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  • Writer's pictureEmma

Vintage Fashion Trends of the 1960s & 1970s

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

The 1960s and 1970s were two of the most transformative decades in history, with major social, political, and cultural changes taking place throughout the world. The fashion of these decades was no exception, with unique and iconic vintage trends emerging that still influence fashion today.

In the early 1960s, fashion was heavily influenced by the sleek and sophisticated look of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. She favored tailored suits, pillbox hats, and A-line dresses in solid colors and simple prints. This style became known as the "Jackie O" look and was popular among women of all ages.

At the same time, the mod subculture was emerging in the UK. Mod fashion was all about bold colors, geometric prints, and short, structured silhouettes. The mini skirt, which had been introduced by designer Mary Quant, became a staple of mod fashion and continues to be a popular style today.

In the mid-1960s, the hippie subculture emerged in San Francisco and quickly spread throughout the US and Europe. Hippie fashion was all about freedom and expression, with loose, flowing garments made from natural materials like cotton and silk. The iconic tie-dye print, which was a symbol of peace and love, became popular among hippies and remains a staple of bohemian fashion today.

The late 1960s also saw the rise of the disco subculture, which brought with it a new style of fashion. Disco fashion was all about glamour and excess, with sparkly fabrics, platform shoes, and bold makeup. The jumpsuit, which had previously been worn primarily as a utilitarian garment, became a popular disco style and continues to be a fashionable choice for both men and women.

In the 1970s, fashion became more casual and comfortable, with a focus on natural fabrics and relaxed silhouettes. The bohemian trend continued to be popular, with long, flowing dresses and peasant blouses becoming staples of the hippie wardrobe. The maxi dress, which is a long, flowing dress that often features a bold print, was also popular during this time.

In addition to the bohemian trend, the 1970s also saw the emergence of punk fashion. Punk fashion was all about rebellion and DIY style, with ripped jeans, leather jackets, and band t-shirts becoming popular among the punk subculture. The iconic punk hairstyle, which featured a shaved head or a brightly-colored mohawk, also became a symbol of rebellion and non-conformity.

The 1970s also saw the rise of disco music, which had a major influence on fashion. Disco fashion was all about glitter and glamour, with metallic fabrics, sequins, and bold accessories becoming popular among disco-goers. The disco trend was epitomized by the iconic movie "Saturday Night Fever," which featured John Travolta in a white suit and platform shoes.

In terms of accessories, the 1960s and 1970s saw the rise of several iconic styles. In the early 1960s, the pillbox hat was a popular accessory, thanks to Jackie Kennedy's influence. Sunglasses also became a popular accessory during this time, with oversized frames and dark lenses becoming a trend.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the headband became a popular accessory, particularly among hippies. The headband was often worn with long, flowing hair and was sometimes decorated with beads or feathers. Platform shoes also became a popular trend during this time, with both men and women embracing the extra height and bold style.

In the mid-1970s, the popularity of disco music brought with it a new trend in accessories: the disco ball. The disco ball was a mirrored ball that was hung from the ceiling of disco clubs, reflecting the flashing lights and creating a festive atmosphere. Disco balls also became a popular accessory for home decor and party decorations.

In terms of colors and prints, the 1960s and 1970s saw a wide range of trends. In the early 1960s, solid colors were popular, particularly pastels and bright, primary colors. As the decade progressed, bold geometric prints and color blocking became popular, particularly in mod fashion.

In the mid-1960s, psychedelic prints really took off among hippies, featuring bright colors and swirling patterns. Tie-dye was also a popular print, often created using natural dyes like indigo and turmeric.

In the 1970s, earthy tones and natural fabrics were popular, with colors like olive green, mustard yellow, and burnt orange becoming trendy. Bold, colorful prints like paisley and floral were also all the rage during this time.

Overall, the fashion of the 1960s and 1970s was characterized by a sense of experimentation and freedom. The different subcultures of the time each had their own distinct style, from the sleek and sophisticated look of Jackie Kennedy to the rebellious punk style of the late 1970s. This sense of diversity and individuality is what makes vintage fashion from this era so appealing today.

In recent years, vintage fashion from the 1960s and 1970s has experienced a resurgence in popularity. Many designers and fashion brands have incorporated elements of vintage style into their collections, from bohemian maxi dresses to retro-inspired platform shoes. Vintage clothing stores like have also become popular destinations for fashion lovers looking to score unique and one-of-a-kind pieces from this era.

One of the reasons for this renewed interest in vintage fashion is the desire for sustainability and ethical fashion. By buying vintage clothing, consumers can reduce their impact on the environment by avoiding the production and waste associated with fast fashion. Vintage clothing also has a story and a history, which adds to its appeal for many fashion enthusiasts.

In conclusion, the vintage trends of the 1960s and 1970s were characterized by a sense of experimentation, individuality, and freedom. From the sleek and sophisticated Jackie O look to the rebellious punk style, each subculture of the time had its own unique fashion identity. Today, vintage fashion from this era continues to inspire designers and fashion lovers alike, with its bold colors, unique prints, and timeless silhouettes. By embracing vintage fashion, consumers can reduce their impact on the environment while also enjoying the unique and stylish pieces from this iconic era.

Until next time

Emma x

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