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1960s vintage clothing

September 1, 2015

Much like today, the Sixties were a very mixed period in fashion. Various trends that crop up in 1960s vintage clothing reflect the influences of the decade: futuristic space suits blended with seaside chic of Riviera and Cannes, whereas pastel dolly dresses and block-coloured Mod fashion slowly gave way to Op Art, psychedelic or hippy fashion that matured throughout the decade.

1960s vintage clothing styles

1960s vintage clothing-Designers & models

Designers such as Patou, Courreges and Cardin dressed the decade’s fashion muses – Penelope Tree, Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton – and often the glamorous film stars as well, but the predominant fashions came from the streets and seaside resorts, where youthfully thrown-together look developed in parallel with the cool music scene.

1960s vintage clothing-Pastel Dollies

The early swinging 60s started off with a cute pastel look worn by the teenage models who often looked like little cut-out dollies. All eyelashes and legs, insect-thin and googly-eyed, this look was best carried off by the young Mods and accessorized with fresh or plastic flowers, shiny bracelets, knee-high white socks and flat Dollies shoes.

1960s vintage clothing-Carnaby Street Mods

Carnaby Street in London is one of the key locations where it all happened for the 1960s vintage clothing: both in boutiques and on the street, boldly patterned and colour-blocked little outfits spoke eloquently of freshness and carefree attitudes.


1960s vintage clothing was all about streamlined looks: hair was cropped short, or worn long with a short stack on the back, which eventually gave way to a full-fledged bouffant hairstyle.

1960s vintage clothing-60s Raincoats Were The Best!

Meanwhile, someone discovered the rain! Up until this point, fashion ignored the rain – after all, it only happened to those that couldn’t afford to hop into Bentleys or Black cabs, or to be whisked off by racing chariots.


Mod fashion not only discovered the rain but also provided the cutest, most cheerful raincoats to be worn on gloomy days, so every little Mod beamed like a lighthouse in drab English weather. You will be pleased to know that Blade Runner did not patent the iconic transparent raincoat – the Mods (or rather Andre Courreges) did.

Geometric Patterns and the Influence of Op Art

Another firm mainstay of the 1960s vintage clothing are the geometric patterns, black and white or full-blown colour. Inspired by the Op Art of the 60s and owning a great deal to the artists such as Bridget Riley or Henry Moore, the designers of the 60s went mad with sculptural shapes, curves, cuts and eye-popping hypnotic patterns.

Sculptural Forms in 60s Fashion

Andre Courreges and Pierre Cardin explored the textures of new materials and played with scale and proportion, completely abandoning the body silhouette and creating some deliciously exciting blobs and curves that were simultaneously wildly futuristic and playfully childlike. These strange sculptural shapes enhanced the frail femininity of the models that wore them.


However, patterns in colour is what made 1960s vintage clothing so covetable. The bolder the better, worn with tall boots or flat dolly shoes in patent leather, plastic and space-age accessories, enamelled jewellery, chain mail or quilted handbags and short short short! Unless of course you went for a flowing floor-length look.


In fact, so much has to be said about 1960s vintage clothing and colour that it requires a section of its own! Stay tuned.



Read in depth about 1960s fashions


Bob Richardson for French Vogue 1968
1960s doll look
60s girls shoes – Dollies
Floral version of Clockwork Orange
Penelope Tree by Richard Avedon 1968
Cute as a daisy!
Carnaby Street in the 60s
Mods in stripes
Mod colour blocks
Making London rain fashionable
Ready for rain and alien invasion!
1960s vintage clothing – 1960s inspired raincoat
Pierre Cardin experienced alien abduction during the 1960s
Rainsuit clearly inspired by geckos
Jean Shrimpton in Bridget Riley inspired dress, April 1965
Bridget Riley, Loss (1964)
Bridget Riley, Movement in Squares (1961)
1960S Mod Shades
Peggy Moffit dressed in Rudi Gernreich designs
Geometric pattern and eyelashes
A young Bridget Riley in 1961
Wearable Op Art
Possibly Henry Moore inspired Andre Courreges design
1960s vintage clothing – Peggy Moffit
Reclining woman by Henry Moore (1951)
Women-thermometers by Pierre Cardin
Barbara Hepworth, Two Figures (Menhirs)
Futuristic fashion that resembles Oval With Points by Moore
Working model for Oval With Points by Henry Moore (1968-69)
Pierre Cardin 1960s
Cardin’s sculptural shapes

David Bailey for Pierre Cardin spring 1968

Cardin FW 65-66 photo Ghislain Broulard 1966
Op Art dress in front of a Mondrianesque panel
Pierre Cardin colour layering
Darth Vader Spring Summer 1965
Op Art dress

Flash! Geometry! Super!