’60s Fashion: From head to toe

Shelby Stamper

Oct. 7, 2014


Seventeen, Feb. 1966, Page 41

Seventeen, Feb. 1966, Page 85

Seventeen, Feb. 1966, Page 112-113

Seventeen, Feb. 1966, Page 150-151

Seventeen, Feb. 1966, Page 198

Seventeen, May 1966, Page 175

Seventeen, May 1966, Page 134

The ‘60s were undoubtedly a time of change for the U.S. The fashion industry was being revolutionized by teens. Women began dressing in an exceptionally daring manner, and many were rebelling against a conservative society. A variety of styles co-existed in the ‘60s, but the majority of them fall under three categories: Mod, Classic/Feminine, and Hippie.



A revolt against tradition in the UK sparked this style. It began in London, and by 1965 it had spread like wildfire into the closets of American teens. The Mods— short for Modernists—were a trend setting group of intrepid teens. Their inspiration was drawn from high fashion icons including British models Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton.


Elements of Mod style

  • Revealing mini skirts
  • Bold, geometric prints
  • Vidal Sassoon’s short, angular five-point hair style
  • Heavy eyeliner and false lashes
  • Androgynous look
  • Dyed faux fur
  • Fishnet and colored tights
  • An excerpt from an advertisement in Seventeen magazine for Lady B.V.D.’s new colored tights said, “Stretch Casuals in colors to rival spring’s own… pink, blue, red, white, yellow and shades in between.”


High fashion model Peggy Moffitt

NSCO LLC, for noncommercial use only



Classic and Feminine

Think in regards of first lady Jackie Kennedy. Women who desired to appear elegant, classy and sophisticated donned this look. Many of the designs Jackie Kennedy wore decades ago have yet to lose popularity and are still in good taste today. This particular style is unique because it is one of the few trends of the ‘60s that was not inspired by rebellion or teenagers.


Elements of Classic/Feminine style

  • Simple designs and solid colors
  • Low heels
  • A-line dresses and skirts
  • Pillbox hat, which Jackie Kennedy was known for wearing
  • Shift dress—a western pattern became popular in ’66
  • “Flipped” hair that curled upward at the ears or shoulders
  • Poor-boy sweaters
  • Suit for women


Pink Chanel suit of Jackie Kennedy, 1961

NARA for reuse, photo taken by Cecil W. Stoughton



Toward the end of the ‘60s, the hippie trend had become very popular. The clothing reflected the essence of Woodstock through its psychedelic patterns and colors. This look, along with the Mod look, was relatively androgynous. The key aspect of hippie style was being natural. Being a hippie was certainly not concentrated on fashion alone; it was a subculture. This group was rebelling against a repressive society by showing that they would not conform.


Elements of Hippie style

  • Long hair on men and women
  • Little, if any, makeup on women
  • Natural materials including hemp
  • Frayed or embroidered bell-bottom jeans
  • Paisley print
  • Sandals for men and women
  • Peasant tunic



Beauty Tips/ Makeup

Beauty was influenced in the 1960’s by movie stars, music, popular brands and geometric patterns. The fashion groups subcultures, such as Mod and Hippie, also had an influence on accessories and makeup worn.


Elements of Beauty Tips/ Makeup

  • False eyelashes, heavy eyeliner
  • White eye shadow and black crease (look worn by Twiggy)
  • Face and body painting
  • Natural products
  • Cleopatra (movie) eyeliner look
  • Covergirl, Maybelline, and Max Factor (makeup brands)
  • Pastel colors


Selection of false lashes for ‘60s woman (1969 advert, for reuse)



Fashion is constantly evolving based on older designs. Some of the styles of the ‘60s such as peasant tunics and paisley print are currently popular. Melanie McMaster, who was a teenager during the ‘60s, said, “What I love living through the ‘60s to now is seeing how fashion is a cycle. I bought a shift dress yesterday from the ‘new arrivals’ section at Nordstrom, I thought it was hilarious!”


Shelby Stamper is a Journalism junior. She can be reached at scs117@txstate.edu

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