Female fashion in the 1960s

The 1960s stand out in history as a decade of change, not least in the fashion world.

British designer Mary Quant was at the forefront of the style revolution, but which ’60s look was your favourite?

Mini-skirt or Hot Pants?

Mary Quant popularised mini-skirts and gave the fashion world multi-coloured tights, hot pants, skinny rib sweaters, PVC boots, and plastic macs – which did you wear? Her designs are synonymous with the swinging ’60s and her clothes were worn by many of the It Girls and models of the era, including Twiggy and Pattie Boyd.

Did you have a Mary Quant dress?

Bardot or the Shrimp?

Before there was Twiggy, there was Jean Shrimpton. Nicknamed “the Shrimp” because of her slender figure and gamine look, she was considered a symbol of Swinging London and heralded as ‘The Face of the ’60s’.

One of her most famous outfits was a plain white shift dress with a 5-inches above the knee hemline that shocked Australia in 1965, but did you mimic her cool, youthquake style?

Brigitte Bardot’s curves gave her a very different image to the stick-thin models of the time, and the wide neckline style of jumper that exposes both shoulders is named after her.

Often dressed in black leather and over-the-knee boots, her curves made her an iconic ’60s sex symbol, but her piled high and perfectly unperfect beehive-style hairdo was copied by many.

Did you have a Twiggy-style pixie crop or a Bardot-style beehive?

PVC or Paper?

Mary Quant was one of the first designers to experiment with PVC, giving us “wet look” outfits.

Clothing manufacturers broke the mould with every new man-made material available, including polyester, nylon, acrylic, Spandex, rayon, Perspex, and even paper.

From 1966 to 1968, boldly printed, disposable paper dresses were a must-have item in a dedicated follower of fashion’s wardrobe!


Audrey or Marianne?

Other style icons of the era were Audrey Hepburn and Marianne Faithful.

After Audrey’s appearance as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, sales of “little black dresses” soared, but another of her signature styles was to pair simple capri pants with flat ballet pumps.

Did you aspire to achieve her sophisticated look?

Marianne Faithful had a rock chick attitude that matched her style. Famously associated with Mick Jagger in the ’60s, her flamboyantly dishevelled outfits were often accessorised with large feathery hats, tasselled boots and oversized sunglasses.

Did you go for the effortless, messy look?

What Goes Around Comes Around

Fashions come and fashions go, but it’s well-known that many fashions come around again and again. Skirt lengths go up and then they go down, and trouser leg widths continue to go in and out with each new trend. You may well have worn flares the first time around, but which of these fashion trends from the ’60s would you like to see make a return:

Jackie O’ pillbox hats; Baby Doll dresses; pink gingham and lace; oversized collars and white Peter Pan collars and cuffs; big bows; gladiator boots; stretchy stirrup pants; bell-bottom trousers; silver and white space-age outfits – or perhaps you never stopped wearing any of them?

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1 Comment

  • I am sporting my old Mary Quant /Purdie cut again. It suits my hair , and me (as far as it goes at my age ) . I loved Twiggy and her style. I had a plastic pink dress with a zip (it was horridly uncomfortable. A lovely psychedelic patterned dress that I loved in mostly blues and greens. And some boots similar to the ones worn by Honor Blackman in the Avengers. (Rubbish in snow , and my feet grew out of them too quickly 😂)

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