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Womens 1960s vintage dresses

September 24, 2015

60s women’s fashions are diverse – you’ve got very short (hotpants and miniskirts) alongside very long (maxi skirts, bell bottoms and flares), you’ve got ladylike (Jackie O shift dresses worn with white gloves and pillbox hats) alongside hemp and hairy armpits (the hippies).Then there is the celebration of manmade fibres (lycra sports wear and space age perspex) alongside the insistence on natural ones (those hippies again). But overall, in whatever form, the funny thing is that you’ll recognise womens 1960s vintage dresses when you see them.

Womens vintage dresses from the 1960s

Jacqueline Kennedy AKA Jackie O

I think that Duchess Catherine, formerly known as Kate Middleton, must have been closely studying the royal fashion greats for hints on her wardrobe since not only did she marry in a near replica of Grace Kelly’s stunning gown which was worn when the great actress married Prince Rainer of Monaco, but she also dresses in a style very reminiscent of America’s First Lady in the 1960s, Jacqueline Kennedy.


Jackie Onasiss, known as Jackie O before she married President John F Kennedy, pioneered a style in the 60s that was simultaneously youthful but grown up, feminine yet unfussy, glacially cool yet kind of cheeky.


She wore white gloves often: up to the elbow for daytime, full length for evening wear. She teamed them with sleeveless shift dresses in bright colours – she wasn’t afraid of sunshine yellow and flamingo pink, cosy red, pistachio green or ice blue. They could be in block colours or bold prints.The neckline was always very high, and the skirts knee length. The shifts were topped with a matching boxy jacket with oversized buttons and bracelet length sleeves, and finished with plain kitten heels and a little hat. She rarely wore jewellery – perhaps just a string of pearls.


Her flipped up bob, created by celebrated hairdresser Kenneth, although backcombed to an inch of its life and must have had so much hairspray in it that a statue’s hair had more movement, gave a finishing touch of exactly the right amount of carefree cheekiness.

Womens 1960s vintage dresses – designed by Oleg Cassini

The uniformity of her look was because her 60s outfits were almost exclusively designed by Oleg Cassini who had appointed himself as her personal designer and stylist, although she also occasionally asked the advice of Diana Vreeland at Harper’s Bazaar too.


Of course, Duchess Catherine isn’t slavishly copying her style as she would look like a 60s pastiche, but the overall effect – streamlined, modern, modest and stylish – rings the same.

Audrey Hepburn – Womens 1960s vintage dresses

The other brilliant wearer of streamlined womens 1960s vintage dresses is, of course, Audrey Hepburn. Most famously seen in the iconic little black dress designed for her by Hubert de Givenchy for Breakfast at Tiffany’s.


Audrey Hepburn’s relationship with the designer totally moulded her image, as altogether he designed clothes for her for six films and she wore his designs for Oscar ceremonies and her personal life.


In Givenchy, Audrey felt she had found her personal style. ”His are the only clothes in which I am myself. He is far more than a couturier, he is a creator of personality,” she confided in a magazine.


High neck dresses
Audrey Hepburn 1961