring status as a beloved wardrobe staple.
To achieve a trendy and feminine look with an off-the-shoulder top, consider pairing it with wide leg pants. This combination creates a balance between the revealing top and the flowy bottoms. Check out our article on what to wear with wide leg pants for more outfit inspiration.
34. Babydoll Dress
As the sexual revolution unfolded, women found newfound freedom in their fashion selections, prioritizing comfort over strict conformity. The babydoll dress, with its loose silhouette and shorter length, emerged as a powerful symbol of rebellion, embraced particularly by the mod subculture. It signified a departure from the structured and tailored designs prevalent in the 1950s, embracing a more carefree and liberated aesthetic.
35. Vinyl Clothes
During the vibrant era of the 1960s, emerging designers enthusiastically embraced the possibilities offered by innovative, man-made materials. Their creativity led to the incorporation of modern plastics and synthetic fibers such as vinyl and nylon into their fashion creations. By harnessing the untapped potential of these materials, they crafted garments that seamlessly combined practicality and playfulness.