Sunday, 14 February 2016
Five other ways to get a 60s look
The 1960s saw a massive diversification in styles, and even young people no longer all looked like one another (mods, rockers, hippies, you name it...). However, there are certain things that do help evoke a general 1960s look, so here are my five picks.
Yarn got thicker and knitwear got straighter, in keeping with the general straighter figure that was seen as ideal. Shapes also got much simpler, with sleeves being straight (no 30s playing with volume, 40s puff shoulders or 80s batwings), bodies either slightly boxy or following the natural shape of the body, and necklines round and high. For real 60s style, don't omit my second Way...
Match, match, match
The more I've looked at 1960s clothes, the more I've been amazed by how complete outfits are, whether they're worn by Jackie O, Jean Shrimpton or simply girls in photos taken on the street. I know earlier decades were co-ordinated, but somehow 60s matchy-matchy seems even matchier. I'm not sure why that should be – perhaps growing postwar affluence made it possible for more people to buy top-to-toe outfits all at once, whereas previously most ordinary people had needed to do more mixing and matching – but one thing that definitely struck me was just how very matchy-matchy things were. Match your headband to your blouse, or your socks/tights to your sweater. Match your jacket to your skirt, or coat to your dress. If one part of your outfit is patterned, make sure one of the colours is carried through in your plain garments. They may be called 'separates', but they're all parts of a whole look. Don't be afraid to match your eyeshadow to your outfits either.
Square-toed shoes and low heels
Square-toed shoes, especially with low heels were definitely A Thing, and very different from the 1950s stilettoes and courts. If you can't bear to go without a pointed toe or slender heel, a kitten heel has plenty of Ronnie Spector sass.
Natural fibres often don't dye up as bright as synthetics – or if you can get the dye into them, they fade – so the rise of synthetic fabrics also led to brighter colours and pure white. Pink, lemon and pastel blue have 'ladies who lunch' appeal, while bolder scarlet, purple, apple green, egg yellow and cobalt were popular with the younger set. I'll probably never learn to love crimplene, but I do love the vibrant colours that came into fashion in the 1960s. Think of Emma Peel's 'emmapeeler' jumpsuits. A lot of attention was on the legs in the 1960s, so don't neglect colourful tights.
From Twiggy to Dusty Springfield to Liz Taylor as Cleopatra, all the icons of the era had the windows to their souls wide open. Dusty caused outrage by revealing she didn't wash her face for days at a time, so as not to disturb those carefully-achieved sooty peepers. If you're going for maximum eye-impact, tone down the lippie and go for a baby pink or nude shade.
Have I missed one of your favourite ways to achieve a 60s look? I'm guessing BIG hair will be one you pick up on. What else?
(Not into the 1960s? Check out my posts on 10 ways to 1920s style! The bob, the cloche hat, the dropped waist, the knitwear, the bee-stung lip, the Louis-heeled shoe, the long necklace, the bandeau, the flesh-coloured stockings and the boxy coat.)