The 1960s were, as we all know, a decade of significant societal and cultural change, and the fashion of the era reflected that. Fashion and style were influenced by music, art, and politics and featured bold prints, mini skirts, and statement accessories. For the first time, young people became the leaders of fashion, following the trend of teenagers having extra cash to splurge in the 1950s.
If you’re looking to echo the looks of the 1960s but don’t have a large budget, look no further! My handy guide will help you get a 60s vibe without breaking the bank by showing you what to look for on the high street and in thrift stores. You don’t have to spend a lot of money if you know what to look for. I’ve been particularly drawn to the 60s fashion style recently; I just love how fun it is!
Mini skirts and dresses
We all know about the impact of mini skirts and dresses during the 1960s, and they are, of course, a key element for a 60s style look. Although we don’t bat an eye at mini-length these days, it was quite a scandal in the 1960s. Traffic jams were caused by the drivers not being able to take their eyes off the wearer, so a mini skirt or dress is essential for getting that 60s vibe.
Look for mini dresses and skirts in bright colours and bold patterns to create the right vibe. A-line skirts and empire line dresses were the most popular styles so choose items that flare from the waist or under the bust for a kitchy, playful look. We have Mary Quant to thank for this trend, by 1966 she was creating hip, new mini’s that were 6 or 7 inches above the knee. She was however inspired by Courrèges in 1965 from their 1964 designs – making them even shorter. You can wear yours bare legged or with colourful tights – the choice is yours!
Bold prints were everything in the 1960s. From geometric shapes and tie-dye to paisley and florals, there’s something for everyone. To get this style, look for dresses, blouses, skirts, and trousers in bright, eye-catching prints. Don’t be afraid of mixing patterns; the spirit of the 1960s was all about individuality and self-expression.
Go-go boots are another 1960s staple to look out for on the high street. Traditionally, go-go boots were white, low-heeled, and finished mid-calf, but the term has grown to include a range of similar styles. Boots in patent or suede were the most popular finishes, and 1960s boots usually had low, block heels, making them comfortable to wear daily. These days, you can get a range of styles and colours to match any taste.
Jewelery is an essential part of 1960s style, and bold, oversized pieces make a statement and finish your look. For a start-of-the-decade look, try out glitzy, gold, and feminine designs with greens and pearls for an ultra-glamorous look.
For a later decade of mod and space-age style, why not try fun accessories in chunky Perspex? The bold accessories of the late 1960s were influenced by pop art and featured striking, colourful designs. Look out for bangles, earrings, and bangles.
Mod-style jackets and coats are a fun way to get 60s style, maintain the vintage look, and keep you warm! In coats in particular, high-shine finishes were in, so a plastic raincoat or PVC is a must. Towards the end of the 1960s, suede jackets were popular, especially among hippies, and would usually have fringing and beads.
Look for styles like peacoats, trenchcoats, and boxy jackets in bright, bold prints, and pair cropped styles or transparent rain macs with your mini dresses and shirts.
Headbands and scarves
Headbands and scarves were popular accessories in the 1960s, and they’re an easy way to add a touch of the 60s to your wardrobe. Look for metallic finishes and bold prints, and tie your silk scarves around your neck or head.
Colour combinations to look for
The 1960s were a decade of bold colours in fashion and design. Psychedelic, bright, and bold shades of magenta, orange, sunny yellow, and pea-green will help you too draw the eye in your 60s look. Pastels like baby blue and pink were also popular, especially if you’re aiming for an early 60s look. Black and white geometric combinations were also popular for a striking, minimalistic vibe and would often be paired with a bright accent colour. Orange, mustard, and brown (my favourite combination) were very popular in the late 60s, with earth tones continuing into the early 70s.
In the early 1960s, make-up was all about soft, elegant eyes, pale pink hues, and matte skin with powder. By the mid-60s, a girlish “baby doll” lol was popularised by Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton.
Many women would use a light, pearlescent eyeshadow with a palette of white, pale green, and blue, the most popular shades. Eyeliner in darker shades was drawn closer to the lashings, and then an additional line was drawn over the lid in the crease. White eyeliner was used on the bottom waterline to make the eyes look bigger and more doll-like. Lashings of mascara would then be added to the top and bottom lashes, with false lashes completing the look.
For blush, skin, and lips, paleness was in; the emphasis was purely on the eyes. Matte skin from the 1950s was still in vogue, and pale pink or peach blush would be used to add a little brightness and colour to the skin. Lip shades would usually be pale pink and peach too, with gloss and pearlescent gaining popularity towards the end of the decade.
Getting a 1960s style doesn’t mean you have to break the bank; you can find what you’re looking for on the high street and in thrift stores if you know what to look for. Embrace bold patterns, bright colours, and statement accessories to get a look that is kitchy, fun, and, most importantly, yours!