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Right now, the 2000s and 90s have the fashion industry in a proverbial chokehold. But trends that date back two or three decades ago actually go back even further than that. With a look at ’60s fashion, it’s obvious that many of the references we attribute to the Y2K phenomenon go beyond the early years.
Several of these 60s fashion trends are worth checking out. Before Fannie Schiavoni’s collections of party-ready pieces, Paco Rabanne had mastered the art of chain mail, while Diana Ross and The Supremes wore pailettes and other party sequins long before they became a staple of resort collections 2023. These two trends with origins in the 60s are just as relevant today. Also on file? The chain-link belts seen on the runways of Blumarine season after season and Saint Laurent, along with fashion’s ongoing penchant for intricate crochet.
For those looking to recreate memorable ’60s outfits like Twiggy, Cher and Nina Simone at home, here’s a breakdown of ’60s fashion trends that are still influencing fashion today. Plus, a curated selection of key market items to help you pull them out easily.
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Shiny, second-skin materials for summer are on the rise, with the release of Kim Kardashian’s Skims metallic swimwear collection. Popular among ’60s European style, it comes in the form of warm-weather activewear like jumpsuits and biker shorts, as well as an assortment of crop tops and leggings from Commando that can just as easily be dressed up for a night out as they can be worn off-duty.
The lady bag
If you look at the handbag trends that were doing the rounds in the 1960s, there were only a few that really dominated the scene. Among them are structured styles with rounded top handles and a distinct paperback appearance. Names like ByFar and Self Portrait keep the silhouette alive in modern times – the latter’s Bow bag is particularly popular among the likes of Chloë Sevigny and Naomi Campbell, who was the face of its cleverly titled Campaign “The bow is mine”.
Anyone who follows current trends knows that sheer fabrics are having a great time. Appearing on the market in the form of long dresses and evening tops, the sheer fabric is perfect for layering or showing off pretty lingerie. Emerging brand Nancy Dojaka has its fair share of takes that have attracted style muses like Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber, while Saint Laurent offers more classic options that will easily transcend seasons and trends.
Sheer off-the-shoulder top
Round, shiny sequins are set to be everywhere in the next six months, with the Resort 23 collections as proof. Brands like Markarian and Jonathan Simkhai are putting their own spin on the ’60s-inspired trend, most often seen on The Supremes and Twiggy, with co-ord ensembles and embellished party dresses. To make it more modern, consider opting for a micro mini skirt with a T-shirt, lá buzzy label Danielle Guizio.
Channel Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon in the late 1960s by opting for today’s fashion penchant for motorsport-style sunglasses. Sleek with a shield-like silhouette, acetate options have been reinterpreted by the on-trend accessories brand Poppy Lissiman. Meanwhile, Prada Sport has brought back its own tried-and-true styles from previous collections. The key to embracing the futuristic shape is to opt for light, neutral colors.
Although shift dresses have retained their relevance over the decades, it’s the A-line iterations with raised hems that are particularly reminiscent of the ’60s. Just as they were then, these styles are often adorned with intricate floral designs. and feature a scoop neckline to balance out the mini length. Follow the model’s lead and add a matching handkerchief scarf to really get your hair into the mod look.
Illona floral-jacquard mini dress
From preppy outfits on college campuses to crisp flight attendant outfits in the 60s, the literal uniform was hugely popular. The look included polished, pointed collars, cap sleeves and modest tailoring, all things we’re seeing more commonly in 2022 thanks to brands like Miu Miu.
Logo-patch knit polo shirt
dream of tulle
Whether you describe your personal style as romantic or not, tulle is the type of material that makes you look stage-ready. Like sequins, featherweight fabric was a common choice among ’60s artists, like Dionne Warwick and Diana Ross. Today, the trend manifests in the form of party dresses, strapless tops and even coordinated two-piece sets from Italian fashion designer Giambattista Valli.
You have a mail (in chain)
Soaring to popularity in the late 60s, Paco Rabanne was revered among fashion greats for his use of chainmail. Transforming the somewhat delicate material into beautifully crafted ready-to-wear pieces and accessories, the brand is still very relevant in 2022. Newer brands like girl poster and Fannie Schiavoni give a more modern twist to chain mail, so no matter what look you’re after, you’re bound to find something to match your aesthetic.
Thanks to brands like Gabriela Hearst, the DIY trend with crochet and woven patterns is here to stay. Cardigans and sweaters are the most common options, but as seen on American singer, songwriter and civil rights activist Nina Simone, mesh dresses and shell tops are just as essential. Plus, they’re perfect for those chilly summer nights when a light layer is needed.
Long cropped crochet cardigan
Chain group accessories
Thanks to the resurgence of all things Y2K, chain belts are on the rise again. But if you look closely, the origin of the jewelry-accessory hybrid can be traced back to the 60s. Supermodel Twiggy is seen leaving the airport in an easy-to-wear ensemble that was made undeniably chic with a chain-link belt tight around her blouse. While the vintage route is a favorite here, you can’t go wrong with any iteration, from Anthropologie to Saint Laurent.
To micro mini lengths
Actress Brigitte Bardot is the embodiment of a ’60s style icon. Many would say she defined the ever-popular “French girl chic” aesthetic that still circulates on our social media today, with the silhouette of the off-the-shoulder top being nicknamed the “Bardot”. Among the pieces the star sported was an A-line mini skirt, but wearing it in a way that looks elevated.
Much like the crochet knitting trend, kitschy DIY accessories are pretty much everywhere right now. From Balenciaga charms to colorful strands of pearl necklaces, the ’60s-inspired trend goes beyond music festivals. Just add a stack of Rosie Assoulin’s beaded bracelets to any pared-back outfit, like a fitted khaki and tank top or the classic jeans and t-shirt duo.
Set of three enamel and gold Nautical Stripes bracelets
Oh baby, baby
Over the past five years, we’ve seen an influx of puff sleeve babydoll dresses on the market. Defined by its daring puff sleeves, empire waistline and mini hemlines, the style was sported by British model Twiggy and singer and fashion icon Cher in its heyday. Nowadays, brands like selkie created a whole DNA around these ultra-feminine dresses, while fan favorites Staud reinterprets the silhouette with cutouts and a longer length.
Carina cotton-poplin midi dress
Put on your outfits
Diana Ross and The Supremes are true style icons for their ability to pull off a range of looks. From sequins and sequins to suits and ties, the trio proved to be quite versatile in terms of fashion. For a tailored outfit like this, consider a fitted vest and trousers or a pinstripe blazer over a collared shirt and printed tie.
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