The clothing styles of the 60s and 70s were an eclectic mix of natural and simple materials with unusual color and shape combinations. Hippie symbols of flower power, peace signs and smiley faces were everywhere and proudly displayed on the clothing at the time. Leisure suits were made from polyester and undergarments were optional. It was a fashion revolution.
Tie-Dye, Love Beads and Bell-Bottom Jeans
Looking back at it now, it probably seems pretty funny, but the 60s and 70s clothing styles were flooded with a wave of tie-dye shirts, love beads and bell-bottom jeans.
Tie-dye garments were usually handmade at home. Love beads were hand-strung or purchased at a head shop. Jeans were worn with the bottom of the leg material so wide and flowing that they were lovingly referred to as elephant bell-bottom jeans.
Sandals, Earth Shoes and Platform Shoes
The footwear of the 60s and 70s were an interesting mix of the natural and the ridiculous. If they weren’t going barefoot, guys and girls wore leather sandals, Dr. Scholl’s wood-bottom sandals or flat-bottomed, leather Earth shoes.
Somehow these organic fashions later gave way to tall soled and heeled platform shoes, which were extremely hard to walk in. But, that didn’t stop teenagers and rocks stars from dressing up in them — including the infamous platform shoes of Elton John.
Headbands, Halter Dresses and Mini-Skirts
Women and men wore headbands made from just about anything, including cloth, leather and hemp. Halter dresses and halter shirts were worn without undergarments — much to the dissatisfaction of school administrators and parents.
Hemlines went up while mini-skirts were all the rage and they enraged the parents of the young girls who wore them. Mini-skirts were often coupled with a pair of tall boots, sometimes referred to as “go-go boots.”
Leather and Fringe
Leather was worn by both the males and the females. Leather skirts, pants, jackets, boots and purses were extremely popular and often worn skintight.
Fringes adorned many of the leather items in the 60s and 70s and it was thought that the longer the fringe, the cooler the person looked. Young guys and girls even fringed their shorts, shirts and jeans. It was not uncommon to see someone wearing a pair of cut-off jeans with a 6- or 7-inch fringe.
References and ResourcesRhodes Famile: 1960's Fads
Fun and Fit; Off Your Rocker Shoe Review For Your; Kymberly Williams-Evans and Alexandra Williams; March 2011
Fifties Web: Sixties Fashions
ResourcesBaby Boomer Headquarters: Fashion in the 60s and 70s
Backward Glances: Smashing 60's and 70's
Fashion Era: 1960-1980 Fashion History