"The Sixties" were wild. The musical revolution, setting foot on the moon and of course, the miniskirt. The clothing item that made history was back then a subject of intense social debate and controversy. Length: stops eight inches above the knee. Worn: by young women, to whom men are unrelated, but not by their own wives and fiancés. That was actually the masculine point of the view on the miniskirt, as presented in one of the first articles dealing with the subject in 1962.
Fortunately, the 1960s were not about following rules. The controversial item, seen only at sport events, on tennis players or figure skaters, finally made its way into the streets of "Swinging London". At that time, London was the centre of a cultural revolution in music, fashion and mentality. It was "the most swinging city in the world", as Diana Vreeland, editor of Vogue magazine described it in 1965.
Fashion was making strong social statements and the miniskirt was just one of them. Everything was changing, evolving and claiming an unprecedented freedom of expression. The 1960s left a solid legacy in fashion, items that are still part of our wardrobe more than 50 years after being accepted in the social scene. A recurrent inspiration in design, this decade remains actual with most of its nuances, from the early 1960s short skirts and shifts to the hippie look.
Here are some of the most popular fashion items and trends of the decade to help you create your own 1960s inspired look.
Dresses : Shift Dresses | A-Line Minidresses | Chiffon Baby-Doll Dresses | Box-shaped PVC Dresses
Victoria Beckham - Black Metallic Bouclé Shift Dress
Victoria Beckham - Cream Eyelet-Embellished Wool Crepe Dress
Victoria Beckham Denim - Green Plaid Jersey Mini Dress
One of the representative images of the 60s, the sharp A-Line minidress was a radical shift from the iconic full skirt of the previous decade. Removing attention from the waist, the A-Line minidress promoted a different type of femininity. The minidress was also a favourite of public figures, among which Twiggy, a successful international model and one of the most recognisable faces of the 60s. Her look was slightly androgynous, but in a stylish, feminine way.
Victor Xenia London - Margo Dress White & Black
The 1960s inspired minidress is a clothing item that allows a modern interpretation. It all depends on how much you want to recreate the decade in your outfit. You can pair it with pointed, low-heel pumps for a more accurate feel, but you can also give it a modern personality wearing a high stiletto heel. If you want to enjoy the retro vibe, choose a minidress with geometric or mismatched patterns. A modern print will create a contemporary look.
Victoria Beckham - Navy Wool Crepe Mini Dress
Mini is the key word when it comes to 60s fashion. An item that never left the fashion scene, the miniskirt is still a key word today and it will be decades from now. The popularity of the miniskirt surprised its many opponents, among which designer Coco Chanel who referred to it as a "bad joke that won’t last – not with winter coming" in 1966.
Although there have been various designer claims regarding the invention of the miniskirt, the item was mostly associated with the Welsh fashion designer and fashion icon, Mary Quant, who named the skirt after her favourite car brand, the Mini. In the 60s, the miniskirt was worn with tights, often coloured and patterned.
Victoria Beckham Denim - Blue Denim Mini Skirt
Prints & patterns: Stripes | Geometric | Psychedelic | Mismatched
Some of the iconic fashion images of the 60s focus on stripe prints, with celebrities like Brigitte Bardot or Audrey Hepburn promoting a relaxed and feminine look. Ballet flats, capri pants and a striped blouse will take us back to the 60s. Adding some modern accessories gives the outfit a contemporary feel.
Victoria Beckham - Monochrome Printed Shift Dress
Accessories: Cat Eye Sunglasses | Pillow Box Hats | Boxy Bags | Berets
Cat eye sunglasses never grow old. Retro, but up-to-date, they keep words like "groovy" alive. So do boxy bags, another fashion item of the 60s.
Stella McCartney - Grey Marble Cat Eye Sunglasses
Stella McCartney - Orange Cat Eye Sunglasses
Colour: Black & White | Highlighter Colours | Bright Colours
The 1960s playfulness and creativity is also reflected in colour choices. The range is impressive, starting from monochrome to fluorescent colours and wild combinations. In the early 6os, menswear embraced the trend, leaving behind the subtle tones for a more colourful look.
Victoria, Victoria Beckham - Black And White Silk Dress
Blouses: Turtleneck Tops | Striped Blouses
If you want to pay homage to the 60s, then the turtleneck top is a good starting point. Jacqueline Kennedy, a style and grace icon, used to wear black turtleneck tops paired with elegant trousers. You can also add oversized sunglasses to your outfit.
Kelly Shaw - Vanessa Black & White Stripe Top
Trousers: Capris | Bell-Bottomed Trousers
Trousers were another element of novelty in a woman’s wardrobe, also serving as a statement item. Women wanted to speak about equality and they did it in their own innovative way. Not without controversy, trousers were finally accepted as a fashion option for women in the 1960s.
Av By Adriana Voloshchuk - Textured Cotton Slim Trousers Blue
Paul Smith Black - Pale Blue Cropped Trousers
Joseph - Navy Pinstripe Wool Trousers
Shoes: Pointed Pumps | Kitten Heels | White Go-Go Boots | Coloured boots | Low-Heeled Sandals
A specific fashion item was the white go-go boot, popularized by public figures like Nancy Sinatra. In 1966, the singer wore go-go boots while performing the famous "These Boots Are Made for Walkin". Low-heel pointed pumps and a minidress is still a wonderful outfit to wear on a sunny day.
La Paire - Alex Ballet Flats Indigo La Paire - Alex Ballet Flats Stardust
Outerwear: Short Plastic Raincoats | Short Boxy Jackets | Colourful Swing Coats | Dyed Fake-Furs
Playful and fun, the plastic raincoat is a must-have on our 60s list. Creating a fresh and free look, this raincoat is still suitable for a twirl in the autumn or spring rain.
Victoria, Victoria Beckham - Black Faille A-Line Jacket
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