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Home » 1960s Hippie Fashion You’ll Want to Imitate Immediately!

1960s Hippie Fashion You’ll Want to Imitate Immediately!

60s hippie fashion was born out of a very pivotal time in culture. This style of the past is still very much relevant in the present so I wanted to take a deep dive into the hippie movement. Let’s find out where exactly the hippie style comes from and how it can be worn in style today. The influence of hippie fashion is extremely visible in fashion trends currently so let’s find some inspiration and figure out how to incorporate it into your personal style.

Collage of pictures of hippies from the 1960s

For many the word “hippie” evokes the generic visions of tie-dye t-shirts, bell bottom blue jeans, round glasses, head bands and of course the peace sign necklace. Once you delve deeper into the hippie counterculture, you’ll realize it is so much more. There is incredible layering, textures like fur and leather, folkloric motifs and even theatrical pieces.

The hippie culture started in the mid to late 1960s through the early ’70s by young adults rejecting the ideals of their parent. The hippie counterculture was formed out of protest of the Vietnam War and an overall distrust of the government. Young people were trying to attain a utopia where everyone was in peace and harmony. Many adopted the communal lifestyle, shared what they had with others and believed in expanding their minds with drugs like marijuana and LSD. Instead of working a 9-5 job, going to church on Sunday and conforming to typical society, hippies preferred a freer, slower lifestyle.

… How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they’re forever banned?

… The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

-Bob Dylan

While we often think of hippies coming out of New York or California, London was also a mecca of hippie fashion in the 60s. London hippie style had more of a mod look but was equally as colorful with bold patterns and ethnic prints.

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London Hippie Fashion

If you’ve been around her for some time you’ll know I like to get to the root of a person or genre to really understand the style we’re “stealing”. I think we’re all drawn to certain styles in time and there’s usually a reason for your preference. It’s important to discover where a particular style came to be in order to leave and take what we want for our own personal sense of fashion.

George Harrison and Pattie Boyd

​The Bohemian Lifestyle:

Hippies adopted the ideals of a bohemian culture. Bohemianism originated in Europe in the 15th century. The French called Romani gypsies that came to France from the Czech Republic of Bohemia, Bohemians.

The bohemian lifestyle is a rejection of conventional social norms and an emphasis on artistic and personal freedom. Often bohemians are communal and it is not uncommon for them to travel in groups. Bohemians reject social etiquette, society and materialism. They are often creative types like musicians, artists and writers. They believe society is corrupt and reject all forms of violence. Bohemians can be seen all throughout history notably the Beat movement in the 1950s were hippies were said to have evolved from.

The hippie style was born from this bohemian mentality and lifestyle. Dressing in form fitting, uncomfortable clothing was no longer acceptable. Clothing was often made of natural materials and was free flowing. Bright colors, bold prints and floral prints were in style. There was a significant influence of the rejection of social and political norms on fashion in the 60s.

The fashion of the hippie movement is the most obvious inspiration for contemporary bohemian style which is incredibly popular today.

The hippie style was highly influenced by bohemian, psychedelic, folk and ethnic style. Layering loads of jewelry as well as clothing created a unique style.

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Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Livin’ life in peace

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

-John Lennon

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What Was A Hippie in the 1960s?

The hippies were a youth movement that emerged in the 1960s. Young people formed a distaste of their parents materialistic lifestyle and consumerism. The need for freedom from societal norms and political culture inspired a generation to “Turn On, Tune In and Drop Out” according to the famous words of Timothy Leary.

The 60s were a decade of countercultures demanding equal rights and freedoms. People were tired of inequality and many civil rights movements were in full swing.

According to Digital History, African Americans used sit-ins, freedom rides, and protest marches to fight segregation, poverty, and unemployment. Feminists demanded equal job opportunities and an end to sexual discrimination. Mexican Americans protested discrimination in voting, education, and employment. Native Americans demanded that the government recognize their land claims and the right of tribes to govern themselves. Environmentalists demanded legislation to control the amount of pollution released into the environment.

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Hippies opposed political and social orthodoxy, choosing a gentle ideology that favored peace, love, and personal freedom. Before the sexual revolution and rampant drug use went wrong, the hippies were greatly passionate about revolution, changing the world for the better and being kind to your fellow man. The core of hippie values is love.

Hippies became known for recreational drug use, protesting the war, communal living, free love and folk music. They were typically white, middle class, young Americans. They listened to artists like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors etc.

During the hippie movement men began to rebel from social norms by sporting long hair.

Some memorable moments of the hippie era included the “Summer of Love” in 1967, a gathering of thousands in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district to celebrate peace and love. The Monterey Pop Festival brought in artists like the Momas and the Papas, Janis Joplin, Ravi Shankar, Jefferson Airplane, the Who and Jimi Hendrix. The festival served as a precursor to Woodstock.

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The Mamas and the Papas

If you’re going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you’re going to San Francisco
You’re gonna meet some gentle people there

For those who come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there
In the streets of San Francisco
Gentle people with flowers in their hair

-Scott McKenzie

The Woodstock Music Festival was in upstate New York in the summer of 1969. Artists like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joan Baez, The Who, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan, just to name a few, performed for 500,000 youth over 3 days of peace, camaraderie and rain!   Billed as “An Aquarian Experience: 3 Days of Peace and Music”, this iconic music festival is perhaps the most well known, important music festival to ever have occurred. It is synonymous with the hippie movement and loads of hippie fashion was prominently on display despite non favorable weather conditions.

Many Woodstock goers wore the typical hippie clothing like bell bottoms, tie-dye and fringe but bright colored caftans, Indian kurtas and embroidered blouses could also be seen. Woodstock was also where the flower crown debuted which emphasized peace, love and nature. The cultural phenomenon that was the Woodstock festival was an incredible snapshot in time that showed incredible examples of how the fashion was influenced by the peaceful, harmonious mentality of the hippies.

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I got no deeds to do, no promises to keep
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me
Life, I love you, all is groovy

-Simon and Garfunkle

1960s Hippie Fashion Staples:

  • Bell-Bottom Pants
  • Tie-Dye Shirts
  • Wide-Brimmed Hats
  • Shift Dresses
  • Mini Skirts
  • Maxi Dresses
  • Peasant Blouses
  • Granny Dresses
  • Knee-High Boots
  • Leather Fringe
  • Sunglasses with colored and rounded lenses

Janis Joplin was not just an incredibly talented musician, she also had a beautiful style that is still emulated today….

How to Dress Like A Hippie:

Whether your personal style is hippie/boho or you’re preparing for a costume party, dressing like a hippie can be super easy for both males and females. Incorporating hippie fashion today is simple. A simple peasant dress, bell-bottom jeans, a floppy hat or a peace symbol all give a distinct hippie look.

An easy way to pull of the hippie look is by adding a few popular accessories. Cut off shorts with a chain belt, a floppy hat, layering loads of necklaces and bracelets, a Pocahontas style headband and hair parted in the middle are all fun ways to create a bold hippie aesthetic.

For men, tie dye shirts, bell bottom jeans, a fringed leather vest, neck scarves and beads are all popular choices in the hippie style.

Layering is key and don’t shy away from mixing textures like leather, fur and chunky knits. Donning a simple summer dress and piling on the jewelry will give a bold hippie vibe. A pair of sandals or knee high boots will both work well with the look.

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Grace Slick sitting on a stool.
Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane

Jimi Hendrix was one of the most creative and inspiring dressers back in the 60s. I love finding photos of him. His eccentric, eclectic style is an inspiration to boho men and women alike.

Collage of Jimi Hendrix pictures.

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My Favorite Hippie Styles to Wear Today:

I own a number of brightly colored kimonos I love using to elevate basics. I also love layering different materials of jewelery. For instance, wooden bangles and wooden necklaces are an easy way to make a bold statement. I also love to pile on the turquoise rings. Simple cotton peasant blouses are easy to throw on with a good pair of jeans as well.

As far as shoes, nothing says 60’s/70’s fashion like a wooden heel. I love Dr. Scholl’s sandals, Free People clogs and a wooden block heeled leather sandal. For winter shoes, you can’t go wrong with a leather knee high boot.

collage of amazon and free people clothing items for hippie style today.

  1. Mustard Yellow Peasant Dress
  2. Olive Green Embroidered Dress
  3. Peach and Orange Floral Skirt
  4. Turquoise Cuff Bracelet
  5. Beaded Peace Sign Necklace
  6. Turquoise Ring
  7. Turquoise Earrings
  8. Chain Belt
  9. Off the Shoulder Embroidered Dress
  10. Orange Peasant Blouse
  11. Set of Wooden and Gold Bangles
  12. Free People Bell Bottoms
  13. Wooden Beads
  14. Embroidered Vest
  15. Brown Felt Floppy Hat
  16. Dr. Scholl Wooden Sandals
  17. Cushionaire Sandals
  18. Brown Suede Knee High Boots

Hippie Inspirations in Films:

The hippie fashion has truly passed the test of time. Not a decade goes by where we don’t see the hippie influence in fashion. While it’s often said that the hippies were just young rebellious kids pushing the boundaries of society, in their pursuit of peace and love, they created a style that is nothing short of iconic. Unique and creative, the hippie style was wearable art to inspire future generations.

xx, Jenni