The 1960s were a time marked by a great deal of transition. This decade brought about many changes in the world, one of which was in the fashion industry. But the 1960s were also a watershed decade for fashion, not just for women. A new direction was taken with men’s clothing as well.
Are you interested in discovering more about the iconic looks that dominated men’s fashion in the 1960s? Find out everything you need to know about the fashions that men wore in the 1960s by reading this article.
What were the Most Popular Trends in Men’s Fashion in the 1960s?
The first things that come to mind when you think of men’s fashion in the 1960s are tie-dye shirts and bell-bottom pants. And the answer to that question is yes; throughout the decade that included the Summer of Love, there were plenty of opportunities to find this kind of thing.
However, the hippie cliches and memories of Woodstock were not the only things that this dynamic decade had to offer.
The question now is, what exactly were the most popular fashions of the era? There was a wide variety of options available for men’s clothing in the 1960s, ranging from the single-breasted suits worn by people in business to the black turtlenecks worn by beatniks.
A closer look at men’s fashion from the 1960s is in order, so let’s go ahead and take a speedy trip back in time.
Pullovers have worn by men in the 1960s
It’s safe to say that “conservative” is the word that comes to mind when asked to characterize the fashion of the ’50s. As a result, it really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that fashion in the early 1960s was still relatively conservative.
Men’s fashion back in the day often included wearing pullover sweaters. This look, also known as the Ivy League style, was President John F. Kennedy’s signature look, particularly in his younger years when he was still in office.
Cardigans with buttons and zippers were also common in the 1960s, as were sweaters with V-necks and button fronts. The favorite colors during this era tended to be bright, and there was a wide variety of patterns to select from.
Even in the early 1960s, people wore sweaters with varsity stripes, which were popular in the 1950s. In addition, the timeless cable knit sweater was a popular item of clothing during this decade. Any one of these sweaters would look great paired with chinos and a pair of loafers.
Business attire for men was still very conservative at the beginning of the decade, much like the Ivy League look that was popular among younger men in the early 1960s. This look was particularly prevalent in the business world.
Look at the television series “Mad Men” to get an idea of the fashions that were prevalent among men in the professional world during that period. The attire that Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, wears in Mad Men is a spot-on representation of what a well-dressed man would have worn in the sixties.
During this period, men typically wore three-piece suits that included a vest with a close fit. This sophisticated ensemble also included the addition of hats, such as a fedora.
The finishing touch for this look was a pair of black Oxford shoes that had been meticulously polished to a mirror-like shine. In colder weather, the look was finished off with a trench coat that reached the ground to its entire length.
The use of blazers and other preppy styles
The 1960s were a golden age for people dressed in a preppy style. However, varsity sweaters and penny loafers were not the only elements that comprised this style.
In the 1960s, a fashionable look that was all the rage was a blazer with a checkered pattern. Prepster men wore this one-of-a-kind blazer with a white button-down dress shirt, a tie, trousers, and those much-loved loafers.
A polo shirt with a cardigan sweater wrapped around the shoulders is an additional example of a classic preppy outfit combination that has endured the test of time. The combination of a dress shirt with short sleeves, khaki pants, and those versatile loafers was a common choice for more informal occasions.
In the 1960s, the Kennedy family is generally credited with being the driving force behind the rise of the preppy look in the fashion world. They were the leading figures in fashion at the time, and their preppy look became an instant classic that everyone wanted to emulate.
Styles from the Mod Era
The 1950s were known for their highly conservative fashions, but those looks began to transform with time. Mods, an abbreviation for modernists, pioneered a fresh approach to the fashion industry.
The Mod movement first emerged in the United Kingdom and then made its way to the United States, where it quickly gained popularity. It is only necessary to search the clothing options that the early Beatles wore to see an illustration of this style.
This look included narrow, tailored pants and tailored suits with a slimmer fit. These suits were versatile enough to be worn with either a dress shirt or a turtleneck. Additionally, common mod fashion choices include plaid shirts and penny loafers. The addition of argyle socks is another nice touch. Also, remember to wear some sunglasses with a dark lens.
When the Beatles first started making waves around the world in their early days, many people were shocked by the band members’ mod-style hair. They found it hard to believe that men would grow their hair to such a length. But this was only a preview of what was to come in the future.
Hippie and Beatnik Styles for Men
A few years earlier, nobody could have predicted the direction fashion would take throughout the decade.
Young people became dissatisfied with the traditional social norms that their parents had been raised with due to the growing unrest that occurred in the United States due to the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement.
This dissatisfaction with the norms of society was readily apparent in the music of the time, the demonstrations that took over the streets, and even the clothing that the younger generation decided to wear.
The hippie and beatnik scenes are now in full swing.
The hippie aesthetic is unquestionably the most iconic representation of the decade of the 1960s. This look was about having a good time and appreciating the little things in life.
The use of vivid hues, a plethora of patterns, and dazzling accessories contributed to creating a distinctive look even after half a century had passed. The addition of wide bell bottoms and a lot of frills enhanced the allure of the hippie style.
Jimi Hendrix was always known for making a fashion statement, even though many men wore these classic hippie looks during the sixties.
It was unthinkable for men to have long hair in the 1950s, but hippies made it acceptable for men to do so. This was a significant cultural shift.
Even though hippies and beatniks are nearly incompatible with one another, they are frequently grouped.
During the time that hippies were listening to the rock ‘n’ roll guitars of Jimi Hendrix and folk musicians like Bob Dylan, beatniks were indulging in the music of jazz legends such as Miles Davis.
Additionally, the clothes that they chose to wear were very different from one another. Color is essential to hippies. On the other hand, Beatniks prefer to dress in all black or occasionally in a few black and white stripes rather than in bold patterns.
A simple black turtleneck is a beatnik’s signature piece of clothing, which is part of their iconic look. Berets and dark sunglasses are two of the most iconic accessories associated with the beatnik style.
In addition to jazz, beatniks were fans of art, poetry, and other literary forms. The legendary author Jack Kerouac is considered one of the most well-known beatniks in history.
How Many Glances!
In many ways, the 1960s marked a watershed moment for the rest of the world. It’s safe to say that fashion will never be the same again.
A wide variety of men’s clothing styles was available in the 1960s. Every man could make a fashion statement explicitly tailored to him, from three-piece suits to bell-bottom pants.
When we look back, it is not hard to see how the popular fashions during this decade continue to influence the fashion industry more than half a century later.
How much of the style of the 1960s do you carry over into your current wardrobe? Tell us the details!