How to live like a hippie

Updated February 21, 2017

The broad definition of a hippie is someone who embraces an alternative lifestyle and does not conform to society's standards. A hippie may adopt a liberal attitude or lifestyle and may be interested in communal living, informal clothes and mysticism. The hippie movement began in the late 1960s and famous people such as John Lennon and Timothy Leary adopted the hippie message. Peace became an important message with the Vietnam conflict raging, civil unrest and protests ending in police brutality. The hippies aimed to change the established order and create a fairer society.

Grow your hair long. Put on a Pocahontas headband and add a flower. Your hair does not have to be unclean, just long and free.

Wear bell-bottomed or wide-flared trousers. Fringe the bottom of your jeans or trousers or add a beaded belt that hangs down. Women can also wear long, mini or micro skirts. Get creative with patterns and bright colours -- it is all about freedom.

Wear a tie-dyed T-shirt or top; dye yourself at home for that really handmade look. Women can also wear halter tops or gypsy blouses. Men can wear patterned or long ethnic shirts (not tucked in) and fringed leather vests.

Go barefoot, if you don't mind getting your feet dirty, or wear sandals.

Add peace signs to your clothes and wear a pair of granny glasses.

Become a vegetarian. The 1971 publication of the book "Diet for a Small Planet" by Frances Moore Lappé, and a vegetarian commune called "The Farm" begun the same year, were instrumental in popularising vegetarianism. The Farm particularly popularised the use of soybeans and tofu.

Grow your own fruit and vegetables. Part of the hippie lifestyle was about sustainability and living as a community that was able to support itself. Growing your own organic food is a good way to achieve this.

Get involved in protests and make a stand about the issues you care about. The hippies stood up for what they believed in, whether it was women's rights, racial equality or protesting the Vietnam conflict. Don't be afraid to go out there and make a point. Start a group with people who have the same values and make your voices heard.

Look after the planet. The hippies understood that man was polluting the earth through manufacturing, waste and chemicals. Recycling, green living and sustainability are part of the hippie lifestyle. Reuse old scraps of material to make your own clothes, recycle whatever you can, and use homemade cleaning products.

Love everybody. Loving people was one of the most important messages from the hippie movement. Treat everyone as you would want to be treated and spread love and kindness wherever you can. Sign anti-war petitions, fight against nuclear arms and spread the message of peace.


Read books that inspired the first hippies, such as "Psychedelic Prayers," by Timothy Leary, "Coming of Age in Babylon: Finding Your Own Reality," by Doug De Bias or "A New Model of the Universe," by P. D. Ouspensky. Listen to music that inspired the hippies, such as Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Woody Guthrie.


Adopting the hippie lifestyle in its entirety is a serious undertaking, as it is a philosophy for living -- not just a fashion statement.

Things You'll Need

  • Bell bottoms or wide flares
  • Granny glasses
  • Fringed vest
  • Tie-dyed T-shirt
  • Sandals
  • Peace sign or badge
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About the Author

Zoe Van-de-Velde began writing in 1990 and contributes to eHow and Answerbag. Van-de-Velde has a Bachelor of Arts & Humanities in media and English from DeMontfort University. She is currently studying for a Master of Arts in creative media arts specializing in digital photography at the London South Bank University.