My love for the 60s has really grown lately – and to clarify I don’t mean the early 60s where the styles still looked a lot like those of the late 50s, I’m particularly talking about the looks more traditionally associated with the decade. In fact, I’ve got two more outfit posts on the way with 60s-inspired looks, both of which I’ve previewed here.
When Oxfam told me they were looking for bloggers to be the face of the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, my first instinct was, of course, I’d want to be championing my first love, the 50s. But the more I thought about it, the more I kept returning to the idea of representing the 60s instead. So now, here I am, with this entry to become Oxfam’s face of the 60s! And why? There’s just so much to love about the 60s that goes so far beyond go-go boots and monochrome mini-dreses and I would love to raise awareness of the great styles from the decade. The 50s will always be a favourite among vintage fans, so it would be nice to show the world what the 60s can do!
And just as with the 50s, there’s simple ways to borrow as little or as much as you want from the era to put fun vintage twists into your outfits. So, starting as I mean to go on, I thought I’d share my favourite ways to add a bit of 60s style and see if I manage to convince anyone else to look at it in another way… there’s surely something here to fit and flatter everyone. As I say below, tell me one person who doesn’t look good with big hair…?
(Full outfit post to come soon)
I will post about this outfit in more detail very soon – it was one of those looks that was made up entirely out of things I’ve had in my wardrobe a while and that, on their own, weren’t particularly of any certain look, but put together and matching like this, suddenly things have gotten a bit mod around here! The 60s ladies were my colour-matching soul sisters – so many outfits were meticulously coordinated and I just adore how finished this looks. I <3 matching.
…And fun tights
White, mustard, navy, orange, olive… tights seemed to come in any and every colour – as long as they matched the rest of your outfit, of course. In the UK, you won’t get very far in the colder months with bare legs and it’s difficult to find skin-coloured hosiery that actually keeps you warm. After wearing black opaques to death for months on end it’s so nice to have a different colour once in a while. I’m particularly partial to dolly white and mustard yellow – so easy to put with so many other colours.
Oh the 60s, you constant friends of warmth. There is a theme with these first entries to my list, if you hadn’t clocked it yet – this decade just catered for the winter in a way I can’t help but appreciate. Even if you don’t like traditional turtlenecks, this broader roll-neck style is a pretty stylish alternative. And a high neck is pretty handy for brooch wearing, so what’s not to love about that?!
Cap sleeves, half sleeves or even 3/4 length sleeves are all well and good until you live in a climate like the UK’s and have to get through well over half a year of cold weather. Long sleeves on dresses just didn’t seem to be a popular choice in earlier decades, but they abounded in the 60s. While I’ve talked before about finding mini-length dresses not ideal in the warmth arena, I can’t help but admit they’re darn cute looking, especially with long sleeves. And if you put some knee-high boots on, the shivers are minimised.
Why did previous eras fail to come round to the idea of long boots? I get it in the 40s – materials were scarce, but what was the 50s’ excuse (side note: someone’s probably going to tell me now)? I actually love the look of long boots with a midi skirt (hanging past the top of the boots) and wear these black ones and the tan you can see a glimpse of above constantly. So toasty, so stylish. They also help make my short legs look longer – bonus!
Pretty shift coats
So I might have mentioned this: it gets pretty cold and miserable round here. There are times when I’m out and about that I pretty much don’t take my coat off all day. If you’re wearing a coat for that long it’s no longer a cover-up, it’s an outfit itself. The 60s got that. They liked a pattern, colour and a cute shift coat. Put it all together and you’ve got outerwear as lovely as what’s underneath. Or maybe even lovelier with a coat that’s practically a dress itself! And unlike a 50s swing coat, it won’t drown the petite among us…
(Full outfit post to come soon)
One of the things I love about 50s styles is the emphasis on a nipped-in waist. But some days, something tight round my middle is the last thing I want – like when I’ve put pasta in my gluten intolerant stomach, for example (I’ve never been very good at not eating what I want to eat!). Where do you go with that in the 50s? It’s a dilemma. Step up, the 60s. Trapeze dresses, loose shifts, babydolls – take your pick but enjoy the fabric freedom! Bright & Beautiful have an amazing range of dresses like this. I will admit that because I’ve got something of a bust, fabric hanging straight down with no shape at all does bring about the impression of a tent. Sometimes that was the desired look, but as I’m so short it isn’t great for me – but see how I tightened the shape with a cardigan skimming my sides in this picture? Problem solved.
There were a fair few things that the 60s looked at and thought ‘Yeah, like that, but massive, please’ and thus we find ourselves at the ‘bigger is better’ part of my list. You know what people liked in the 60s? Humongous earrings. Look at fashion photos and the models have often got giant plastic hoops swinging from their ears – all perfectly coordinated to their outfits of course. I’ve only recently become a convert to earring-wearing and I am particularly loving the big ones. They add such a fun, playful touch to outfits – I’m surprised at what a difference they make in fact. You can buy repro types so cheaply these days from the likes of Bow and Crossbones (my favourite), why wouldn’t you try them out? The great thing is that a lot of the styles traveled through the decades and can be seen in the 40s and 50s too, so one pair can suit different looks.
So this is one of the first things people think of when thinking of 60s style, right? And you know what, I’ve had an epiphany about big hair: it looks good on everyone. Seriously, have you ever seen a beehive and thought it looks rubbish? I thought not. And unlike the formal, structured hairstyles of earlier decades, a bouffant can be made messy and at the height to suit its wearer, so there’s one to suit everyone. There’s also lots of ways to cut corners on big hair, and I personally don’t find it anywhere near as much of a mission as curling my hair. I will often have a half-bouff at the weekends – it’s flattering and can be worn day to night. What is not to love about bigger hair? The 60s were onto something.
Big eye makeup with subtle lips
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a red lip and eyeliner. That will never, ever change. But you know what I don’t love? Re-applying red lipstick, or worrying about when I need to reapply it. A bold lip is high maintenance even with the world’s most long-lasting product or technique. Some days I don’t want to bother with the upkeep, but I still want something… hello, 60s nude lip! Get the right nude shade for you and you’ll be surprised at how good it can look and when it wears off it’s so much more subtle. And how does it look even better? With lashings of eye makeup. Maybe this isn’t for everyone, but I do think a heavy eye and subtle lip can be very feminine and flattering when done right. I don’t really go in for some of the bright eyeshadows, but you don’t need to to borrow from this look. Just think Brigitte Bardot.
You know, I could go on but I ran out of illustrative pictures 😉 I haven’t even mentioned fun prints on trousers and oversized sunglasses, frankly only because I don’t own them yet! One day though…