Why I love 1960s fashion

1960's fashion was so multi-faceted: Faye Navesy explores some of the main trends of the time.

Faye Navesey
22nd February 2021

The era of mods, beatniks and hippies, an era with such a vast array of styles that you would be hard pressed to find anyone that didn’t like any aspect of 60s fashion. The 1960s were a time of seismic cultural and political changes and the spirit of liberation lives on through the huge fashion trends it inspired. 

Feminist influences in this period cannot be understated, the entrance of women into the workplace and the sexual liberation movements occurring at the time prompted the rise of feminist fashion. The pantsuit began gaining popularity in the late 60s and it marked the departure from the conservative and domesticated expectation of women's fashion, the more experimental and liberal view of fashion took hold during this era, dark kohl eyeliner, bold patterns, more revealing clothes than earlier times had allowed. The  numerous  liberatory movements of the era contributed to the advent of ‘hippie’ fashion that became associated with the left at this time, flowing dresses, floral print and handmade clothes were a huge part of this. The fashion of this era was not just incredibly bold and beautiful but was an expression of a break from early twentieth century social codes, with the development of more modern attitudes to aesthetics.

The pantsuit began gaining popularity in the late 60s and it marked the departure from the conservative and domesticated expectation of women's fashion, the more experimental and liberal view of fashion took hold during this era, dark kohl eyeliner, bold patterns, more revealing clothes than earlier times had allowed.

Subcultures of this time were also incredibly influential; one example of this being Mods, emerging out of working class communities in Britain they aspired to dress well, tailored suits and colour blocked patterns identified them and their influence extended well past their era. In contrast the beatnik style also became popular in this period, with strong literary and political roots their style was less polished than the mods, dark glasses and black clothes were more suited to them, less concerned with looking polished and more with politics and literature. It was also closely knit with African American influence: dark clothes and turtlenecks had been a symbol of resistance in Black Power movements, stemming from the black panthers uniform,  and these influences blended to create a style that was culturally and politically significant.

instagram: @historicnest

The beauty of the 1960s is its diversity of inspiration: it pulled from social, literary and cultural movements; it combined more polished and conservative looks with modern and even psychedelic patterns. From Audrey Hepburn to Cher there is something in 60s fashion for everyone.

featured image- instagram @kozmicdecades

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