1960s Fashion for Women & Girls

1960s Fashion for Women & Girls

Women’s fashion trends in the 1960s swung wildly from one end of the spectrum to the other. The early 1960s were marked by box dresses and 1950s fashions. In the mid-1960s, fashion began to take cues from London and the waistline reappeared. But the late sixties had a mind of their own!

Fashion in 1962 looks very similar to fashion in 1959. Not a lot had changed, but it was clear from dragging sales that fashion designers had to come up with something new quick. European styles dominated, and First Lady Jackie Kennedy led the charge with her ubiquitous clean dresses, and pill box hats.

The bullets fired in Dallas in 1963 not only completely changed the landscape of American politics, but they also completed the end to an era of fashion. After President Kennedy’s murder, Jackie disappeared from public eye as did her influence on the fashion world.

Soon after, the British Invasion featuring the Beatles ushered in a new era of British dominance in fashion, music and culture in general. By 1966, the early-sixties look had become much more sleek and modern. The lines were sharper and more form-fitting. Fur was less popular, but gloves were still a necessity. Most of this fashion sense was taken directly from the London mod scene.

But by the time the late sixties rolled around, all bets were off. Often times women were seen wearing the same clothes as men. That’s not to say that femininity was thrown completely out the window, but frankly, women’s clothing became more masculine while men’s clothing became more feminine.

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The late sixties were the era of the flared-bottomed pants, foreshadowing the much more obvious bell-bottoms of the seventies. Polyester was a very common material and skirts were short. Women were no longer embarrassed to flaunt their stuff in public.

Although wild colors were nothing new, in the late 1960s the patterns were even brighter. And then something crazy happened. The waistline disappeared again. Women were strolling around in tunics and culottes, with the wind flowing right through their comfortable, flowing and quite baggy gowns.

Women’s Fashion Ads from 1960s Catalogs

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Last modified: Aug 23, 2015 | Written by Paul Phipps