The '60s decade brought a new freedom in dress for men and women of all ages. The styles went through some changes as the decade progressed. Clothes styles were greatly influenced by new, hip designers during this time. Skirt lengths went up and fabrics became more colourful, with mixed and matched prints worn together. Hairstyles changed for both sexes during the mid-60s. Many of the '60s innovative styles, though modified and changed, are still popular in the 21st century.
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Teenage girl styles were influence by Mary Quant, the British clothes designer, who brought miniskirts to the foreground of fashion. The '50s knee-covering lengths were history for teens and young women. Slim A-line dresses were popular throughout the '60s in both solids and brightly coloured prints. Accompanying the new short look were knee-high boots. Girls wore flats, shoes with chunky medium heels, or high heels for an evening out. Teenage girls displayed different-colour hoop earrings -- the larger the better. Bell-bottomed trousers that flared from the knees were popular during the middle '60s. Another fashion trend was "hot pants"; very short shorts worn with matching tops.
School clothes for boys remained conservative; jeans were still not acceptable attire. However, the trousers got tighter as the decade progressed. Some boys got caught up in the bell-bottomed trend. Woven, collared shirts were still worn for most occasions; however collarless T-shirts emerged towards the end of the decade. Shoes were divided into two groups -- tennis and dress -- which were generally lace-ups. White socks went out of fashion, except with tennis shoes. Boys still tucked their shirts in throughout the decade and wore V-neck sweaters.
Women discarded girdles and nylon stockings held by garter belts. Seamless pantyhose arrived on the scene. Young, hip women took advantage of the miniskirt, though often covering their legs with colourful tights. However, older matrons stuck with mid-knee length. The new "sack dress" -- a slim shift style -- continued its popularity during most of the '60s. Knit sweater dresses, belted at the waist, were worn for evening wear. Synthetic fabrics were popular for women's attire, which simplified clothes care.
The first major change for men's wear was the absence of the everyday work hat. Men still dressed in a suit and tie for most business and social occasions. Casual sport coats in tweeds, plaids and patterns became a substitute for suits, for certain occasions. Other casual wear included khaki trousers, plaid shirts and cardigan sweaters. Men wore jeans mostly for outdoor work, in basic styles, without designer labels.
Tie-dyed fabrics, in bright colours for both sexes, made their fashion debut in the 60s. Paisley prints were popular for dresses, blouses and men's ties. Car coats were large, warm jackets made in corduroy, leather and suede and were popular with females and males. Love beads, a sign of friendship during the '60s, came in many colours and were worn around the neck and the wrist.
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