Women's fashions from the 1960s left behind all traces of the Victorian and Edwardian styles which had influenced the 40s and 50s. Short dresses and two-piece outfits, either sheath or semi-fitted, dominated throughout the decade. Bohemians, always seeking to veer away from mainstream trends, turned toward the long, graceful styles of bygone eras.
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A "Little House on the Prairie" look was particularly popular with 1960s bohemians. These dresses, sometimes called maxi dresses, had ankle-length skirts that were flowing but not so full as to be puffy. The hemline was often graced with lace or a long ruffle. The bodice of a prairie dress was fitted. This could be accomplished with princess seams, darts or a wide waistband, which began beneath the breasts and ended just above the natural waistline. The sleeves were anything from a shoulder ruffle to a long sleeve with a button cuff. Prairie dress were sewn in numerous fabrics and colours, including white. Dainty lace, ribbon and eyelets were used for detailing.
Hardly anything is more individualistic than a hand-crocheted dress, and 1960s bohemians loved them. The entire dress, either long or short, was crocheted with white yarn in a sheath-like style. A light fabric liner was worn underneath since the crochet work often had large holes. Crocheted dresses were sleeveless or had unlined crocheted sleeves.
The traditional Puebla dress of Mexico became so popular with American bohemians in the 1960s that it earned the title "boho" dress. These were loose, blousy dresses with a scooped neckline, short sleeves and an empire waist. Alternately, the boho dress might not have a waist at all, only a yoke to which a full, gathered skirt was attached at breast level. White cotton, highlighted with brilliant embroidery, was the classic fabric for a boho dresses. However, as with all things bohemian, there was always room for variation.
A less common but dramatic bohemian style in the '60s was the medieval look. These gowns had princess seams which cut in at the waist and then flared out into a flowing, floor-length skirt The sleeves started out close-fitting at the shoulder but ended in a very wide flare. When made of a white, fluttering fabric, these gowns were the perfect bohemian wedding dress but too impractical to have much place in everyday wear.
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