Reviving the Retro: Women’s 1960s Fashion Trends

Step back in time with these stunning 1960s fashion trends for women. While fashion has evolved over the decades, the retro look still remains an ever-popular trend. From mini skirts to oversized sunglasses, the 1960s was an era of bold, colorful and innovative fashion. Whether you’re looking to channel your inner Twiggy or Jackie O, read on to discover how you can revive retro fashion in your wardrobe today!

Reviving the Retro: Women’s 1960s Fashion Trends
Reviving the Retro: Women’s 1960s Fashion Trends

The History of Women’s 1960s Fashion Trends

Born out of a time of significant cultural and societal change, women’s fashion in the 1960s was a reflection of the shifting attitudes and values of the era. From the civil rights movement to advances in space exploration, the world was changing rapidly, and fashion was no exception.

The Influence of Popular Culture

Television, film, and music all played a significant role in shaping women’s fashion in the 1960s. The mod style popularized by British fashion icon Twiggy, for example, was heavily influenced by the mod subculture and the music of the Beatles and other British Invasion bands. Meanwhile, the bohemian look championed by actresses like Jane Birkin and Julie Christie was inspired by the rise of the counterculture movement and the associated hippie aesthetic.

  • The Mod Look: The mod look was characterized by short hemlines, bold patterns, and bright colors. It was all about making a statement and standing out from the crowd.
  • The Bohemian Look: The bohemian look was defined by flowing fabrics, fringe, and earthy colors. It was all about feeling free and expressing oneself.

New Materials and Techniques

The 1960s saw a wave of innovation in fashion materials and techniques. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon became popular due to their affordability and versatility. Meanwhile, advances in printing technology made it possible to reproduce intricate patterns and designs on fabric in greater detail than ever before.

The Impact of the Space Race

The space race between the United States and the Soviet Union had a significant impact on fashion in the 1960s. Metallic fabrics, futuristic silhouettes, and bold geometrical patterns were all influenced by the space-age aesthetic. This trend was epitomized by the famous space-age fashion designs of André Courrèges.

The Women’s Liberation Movement

The women’s liberation movement of the 1960s challenged traditional gender roles and stereotypes. Fashion played a role in this movement, as women began to reject restrictive undergarments and more traditional clothing styles in favor of comfortable and practical clothing that allowed greater freedom of movement.

The Iconic Clothing Items of the 1960s

The 1960s was a decade marked by cultural and social revolution, with fashion playing a significant role in the lives of women. During this period, women started to express themselves in new and bold ways, from the clothes they wore to the accessories they chose to adorn themselves with. Here is a list of the most iconic clothing items of the 1960s:

Mini Skirts

The mini skirt is perhaps the most recognizable fashion item of the 1960s. It was famously worn by model Twiggy, who became an icon for the youth culture of the time. The mini skirt was a symbol of female liberation, rebellion, and empowerment. It also reflected the changing attitudes towards sex and sexuality that defined the decade.

Go-go Boots

Go-go boots were another iconic fashion item of the 1960s. They were usually made of patent leather and had a low, chunky heel. Go-go boots became popular because they were easy to dance in and gave women the freedom to move. They also added a touch of glamour to any outfit and were often seen paired with mini skirts.

Psychedelic Prints

Psychedelic prints were all the rage in the 1960s, as the hippie movement gained momentum. These prints featured bold and colorful patterns that often incorporated swirls, flowers, and other abstract shapes. Psychedelic prints were used in everything from clothing to wallpaper, giving the era an unmistakable visual style.


Bell-bottoms were a fashion item that became popular towards the end of the 1960s. They were typically made of denim or corduroy and had a wide leg that flared out at the bottom. Bell-bottoms were a symbol of the counterculture of the time and were worn by both men and women. They continued to be popular through the 1970s.

The Makeup and Hairstyles of the 1960s

The 1960s was the era of great social upheaval, and this was reflected in the women’s fashion trends of the time. Women wanted to break free of the strict rules that had governed their fashion choices for decades, and they did so by embracing bold new looks that reflected their changing social status and attitudes. One way in which this was expressed was through their hairstyles and makeup.

Hairstyles: Bouffant, Beehive, and Pixie Cut

The bouffant hairdo was one of the most iconic hairstyles of the 1960s. It featured a high, rounded shape that was achieved by backcombing the hair and then smoothing it over with a brush. This style was often worn with a center part, and the hair was sometimes pulled up into a ponytail or a bun at the back.

Another popular hairstyle of the era was the beehive, which was similar to the bouffant but with even more height. This style was achieved by backcombing the hair and then sweeping it back and up, creating a conical shape that resembled a beehive. The hair was often held in place with hairspray and other hair products.

For those who preferred a shorter look, the pixie cut was also popular in the 1960s. This style involved cutting the hair short around the sides and back, while leaving it longer on top. The hair was usually parted to one side, and the longer strands were often styled into a subtle wave or curl.

Makeup: Bold Lips and Winged Eyeliner

The makeup trends of the 1960s were equally bold and expressive. One of the most iconic looks was the dramatic cat-eye, which involved using liquid eyeliner to create a winged effect on the upper lids. This look was often paired with false eyelashes for an even more dramatic effect.

Another popular trend was bright, bold lips in shades of red, pink, and orange. Women often paired this look with a more subdued eyeshadow, focusing instead on defining their eyes with eyeliner and mascara.

Overall, the makeup and hairstyles of the 1960s were all about expressing individuality and breaking free of traditional beauty standards. Women of the era were unafraid to take risks and try new things, and this attitude is still reflected in the beauty trends of today.

How to Incorporate 1960s Fashion into Your Wardrobe Today

Are you a fan of retro fashion? Do you want to add a touch of the 1960s to your wardrobe? Here are some tips and tricks to help you incorporate 1960s fashion into your wardrobe today and wear it stylishly.

Mix and Match

One way to wear retro fashion in a modern way is to mix vintage pieces with contemporary clothing. For example, you can pair a vintage blouse with a modern skirt or wear a retro dress with modern accessories. This way, you can incorporate the 1960s trend in a subtle yet stylish way.

  • Choose vintage pieces wisely – look for pieces that can be easily styled with modern clothing items, such as blouses, dresses, or skirts.
  • Don’t stick to one era – mix and match pieces from the 1950s or 1970s with 1960s clothing to create a unique and eclectic look.
  • Pay attention to details – accessorize with vintage jewelry, bags, or scarves to add an authentic touch to your outfit.

Go Bold

The 1960s were all about bold patterns, colors, and prints. Don’t be afraid to experiment with bright hues or striking patterns to add a retro vibe to your wardrobe. Here are some ways to go bold:

  • Choose a statement piece – opt for a bright-colored dress or a printed coat to make a bold statement.
  • Accessorize with colorful items – add a pop of color with a vintage scarf, a pair of bright-hued shoes, or a colorful bag.
  • Try a printed blouse or skirt – pair it with neutral items to balance out the look.

Stick to Classic Styles

Classic styles from the 1960s have stood the test of time and can be easily incorporated into a modern wardrobe. Here are some timeless fashion pieces to try:

  • Turtlenecks – wear them on their own or layer under dresses or blouses to add a touch of sophistication.
  • Mini skirts – pair them with modern jackets or blouses for a youthful and chic look.
  • Shift dresses – choose a classic A-line shift dress in a neutral color and accessorize with vintage items for a retro vibe.

Experiment with Hairstyles

Hairstyles from the 1960s were distinctive and iconic. Experiment with some of the most popular hairstyles of the era, such as:

  • The beehive – add volume to your hair by teasing and setting it with hairspray.
  • The bouffant – create a glamorous look by adding height to your ponytail or bun.
  • The pixie cut – embrace the androgynous look with a short haircut.

By incorporating some of these tips and tricks, you can revive the retro and add a touch of the 1960s to your wardrobe while staying stylish and modern. So, go ahead and experiment with different styles and create a unique and personalized look.

The Influence of 1960s Fashion on Modern Day Trends

The fashion industry is cyclical; what was once old becomes new again. Many fashion trends, such as flared jeans, crop tops, and tie-dye, have been revived in recent years and bear a striking resemblance to the 1960s fashion scene. The 1960s was a decade of change, marked by the emergence of new subcultures, political movements, and bold fashion statements. Today, the influence of 1960s fashion can be seen across the entire fashion industry, from high-end designer brands to fast fashion retailers.

The Relationship between 1960s Fashion and Women’s Liberation Movements

During the 1960s, women’s clothing underwent a dramatic transformation. The restrictive gender norms of the past began to crumble, and women began to demand more freedom to express themselves through fashion. The Women’s Liberation movement played a crucial role in this transformation. Women began to wear more practical clothing, such as trousers and flats, in the workplace. The increasing popularity of unisex clothing also challenged the traditional gender norms that had defined fashion for generations.

The fashion industry responded by producing clothing that was designed for comfort and versatility. Mary Quant, a British designer, is credited with popularizing the mini skirt in the early 1960s. The mini skirt quickly became a symbol of women’s liberation and is still worn today. The mini skirt represented a rejection of traditional gender roles and allowed women to express themselves in a way that was both fashionable and empowering.

The Enduring Legacy of 1960s Fashion

The impact of 1960s fashion has been felt across the entire fashion industry. The DIY ethos of the era, which encouraged people to create their own unique clothing, has led to a rise in sustainable fashion. Vintage and second-hand clothing, a staple of 1960s fashion, has become increasingly popular in recent years, as consumers look for more eco-friendly alternatives to fast fashion.

The 1960s also introduced new materials, such as PVC, plastic, and polyester, which have been used in fashion ever since. The use of bold prints and bright colors, which were a hallmark of 1960s fashion, can be seen in many contemporary designs. The legacy of 1960s fashion is a testament to its enduring popularity and its impact on contemporary fashion trends.

“In the 1960s, fashion was a way of expressing your individuality and challenging the status quo. Today, that same spirit of individuality is still alive and well in fashion.”

Where to Find Authentic 1960s Fashion Pieces Today

The 1960s were a time of great social change, and the fashion of the decade reflected that. The era saw the rise of mod fashion, with its bold colors and graphic patterns, as well as the more classic, ladylike style epitomized by Jackie Kennedy and the Mad Men women. Today, vintage pieces from the 1960s are still highly sought after by fashionistas and costume designers alike. Here are some great places to find authentic 1960s fashion pieces today:

1. Online marketplaces

Online marketplaces like Etsy and eBay are a treasure trove of vintage clothing from the 1960s. These platforms connect you directly with individual sellers, many of whom have carefully curated collections of vintage clothing. When shopping on these sites, be sure to read the seller’s descriptions carefully and look closely at the photos to ensure that the piece is in good condition and matches your style.

2. Thrift stores

You never know what you’ll find at a thrift store, but with a little patience and persistence, you’re likely to uncover some great vintage pieces from the 1960s. Look for thrift stores in trendy neighborhoods or affluent areas, where the selection may be more likely to include higher-end items. Don’t be afraid to dig through the racks and bins–you never know what treasures may be hiding there!

3. Specialty shops

Specialty vintage shops are another great source of 1960s fashion. These stores generally have staff who are knowledgeable about fashion history and can help you find pieces that fit your style and budget. Some vintage shops may also offer tailoring services to help you get the perfect fit.

4. Estate sales

Estate sales can be a wonderful opportunity to find vintage clothing from the 1960s. These sales often involve the liquidation of entire households, including their closets. Keep an eye out for estate sales in upscale neighborhoods, where the clothing is more likely to be in good condition and of higher quality.

5. Flea markets

Flea markets are a great place to find vintage clothing, including pieces from the 1960s. Look for flea markets that specialize in vintage or antiques, as these are more likely to have a good selection of clothing. Be prepared to do some digging–these markets can be overwhelming, but the rewards are often worth the effort.

6. Vintage clothing fairs and conventions

If you’re serious about collecting vintage clothing from the 1960s, consider attending a vintage clothing fair or convention. These events bring together multiple sellers with carefully curated collections of vintage clothing. You’ll be able to browse a wide variety of pieces and talk to experts in the field, who can help you learn more about vintage fashion and how to care for your pieces.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions Answers
What were the popular colors of the 1960s? The popular colors of the 1960s were bold and bright shades such as red, yellow, orange, and green.
Who were some famous fashion icons of the 1960s? Some famous fashion icons of the 1960s were Twiggy, Audrey Hepburn, and Brigitte Bardot.
What kind of dresses were popular in the 1960s? Shift dresses, babydoll dresses, and A-line dresses were popular in the 1960s.
What accessories were popular in the 1960s? Accessories like oversized sunglasses, headbands, and statement jewelry were popular in the 1960s.
What hairstyles were popular in the 1960s? Bouffant hairstyles, beehives, and flipped out hair were popular in the 1960s.
Can I incorporate 1960s fashion trends into my modern-day wardrobe? Absolutely! You can mix and match modern pieces with retro-inspired clothing to achieve a fashionable and unique look.

Thanks for Reading!

We hope you enjoyed learning about the retro vibes of women’s 1960s fashion trends. It is fascinating to see how this era’s fashion has made a comeback in recent years. Don’t forget to check back for more interesting articles about fashion and style. See you soon!

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