1960s Fashion – Hippie Clothes

hippie clothes

By the time I went to college in the Fall of 1968, my entire clothing style changed. Out of my mother’s clutches, I went hippie. Or more accurately, pseudo-hippie. I did not head for San Francisco nor did I live on the streets. But I was dressed appropriately for protest marches, and that’s what matters for this discussion.

We were so sure we were counter-culture individualists. Radicals! Looking back I realize that you cannot be a non-conformist while conforming to a style all your peers have adopted. But it is fair to say, as a group we had left the mainstream.

None of this made parents very happy. I recall the first time I came home on vacation and wasn’t wearing a bra. Scandalous! My mother and I compromised. I could do as I wanted at school (like she had a choice) and I wouldn’t embarrass her in front of her friends. Think of it as “do your own thing when THERE but not HERE.”

The new hippie clothes style wasn’t great for retailers either. Shopping at the Army Surplus tends to undercut major department stores.

Handmade and natural were sacred words. We crafted by doing macrame, beading, all sorts of homespun things that kids today wouldn’t be caught dead doing. I have no idea how many candles I made but once, I used an empty Mrs. Butterworth syrup bottle. Never mind. It was the Sixties, whaddaya want?

This back to nature bent spilled over into clothes. We wore peasant blouses, granny dresses and carried hemp bags.

About the picture above. Yes, there was nudity and anyone who has seen the pictures from Woodstock knows this. Did it happen often? No. And never by me or around me – I swear.

There were some serious issues. A nasty little war in Vietnam threatened every male in my age group. Racial inequities needed remedy. But this is the fashion section and we’re going to have some fun with the hippie look. I’m entitled.

Peace, baby.


How to Dress Like a Hippie

1. Do have a flower. I know the song says “in your hair” but the truth is that it’s hard to get the things to stay put.

2. No flower? Go for the Pocahontas headband.

3. Hair is long and “unkempt looking.” (My mother’s words) But it is clean. Yes, we washed our hair. Hey, deep down we were Baby Boomers from suburbia.

4. Women could wear a mini or even micro skirt provided she had decent legs. A chain belt was groovy. Boots or go-go boots were okay too.

5. Men – Jeans, the grungier the better. Leather vests were big too.

6. Fringe – for all. Vest, jackets, pants, shirts. Anything could be fringed.

7. Peace symbol. Every last one of us had at least one peace symbol.

Hippie Girl

This chick has it all going. 1960s fashion – Hippie clothes include:

1. Hip hugger, bell bottom jeans and wide leather belt.

2. Fringed jean bottoms

3. Halter top

4. Headband with flower. (One way to keep the thing in place.)

5. Bare feet. You’ll notice from the photo below that the practice of going barefoot tends to make your feet dirty. Plus, you can step in some serious er, stuff.

Ankle bells are in.

6. Obligatory peace symbol. If you didn’t want to wear it around your neck you could have a peace symbol belt buckle or pin. In which case you wore beads around your neck.

Hippie clothes

1960s fashion – Hippie clothes include:

1. Tee shirts are always acceptable

2. Fringed leather vest

3. Granny glasses were groovy too

4. Obligatory flower

5. Obligatory peace symbol

Black power

Hippie clothes include:

1. Afro hair was the syle for blacks. The bigger the better. And the more radical.

2. Combat style vest. Combat jackets and fatiques were big too.

4. Leather sandals were worn for all occasions. And they helped you avoid all the problems associated with going barefoot.

5. Obligatory peace symbol

Tie Dye

Hippie clothes include:

1. Tie dye. We tie dyed everything from clothes to sheets. No, we didn’t go to the mall and buy them. We made them. All over the Internet you can find sites that sell tie-dye packages that allow even a beginner to create a masterpiece. They have all kinds of products to make it perfect.

We didn’t have any of that fancy stuff. What we had was Rit dye. We’d twist or gather the fabic, secure it with a rubber band and pitch it in a pot according to the Rit directions. You don’t get great multicolored perfect patterns, but what you do have is authentically handmade.

2. Facial hair – on men only! Beards or moustashes, but never nicely trimmed.

3. Bell bottom, patched jeans

4. Leather sandals

5. Obligatory peace symbol