In the 1960s, fashion really kicked off with the introduction to many new and diverse trends. You can easy determine trends from the early, middle and end of the decade. Traditional, conforming man’s attire was lost due to social changes. Throughout the 60s, the focal point in fashion was the uprising of bright colors and tones. The changes in the fashion of this time were more so than any other time previous. This renaissance in fashion was influenced heavily by Italian designers and by the Modernist, Hippie and Edwardian styles of dress.
The British & the Modernist Movement
At the forefront of style in the 60s were the British. The modernist movement came about at the beginning of the era, allowing young men to push boundaries and make way for the many new trends that would follow. It was all about moving away from the ‘lack of style’ in the 50s and experimenting with psychedelic prints and gregarious patterns. No man wanted to be seen in dull and pale shades. No! It was time to add color and plenty of it, the brighter and more flamboyant the better. It wasn’t uncommon to see frills and cravats on a man’s shirt. Even neckties enjoyed their rebirth, from the skinny tie at the beginning of the 60s to the very wide ties in the Hippie age, all adorned with unusual prints, stripes and patterns.
The Mods versus the Rockers
If you lived the 60s, you were probably a Mod at one stage, and if you weren’t, you were a Rocker. The two were notorious rivals. The Rockers were heavily into 50s rock-and roll, big bikes like the Harley Davidson, leather jackets and ‘Elvis’ greased back hairstyles. The Mods were classier, listening to British bands such as The Beatles. They preferred Vespers over Harleys and took their trends from respectable French and Italian clothes designers. Most commonly, tailored suits with slim shirts, pants and skinny ties slimmed down to just an inch. The Modernists also brought us the anorak, an item of clothing regarded as their trademark.
The Edwardian Movement
A bit further down the line, specifically the year of 1966, men embraced the Edwardian movement. Double-breasted suits in velvet were worn by men following icons such as Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. These suits were accompanied with brocade waistcoats, shirts with frilled collars and longer hair as opposed to the previous shorter styles. All variations of colors, stripes and patterns were evident in this so-called ‘dandified’ look. The Nehru jacket also came about in this time and was popular with both men and women.
Hippies and an Even More Flamboyant Fashion
Towards the end of the decade, fashion became even crazier, people were not afraid to customize their clothing. Hippies were born and men became more in touch with their feminine side with long hair, polka dot neckties, paisley patterned shirts and florescent colors. Skinny became wide; for example, bell-bottomed trousers and ties returning to the 5″ width. Nearly every item of clothing was tie-dyed or produced with floral prints, pop art and paisley patterns. Neckwear was commonly sold with the shirt together and designers continued to play with bold colors.