What Are Some Clothes That Women Wore in the 1960s?

Updated July 20, 2017

Women's fashion from the 1960s is full of memorable looks, styles, colours, and prints. These looks have transcended time and can still be seen in the fashion trends of today. Two different styles were prevalent for women in the 1960s. The hippie trend focused on bright colours, floral prints, and flowing dresses and tops. The mod trend influenced from fashion on the streets of 1060s London featured colourful, geometric, and Pop Art prints on miniskirts and dresses, paired with go-go boots. The hippie and mod trends will forever represent 1960s fashion.


In the early part of the 1960s, women wore skinny capri pants. Skinny capri pants were perfect for women who were homemakers, preparing the family's meals and cleaning house. The skinny capri pants offered a comfortable yet stylish look with a hint of sexiness. The capri pants came in a variety of colours and prints, sometimes with a matching top. Culottes were another 60s trend. Theses loosefitting trousers resembled a skirt when worn on the body.

The latter part of the decade offered a wilder trend in trousers. Gone were skinny capri pants, in favour of trousers with wider legs and lower waistlines. Bell bottoms, hip-huggers, and a bolder version of culottes called "hostess pajamas" became the rage. All of these styles offered the brightest colours and prints. Lime-green bell bottoms or daisy-printed hip-huggers were worn by all women, from homemakers to college girls.


Traditional tops in the 1960s included blouses that were often sleeveless and featured a pretty colour or print that could be paired with trousers or a skirt. Blouses became less-fitted and more billowy as the decade progressed. 1960s sweaters were generally tight and usually ribbed. Sweaters were paired with skirts or trousers.


Dresses in the early 1960s were an extension of dresses from the 1950s. These were ladylike, conservative, and delicate. Styles reached the calves, featured full skirts, and often required petticoats and girdles. Dresses often featured frills and pastels and floral prints. Women wore dresses everywhere -- home, school, church, social occasions. Shirtdresses and Jacqueline Kennedy's sleeveless A-lines became the rage.

Dresses in the latter part of the decade became more daring and vibrant. Fitted dresses in longer lengths disappeared. Shifts featuring a looser silhouette and short hemlines appeared. Bright colours and vibrant prints replaced pastels. Women paired shift dresses with black tights and go-go boots, or bared their legs in miniskirts.

Mary Quant, a fashion designer in London, introduced the miniskirt in 1965. The miniskirt's hemline fell well above the knees and was often paired with go-go boots. At first shocking, the look quickly went from London street fashion to an international trend.

Hippie versus Mod

Major fashion trends in the late 60s were the youthful and stylish hippie and mod looks. The hippie look was loosefitting and free-spirited, while the mod look was sexy, slim, and sleek.

The hippie look used lots of bright colours, floral prints, and accessories such as peace-signs. Girls wore voluminous blouses in floral prints, hip-hugger or bell bottom jeans, sandals, and straight hair loose and free.

The London model Twiggy influenced the mod look. Mod girls were often interested in fashion and conscious of the trends. One iconic mod look was a boldly-coloured and printed short shift dress paired with and go-go boots. The attire was usually slim-fitting. Women's hair was often ultra-short or straight and long with blunt fringe.

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About the Author

Kayla Posney has been writing professionally since 2008, specializing in fashion and historical fiction. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English studies from Robert Morris University and Master of Arts in professional writing from Chatham University. She will begin studies for a second master's degree at the University of Greenwich in London in 2011.