When most people think of 1960s, fashion images of miniskirts and bell bottoms come to mind. However, fashion of the early 1960s was very similar to the 1950s — it was conservative and feminine.
On the other hand, the fashion for men when it came to suits had already become loud and flashy.
Women’s Day Wear
Women in the early 1960s almost always wore dresses. They fell below the knee, and the skirts were swing, pleated or pencil. Trends included shirtwaist dresses, shift dresses, patterns with large flowers and dresses made with seersucker material.
Women’s Formal Wear
As with day wear, formal wear was also very conservative. Dresses were feminine and frilly. Ballgowns were usually full-skirted with a low neckline and tight waistline.
Women often wore over-the-elbow gloves.
Women in the early 1960s only wore pants for sports or outdoor activities. Pant styles included capris, madras shorts and culottes.
Stiletto heals were the most popular form of footwear.
Jacqueline Kennedy’s Influence
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, the youngest and arguably most elegant First Lady, set the trends for the fashion of the early 1960s.
Her choice of wardrobe inspired fashion trends, including pillbox hats (small square hats) and pastel suits with short, boxy jackets decorated with large buttons.
In contrast to the pale suits worn by women, the suits worn by men were loud and flashy. They often included trouser straps and collarless jackets.
Ties were extremely wide — up to five inches — and included outrageous prints, stripes and designs.
Leather boots were the final touch to the ensemble.
Men’s Casual Wear
For casual wear, men wore button down shirts, often with a plaid pattern, paired with a comfortable pair of trousers.