FASHION OF THE 1960s
When it comes to fashion, ‘Decades’ do not tend to fit in nice ten-year segments. Costumes from the late 1950s such as Teddy Boys and Girls, were also seen in the early 1960s. At the other end of the decade, many costumes and accessories which work for the late 1960s can also feature for a 1970s themes.
The 1960s was all about youth culture. The baby boom generation meant there were more young people with disposable incomes and increasingly these people were choosing not to ‘dress like their parents’ but find their own style. Fashion was one of the major influences on the decade. The main looks to come out of the 1960s were:-
Beatnik – Black berets, slacks, dark glasses & sandals.
Dolly Bird – Mixing influences from several sources, the typical dolly bird wore a mini-skirt & blouse (or mini-dress) with coloured/patterned tights and boots. If not going for the short cropped ‘Twiggy’ hairstyle, a ‘bubble-curl’ look was popular. Heavy and sometimes colourful make-up accentuated the eyes. Black eyelashes are a must and if you didn’t have the lashes yourself, false lashes for both top and bottom of the eye were becoming popular!
Hippy – Although the hippy ‘flower power’ movement supposedly started in San Francisco, the alternative lifestyle options also found favour over here. Props & Frocks stocks a wide range of Hippy costumes
Mini-dress – If the clothing designer Mary Quant did not invent the mini-dress/skirt, she certainly helped popularise it, particularly with the addition of matching opaque coloured tights, to protect the wearer’s modesty. She was also noted for her geometric-design ‘mod’ wear and helped popularise the shorter ‘bobbed’ hairstyle created by hairdresser Vidal Sassoon.
Mods – Italian Suits became ‘the thing’ for the fashionable male to wear during the early to mid-1960s.
Op-Art – Op-art was all about the print, optical illusion and distortion of various geometric images. Black & white patterned clothing were popular examples.
Pop Art – Clothing became an art form during the 1960s, with a mixture of various factions coming together, such as fashion, op-art, music, film, etc.. Iconic images of the time were reflected in works by designers such as Yves Saint Lauren, whose ‘Mondrian’ day dress featured on the cover of Vogue and artists such as Andy Warhol.
Pseudo-Militaria – Dedicated male followers of fashion discarded the ‘Mod’ fashions of earlier years to don pseudo-military jackets, coloured and ruffled shirts and wide ‘kipper’ ties in the latter part of the decade. Longer hair also became fashionable.
Rockers – The antithesis of the scooter loving ‘Mod’, the rocker wore black leather clothing and rode a motorbike. Have a look at our Biker Costume
Teddy Boy – Smart-dressed youth gang rebels of the late 50s/early 60s. Teddy Boy outfits were based on Edwardian-style (hence ‘Teddy’ – shortened form of Edward) long jackets faced with velvet, skinny ‘drainpipe’ trousers and bootlace ties. A flick-comb was also essential to maintenance the quiff or duck-tail hair-style.
Teddy Girl – Teddy girls derived their style from the rock n rock full skirts with petticoats also seen in America, although some erred towards the ‘beatnik’ look of blouse and skirt or Capri pants. Props & Frocks stock a wide range of Teddy Girl costumes to buy or hire
FASHION HEROES OF THE 1960s
Andy Warhol – The shock of blonde hair, dark clothing and large glasses says it all. Amongst his popart images, costumes are available for Marilyn Monroe and Campbell’s Soup Can.
Austin Powers – A spoof fashion hero. A 1960s-style stereotype based on a secret agent, whose ‘cover’ was a fashion photographer. Mike Myers’ 1997 creation mixed elements of the James Bond spy trend with the David Hemmings character in the Swinging Sixties film ‘Blow-up’ (1966). We stock Austin Powers costumes to hire & purchase
David Bailey – Key photographer in 1960s Britain, capturing images of the ‘stars’ of the period, particularly with regard to fashion. Many think he was the inspiration for the David Hemmings character in ‘Blow-up’.
Jean Shrimpton – ‘The Shrimp’ epitomised the gamine style of the era.
Twiggy – So called because of her thin, waif-like look, the model Twiggy was a leading style icon of the Sixties. Her short, ‘gamine’ hairstyle (echoing a style popularised by Audrey Hepburn in the 50s), eye make-up based around heavy use of false lashes, and androgynous dress-style was copied by many.
Bunny Girl – The Playboy Club with its costumed ‘bunny’ waitresses arrived in 1962. The Bunny Girl outfit involved a strapless bodice, so a special manoeuvre, the ‘bunny dip’, was necessary when serving drinks.
England Footballer – England footballers of the 1960s wore a red & white strip. The team’s World Cup win in 1966 helped boost the game’s popularity.