As I await the last episode of Mad Men (sob!), I’m thinking about the arc of the sixties. In fashion and style as in everything else, the decade was a fast, manic ride through a series of dramatic changes.
The early sixties were more reminiscent of the 1950s: conservative, restrained and classic. Think sheath dresses, pillbox hats, gloves and skirt suits worn with bouffant and beehive hairstyles.
The shoes were pumps, worn low and square-toed.
By 1964 pale lipsticks and nail polish replaced the vivid shades for a “natural” look. Hair was no longer curly, but more waved to follow the contour of the head. Long bangs were stylish.
1965 was the mod era: it was all about pop art and op art dresses and “Poor Boy” sweaters worn with low hip hugger pants.
1966 the look was mini skirts and pale colored fishnet or lacy textured hosiery, low-heeled “little girl” shoes, mannish jackets, and ties. Accessories included over-the-shoulder handbags and bright jewelry: flower pins and modern styled geometric earrings.
1968 was the full-on hippie era: colorful, expressive outfits, thrift store styles, wide bell bottoms, Indian cotton skirts. Even affluent women adopted the hippie look in lavish fabrics, furs and jewels. It was a nomadic mix of ethnic and legend-inspired outfits. There were gaucho pants, gauze shirts and, especially, vests.
By 1969 the look was a longer leaner line with dark tights, tunics, skinny long sleeves, low-rise jeans with pockets and wide belts, more vests and fringe. Other hallmarks were the unisex look, patchwork, native American inspired style and lots of purple.