60s Fashion Channels Your Inner Betty Draper
Though many of the fashions on the runway this spring mimic the wild 70s fashions, those who prefer a more classic profile may want to choose vintage 60s fashion to pay tribute to the past century’s styles.
At the time, many of the 60s fashion trends, such as miniskirts, go-go boots, bikinis, psychedelic prints, and peace sign necklaces were considered iconoclasts. Yet with their simple a-line and tent designs, tailored kitten heels, and Jackie Kennedy pillbox hats, they were conservative compared to the wildly erratic 70s styles.
The early 60s, even with their rising hemlines and bikini beachwear, were extremely conservative by today’s standard. Strands of pearls combined with simple shift dresses and stilettos that made holes in the linoleum were worn during the weekdays, while weekends saw the rise of mid-calf capri pants, with tailored cotton blouses, Ray-Ban sunglasses, and chic headscarves to keep the hair from flying away when riding in the T-Bird that Daddy kept threatening to take away. Think Betty Draper.
Although some of the mid 1960s fashions had neat, tailored lines, with their tent and A-line shapes, their colors were not quite so tame. Bright oranges paired with neon pinks, bright limes joined navy blue to break the established rules for combining colors. A childlike, wispy look in makeup, using liquid eyeliner to widen the eyes, combined with pixie cuts and pale, shimmery lipsticks to create a little-girl look to go with the doll-like minis.
Later in the 60s, the hippie movement impacted fashion to introduce denim and tie-dyed batik fabric into the ranks of the well dressed. Nehru jackets echoed the newfound love affair with all things Indian, boosted by Beatle George Harrison’s foray into Indian philosophy and music. Leather necklaces sporting oversized peace signs were a sign of the hippies’ desire to bring in a more peaceful world, while their use of natural, more casual fabrics signaled a longing for a more simple life.
At the end of the 60s, maxi dresses and coats came on the scene. These nearly floor-length designs, many of them in colorful cotton prints that looked as if they just came off the prairie back in pioneer time, were also a part of the nostalgia for a more natural way of life that swept the nation amid the frustration with the ongoing Vietnam War and other pressing world issues.
Women, as a sign of their growing liberation, started to go braless, some of them even publicly burning the undergarments as a sign of their desire for freedom. At the end of the decade, 60s fashion introduced some of the designs that would become iconic in the next.