Category: Fashion

’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

Twiggy: Androgyny, and the Face of an Era

By: Jacqueline Lege’

London, UK, The Sunday Times April 2, 1967  p.51

The Sunday Times, March 26, 1967 p. 33

The New York Times, April 4, 1967 p. 44

Seventeen Magazine, November 1967: Twiggy Lashes by Yardley, p. 32

Seventeen Magazine, September 1967: H.I.S. for Her, p. 35


twiggy by yardley

1 Photography by Seventeen Magazine p. 32

What does “Twiggy” mean?

Ask an American newspaper in the Sixties, and the answer is a description of her frail body. Ask Seventeen magazine advertisers, and it’s a description of her eyelashes. In virtually every magazine and newspaper ad directed to youth fashions, there was a girl with at least Twiggy’s eyelashes, if not her mop-top as well. Now, in 2014, Twiggy is defined as any frail, heavily made-up young girl. Her style and image was pervasive in the fashion world, and even when she moved on from the world of modeling, those images stuck with the rest of the world.


The Swinging ‘60s

Culture grows, matures and changes despite a nation’s economic, political, and sociologic status. In the 60’s, Americans were buffeted by the Vietnam War and the death of a President John F. Kennedy, as well as complex social problems arising from racism. People were eagerly consuming culture, and part of that culture was fashion.

Fashion has been important to humanity for centuries. It reflects cultural standards and provides an avenue for self-expression. Fashion requires disposable income in American culture as well as others, and thus can be used as an emblem of status. Fashion in the 60s reflected the complexity of its era: different hairstyles; revolutionary cuts and lines of clothing and fabric; make-up; pop-art prints. The conflicting ideologies in the Sixties created completely new styles. The fashionable use of androgyny, a theme epitomized by the popularity of Twiggy, is an example of a new style. Twiggy was often characterized as waifish and elfin, not only due to her thin physique but also because of her pixie haircut. This combination made her resemble a young boy, and because she was popular and accepted, this provided an avenue for others to experiment with dressing in-between genders.

Twiggy was named the “Face of ‘66” by The London Daily Express at the beginning of her career, and her popularity exploded in London. Within a year, London newspapers could be seen casually referring to her style as a basis of comparison, while America called her the fist “child star of high fashion.”



2 Photography by Seventeen Magazine p. 35

 Androgyny as a Fashionable Choice

By 1967, it was known Twiggy had a certain charm to her: in a The Sunday Times article about fashion’s latest “in” being girls wearing feminized versions of masculine party dress, Twiggy was referenced as the “why” by anthropologist James Laver. It was game-over for the hearts of fashion conscious consumers. Twiggy had left England, crossed the pond, and started modeling in America, and appeared on things from Newsweek to Seventeen Magazine. America was transitioning from the 50s era of “set” hairstyles, curlers, rollers, and long skirts to the 60s short shorts, minidresses, and pixie cuts.

Newsweek, April 10, 1967: “Her figure belongs to the youngest of Venus’ handmaidens, not to Venus herself: four straight limbs in search of a woman’s body, a mini-bosom trapped in perpetual puberty, the frail torso of the teen-age choirboy…”

Another example of androgyny’s effect was that of the “shift dress.” This dress was short, often with a print or a collar, and no discernable shape of the body because it hung from the shoulders. This is in stark contrast to the two-piece top and tight-waisted skirts of the 50s, which would show at least the width of one’s hips, a classic sign of fertility.

Jacqueline Lege’ is a junior journalism student who was raised by parents born in the 60s and who infused their tastes into one little human.

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