A youth movement that started in the US during the mid sixties, the hippy subculture is one that is talked about even today. They heralded the power of peace, believed in universal love, and fought for the right of the self. The impact of this subculture has been far-reaching and wide. Probably one of the biggest influence that hippies have left behind has been that on fashion. While the culture was all about defining one's own individuality, there were some common themes in the way they styled themselves.
The Way the Hippies Dressed Themselves
If you study fashion history or even just closely observe the styles that preceded and succeeded the hippie movement you will see a prevalent theme. These cultures often took inspiration from cultures that were till then considered 'developing' to exude a sense of style that was often vagabond-like. The hippie movement was all about challenging set molds and this trend was reflected in their clothing as well. The fashion was to a large extent, unisex. Both men and women maintained long hair, wore jeans, and roamed around bare-feet. Hippies chose to wear colorful clothing and unusual styles influenced by Native American, Indian, African, and Latin American motifs and patterns. A lot of their clothes were self-made. This was a statement to defy the existing corporate culture.
Hippie Women in 60s
Many hippie women chose to wear loose, flared pants known as bell-bottoms with cotton t-shirts. Accessories were often big-framed, rose-tinted glares, several bangles, and long chains.
Mini dresses and skirts were in a vogue for the women. Floral prints and polka dots were preferred prints. Minis were more often than not teamed with boots.
The Afro style was quite popular during the sixties. Women accessorized themselves with the peace symbol, the omnipresent sign of the era. The sleeveless shift dress gained popularity in the sixties.
Long maxi skirt were worn and hair was adorned with a headband. Skirts that were calf-length were also quite popular. Many women choose to wear peasant blouses with these skirts.
Hippie Men in the 60s
Many men of this era were in touch with their feminine side. Colors like purple and green were embraced and hair was kept long. Keeping a beard which was also quite a trend in the hippie movement.
The tie and dye fashion was the biggest influence of the subculture. A lot of hippies chose to tie and dye their clothes to make them more vibrant.
Many hippies also chose to adorn themselves with headbands and scarves. Macrame craft was very popular and used to make jackets and vests. Fringed jackets were also in vogue for men. Most hippie wore sandals or just went about bare-feet.
Today, all that most people remember about the hippie culture is their fashion. The religious and cultural diversity that we enjoy today is a legacy of the hippie movement as is the sense of individual freedom and expression.