Hippie Style in the 1960s

Written by dan boone
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Hippie Style in the 1960s
Hippie style reflected peace and love. (Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Flower power was the mantra of the 1960s. It was the era of the Beatles, war protests, Woodstock and a group of men and women known as "hippies." These young people were easily recognised by their alternative lifestyle that reflected values of peace, love and communal sharing. The hippie look of the 1960s challenged conventional fashion at the time, but decades later many elements of hippie style have become mainstream and even iconic.

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Clothing

Bell bottoms in denim or flamboyant colours like purple or red created a baseline for hippie fashion in the 1960s for both men and women. Faded jeans with multiple patches and frayed cuffs replaced the conservative trousers young people wore in the 1950s. Some women in the 1960s opted for an "earth mother" look with "granny dresses," long skirts, and peasant style blouses, adopted from foreign cultures to signify a search for global diversity. Tye-dying also emerged as a popular style on head scarfs and T-shirts. Most hippies wore sandals or went barefoot whenever possible.

Jewellery

Hippies adorned themselves with colourful bead necklaces ("love beads") and bracelets with the universal peace symbol. They often made their own jewellery from found objects such as sea glass, stones, and shells. Many also favoured Native American jewellery due to its symbols of the sun and the moon and other elements of nature.

Hair

Hair was such an important aspect of the 1960s hippie style it spawned a popular 1960s musical about the hippie movement simply called "Hair." Long hair was a strong characteristic of hippie style. It was left mostly naturally curly or straight. "Afros" were popular among African American hippies and those who wanted to show solidarity in the movement for equality. Many men also let their facial hair grow into long beards.

Communal Living

Hippies in the 1960s preferred to live in groups, where they could share resources and their alternative lifestyle. Communal living often focused on vegetarian whole grain cooking, nudity, and drugs such as marijuana and LSD. The communal lifestyle also often included the practice of eastern philosophy and meditation. Music and art were other important elements of the 1960s hippie style. Popular poster artist Peter Max, often called the visual equivalent of the Beatles, reflected the era's colourful art while hippie music ranged from psychedelic rock to new age flutes and folk guitar.

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