1960s Costume Ideas
The 1960s continues to be a popular theme for fancy dress parties. Some people will choose to link it to the 1970s as there is an element of cross-over between the fashions of the two decades.
This is also true between the 1950s and 1960s. At the start of the decade America was still heavily influencing the music charts, with stars such as Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and Bill Hayley (and his Comets) dominating. So at every 60s theme night, there will be a slight blurring at the edges towards the 50s (Teddy Boys) and 70s (glam rock).
This page will give you some costume inspiration by looking at various influences throughout the 60s decade including music, film, television and trends.
Props & Frocks, established since 1998, provides not only fancy dress from it's retail base in Essex, England, and on line, but also FREE advice on costume themes and fancy dress for every theme you could think of. So, whatever your costuming needs, Props & Frocks - THE fancy dress experts will be able to help. Take a look at our website where you will find a large area dedicated to giving you as much costume advice as we can. This is a new section and is being added to on a weekly basis, so if you do not find exactly what you are looking for drop us a line & we'll help you.
The early-mid 1960s saw the rise of British Pop Music, with the 'Merseybeat' sound of artists such as the 'Beatles', Gerry & The Pacemakers' and Freddie & the Dreamers contrasting with the 'London' sound of artists such as The 'Dave Clark Five' & the 'Manchester' sound of The Hollies. From a costume point of view most of these groups tended to look the same. Costumes for the Beatles are available and come in a range of budgets - see image.
Mods & Rockers
We would recommend that the 60s theme is not reduced even more by naming the party 'mods & rockers'. It may seem like a good idea, but the theme is very restricting and there are not many costumes available to purchase on the market. A true male mod look would consist of an Italian designer suit and duffle coats (complete with a bulls-eye on the back). Ladies costumes are more widely available to purchase. A true female mod would have worn black and white patterned A-Line dresses (as favoured by Mary Quant). Rockers would have worn leather jackets and trousers, chains, studs and heavy boots (in keeping with their association with motor bikes, as opposed to the Mods' scooters).
The fashions we associate with the 60s started with the advent of the Mini-skirt. Although there are arguments over who actually 'invented' it, designer Mary Quant undoubtedly helped promote it: Through a boutique called 'Bazaar' she offered girls a whole range of accessories to go with the look. These ranged from tights (plain and multi-coloured - if you were revealing your legs, you might as well show them off to best advantage) - to cosmetics in funky colours - make-up, especially with emphasis on the eyes was big in the 60s.
With girls' legs now 'revealed' with the shorter skirts, tights became fashionable, so did boots, helped by Jane Fonda in the film 'Barbarella' in which she played a scantily-clad space heroine.
The first 'Austin Powers' film was set in the Britain of the late Swinging Sixties and although a slight parody of 'the scene' provides a great place to get your 60s inspiration. Men were wearing velvet suits, ladies, (very short) mini dresses and both were wearing brightly coloured, psychedelic patterned clothing.
Austin Powers and Vanessa Kensington were leading characters from the first film, whilst the second gave us Felicity Shagwell - all very popular costume choices for the 1960s theme.
1967 was known as the 'Summer of Love' and was seen as many as the epitome of what the 60s was all about. Woodstock, the hippy movement and 'Flower Power' dominating the scene. 1967 was also the year 'Sargeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club' was released.
Towards the end of the decade, hippy fashions were contrasting with the geometric mod designs and in 1969, the full length 'maxi skirt' was introduced much to the relief of most women!
Popular 60s Television Programmes
- Pink Panther Cartoon Show
- Star Trek
- Addams Family
- The Munsters
- Alice in Wonderland
- Passage to India
- The Prisoner
- Dad's Army
Popular 60s Films
- Breakfast at Tiffany's
- West Side Story
- Lawrence of Arabia
- A Fistful of Dollars
- My Fair Lady
- Bonnie & Clyde
- 101 Dalmations
- Austin Powers (not a film made in the 60s, but set in '69)
Other 60s Costume Suggestions
- Marilyn Monroe (she died in this decade)
- Astronaut (first moon landing in 1969)
- Star Trek (first shown)
- Frank Sinatra (just pop on your dinner jacket)
- Elvis Presley (yes, he did wear the white jumpsuit in the 60's)
- Elizabeth Taylor gave us a definitive version of the Cleopatra character in 1963, whilst Richard Burton starred opposite her as Mark Antony.
- Pop Art. Although they may take a little more preparation time and effort, outfits based on the Pop Art style of 60s artists such as Roy Lichtenstein can be an interesting angle on the decade.
1960s Costume & Theming Links
- Ladies 50s Fancy Dress Costumes | Female Grease Costumes | Lady Hippy Costume | Abba Fancy Dress | F
Looking for a ladies 1950s,1960s, 1970s or 1980s costume? We stock a large range including: 60s Mini dresses, Abba fancy dress, Madonna Outfits, 50's Rock n Roll & flower power hippys. Contact us 7 days a week on 01245 327156. FULL MONEY BACK GUA
- 1950s, 1960s 1970s Fancy Dress Costumes
Quality fancy dress costumes for 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s including Teddy Girls, Teddy Boys, Rock n Roll, Flower Power, Hippy, Glam Rock, Punk, Flares & New Romantic Costumes.
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