The sixties brought change and conflict. Many political and social movements began or gained momentum during this time. Some of these included the civil rights movement, feminism, the peace movement, rock and roll and the youth revolution. Narrowing down a costume for a sixties theme party might be a challenge because of all the choices. Read on to learn how to dress for a sixties party.
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Consider a beach costume. Early sixties beach party movies were very popular, as was the musical group, the Beach Boys. For women, wear a one-piece or two-piece bathing suit. Men should wear surfer style, loose fitting trunks, preferably in Hawaiian prints. Add accessories such as a (fake) surf board, a beach towel or a beach ball.
Look at the everyday wear of the sixties. Women wore house dresses at home or pastel suits for going out. Accessories included small strings of pearls, hats and gloves. Costume jewelry was also popular. Men wore dark suits, white shirts and narrow, dark ties. Many men also wore hats.
Go Mod. With the British music invasion of the mid-sixties, clothing changed dramatically. Mini-skirts, vinyl fabric and Nehru jackets were the height of fashion. Use bright colors, like hot pink, orange and lime green. Caps for men and women were popular, as were go-go boots for women, and turtle necks and madras fabrics for both genders.
Celebrate Flower Power. By the end of the sixties, the peace movement had taken over the fashion world. Introduced by the hippies, it included very long hair, homemade bead necklaces, loose-flowing clothing and sandals for both women and men. Paint the face with a flower or peace symbol. Use tie-dyed fabrics and denim. Carry flowers to hand out.
Try the unusual. The sixties era spans a wide range of images and events. Other costumes include a Black Panther activist, a Vietnam War soldier, an astronaut, a Playboy bunny, James Bond or an original Star Trek character. Also consider dressing as an icon of the decade, like Jacqueline Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Andy Warhol, Twiggy or Gloria Steinem.
Rent movies for research. Sixties movies that reflect the style of the times include "Woodstock," "To Sir with Love," "Beach Blanket Bingo" and "A Hard Day's Night." More recent movies that feature sixties clothing include the Austin Powers series, "Forrest Gump," "JFK" and "The Doors."
Tips and warnings
- For true authenticity, shop resale shops, vintage clothing stores or estate sales for real sixties clothing.