Which ten 60s fashion trends are cool again?
The swinging ‘60s are known as the time when traditions were broken and individuality and self-expression flourished. This new ethos resulted in major shifts in politics, culture, music and social rules. Fashion became progressively casual, moving away from the prim and proper style that prevailed in the ‘40s and ‘50s.
The second wave of feminism inspired women to express their rebellious and freedom-loving streak through style. The decade set the tone for modern style and revolutionized women’s fashion with striking cuts, bold colors and patterns. While the ’60s featured a number of diverse trends, some continued to influence fashionistas through the following decades.
Because of its original, bold and breakthrough trends, ’60 fashion continues to influence designers and fashion-lovers to this day. From bold florals to go-go boots and miniskirts, let our roundup of the comeback trends serve as an inspiration to channel the ’60s aesthetic. We’ve selected popular outfits, like the Allegra K Women’s Peter Pan Collar Contrast Polka Dots Heart A-Line Short Dress, to help you put together your retro look.
Top ’60s fashion trends
Key fashion styles
- Mod Fashion: The mod subculture started in the late ’50 in London, later spreading to other parts of the world during the ‘60s. The creative and bold mod “London look” is considered a signature style of the era and continues to impact the fashion world.
- Beatnik Fashion: This fashion trend also originated in the 1950s and continued until the mid-‘60s.The typical beatnik outfit consisted of black trousers and turtlenecks, striped tops and berets. This style was popular among youth who were interested in literature, poetry, the arts and music.
- Hippie Fashion: The late ‘60s were defined by the hippie counterculture. The rebellious attitude against repression and in celebration of nature and peace was reflected in clothing and grooming choices. Both men and women wore their hair long and wild, and wore floral prints, bell-bottoms, fringing and peasant blouses.
- Shift dresses: Cut with an A-line silhouette, these dresses were preferred to the restrictive attire of previous decades. The chic and comfortable design made it a favorite garment and a quintessential ‘60s outfit.
- Bold prints: Loud and striking prints appeared on a variety of garments. An essential element of the ‘60s style, bold prints came in various forms, including striking florals, bold stripes, tie-dye, colorful checks and psychedelic designs.
- Miniskirts: The miniskirt was embraced for its daringly short length by women in the ‘60s. They wore it to show off their legs and as an expression of defiance against conservative norms and old gender roles.
- Go-Go boots: This iconic footwear style debuted in the mid-‘60s and was traditionally white, low-heeled and finished mid-calf. Over time, it evolved to include other colors, knee-high versions and kitten-heeled designs.
- Colored tights: The love for color in ’60 went beyond tops and dresses. It was seen in the colorful tights women wore to add a quirky and youthful touch to their outfits. It was a preferred alternative to stockings with suspenders, especially if paired with short dresses and miniskirts.
Hair and makeup
From the Twiggy-esqe crop to the curtain bangs of Brigitte Bardot, the ‘60s produced many iconic and trend-setting hairstyles. Popular looks included the chic pixie cut, long hippie waves, big bouffant styles and bohemian bangs. When it comes to ’60 makeup, there was a lot of emphasis on the eyes. Thick, winged eyeliner, long, spidery lashes and eye shadow in cool tones like blue were ways to create big and expressive eyes. With so much focus on the eyes, the rest of the face was kept subtle with matte foundation, pale nude lips and natural groomed brows.
Just like the rest of the outfit, the jewelry was colorful and eye-catching. In the early ‘60s, glamorous pieces made with glitzy, gold accents and feminine pearls were favored. Later on in the decade when mod fashion took off, plastic jewelry became popular. Signature pieces included big rings, bangles and large earrings with bright colors and striking, geometric shapes. Ladies inspired by hippie fashion opted for more simplistic jewelry like peace-symbol necklaces and handcrafted beaded necklaces.
Ten ’60s fashion trends that are cool again today
1. Slick fabrics: Slick, water-wicking outerwear was popular in the ‘60s mod era. Trench coats in bright colors became a must-have for women. With the rise of practical and functional fashion, these fabrics are making a comeback. You can find relevant looks and styles from brands like Courrèges and Apparis.
2. Jewelry: Colorful jewelry reminiscent of the hippie era is re-emerging in fashion catalogs. Chunky plastic rings in psychedelic designs and camp-inspired friendship necklaces and bracelets are accessories you can wear to embody this look. Bulky clear rings are also making a comeback after being seen on the hands of celebrities such as Berna Peci and Bella Hadid.
3. Mod leather: More and more fashionistas are trying to channel the look of famous ‘60s actress Brigitte Bardot with a full leather look. She was known for balancing her micro-mini hem and slick jacket with tall boots that had low stacked heels. You can get this look today by wearing similar footwear paired with a dress or short skirts and leather jackets.
4. Skinny scarves: While the scarf never really went out of fashion, the way it was worn in ’60 is something we’re seeing more of today. Printed scarves loosely tied around the neck can be worn over a turtleneck sweater with a long necklace.
5. Suits: The androgynous approach to dressing that was popular in the ‘60s is still popular today. The fitted tuxedo vest created by Yves Saint Laurent and Gabriela Hearst can provide an expensive look for both formal and everyday attire.
6. Leopard prints: Brazen and playful leopard prints were commonly worn on classic silhouettes to give them a chic and posh feel. You can balance the eye-catching animal print aesthetic by pairing it with sleek fabrics and some gold accessories.
7. Bandana headscarves: This accessory has been a growing favorite in recent years. Whether you actually invest in a bandana or put one together from a simple square scarf, you’ll bring an instant ‘60s vibe to your outfit when you wear it.
8. Tailored skirt suits: Skirt suits were a favorite in the mod era. Just like the micro-mini, the two-piece ensemble created a look that was both feminine and polished. Diana Ross, a ’60 icon, used to dress the skirt suit down by wearing knee-high boots and flat loafers.
9. Sleek accessories: From boldly colored jewelry collections to quirky hats, chic accessories were all the rage in the ‘60s. After the COVID-19 pandemic, they have made their way back into fashion, including extra-large accessories and oversized aviator sunglasses.
10. Bold and patterned capri pants: A popular fashion item, capris were made memorable by Hollywood stars like Audrey Hepburn. Available in an array of prints and fabrics, the cropped trousers are a great look for a casual day out.
How much you can expect to spend on ’60s clothing items
There are a variety of options for ‘60s clothing that suit all budgets. Depending on the material, design and brand, you can put together a look that costs $50-$500 and more. Clothing prices range from $15-$1,000 and shoes from $20-$500. Plastic jewelry will be priced anywhere between $10-$50, and more expensive jewels of the type that were worn in the early ‘60s-$100 and more.
’60s fashion trends FAQ
How do I create an authentic ’60s look?
A. If you want to dress like you are in the ‘60s, make sure you know what part of the decade you’re dressing for. The period began with a more conservative style that evolved into color prints and patterns and later into the freestyle hippie looks. Consider the key movements of the time, including mod, beatnik and hippie, and choose the one that appeals to you the most. For instance, you can replicate a beatnik fashion by wearing a beret with black trousers and a turtleneck. You can also take on the more colorful ‘60s look by wearing, for example, a shift dress with bold colors or intricate prints, or colorful tights and go-go boots.
Who were the most famous ‘60 fashion icons?
A. There were a slew of actresses, models, fashion icons and others who contributed their own signature style to the decade. A few who became famously associated with the ’60 continue to be muses for designers and fashion-lovers to this day. English model Twiggy became the face of that era, and greatly influenced what women wore at that time. Actresses like Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin were also well-known figures of that time. In the United States, Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn and Edie Sedgwick led the way and made an impression with their classic and timeless looks.
What are the best ’60s clothing items to buy?
Top ’60s clothing item
What you need to know: This playful, above-the-knee-length dress provides a flattering fit and can be worn on both festive and casual occasions.
What you’ll love: The dress comes in polka dots and heart prints and in black, white, red and yellow colors. It has a slim fit, long sleeve, buttoned cuffs and a Peter Pan collar. Wearing a belt with the dress creates a feminine look. Pair it with sandals or a pair of mules for a smart, chic style.
What you should consider: Some wearers did not like the quality of the dress fabric.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top ’60s clothing item for the money
What you need to know: A fashionable lightweight beret adds a classic touch to any outfit.
What you’ll love: This French-style beret is made with a blend of wool and polyester. It can be worn tilted or pulled snugly over your ears to keep warm in colder temperatures. The hat is available in six colors and fits most head sizes.
What you should consider: A few buyers didn’t find the material stretchy enough to fit comfortably around their heads.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Whether you wear these knee-high boots for a theme party or normal day out, they will take your retro-inspired ’60 look to the next level.
What you’ll love: Made with shiny polyurethane leather, these form-fitting boots stretch nicely around your feet and calves. The footwear has 3-inch block rubber heels. The boot opening measures about 13 inches around, comes with an inner zipper and is available in seven vibrant colors.
What you should consider: Wearers with larger calves might find the boot too tight and, in some cases, it won’t zip up.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Seline Shenoy writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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