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Costume Ideas for a '60s-Themed Party

Updated on October 5, 2015

Sixties Icons

Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn | Source
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan | Source
Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix | Source

Breaking it Down: The Components of Sixties Fashion

So many celebrities from the '60s are so iconic in their own rights that it can seem difficult to distill what it is that makes their styles emblematic of the decade.

Here's a guide to each component and how you can recreate it yourself:

The Hair

Diana Ross
Diana Ross | Source
Chignon | Source

There were several distinct hairstyles throughout the '60s. No decade is completely disparate from the one that precedes or follows, and pompadours that are more associated with the '50s and sideburns that bring to mind the '70s were present in this decade.

However, here are some of the most distinctive hairstyles for this decade:

  • The Beatles-style bowl cut (also known as a mop top), which is distinctive and easy to do.
  • The afro, which has endless variations. For men or women, it can range from Bob Dylan's carefree cloud of curls to Diana Ross's immaculate, voluminous hair.
  • The beehive or chignon for a classy updo. The iconic example is Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, but if you watch Mad Men, you've seen Megan Draper née Calvet rocking quite a few.
  • The super-short bob ala Twiggy.

The great thing about these hairdos is that they are all so sixties that just by styling your hair, you'll have half of your costume.

If you have long hair, check out these tutorials on how to style it in a beehive or a chignon.

For other styles, a wig is an easy investment that will come handy in more situations than you would expect. Check out the wigs below for a few examples.

The Makeup

Twiggy's signature makeup
Twiggy's signature makeup | Source

This picture of Twiggy pretty much sums up the decade. Lots of eyeliner and mascara, with fake eyelashes to round out the mod look. For color, go bright and dramatic on the eyes and natural on the lips. To go bold, draw on the bottom lashes (be sure to use a liquid eyeliner).

The Jacket

Nehru Jacket
Nehru Jacket | Source

Attire inspired by the Nehru jacket is another wave in fashion that started with the Beatles. These Asian jackets are generally hip-length with a mandarin collar, and they evolved into an endless variety of prints. Printed hip-length jackets with blazer collars also were in vogue a la Jimi Hendrix.

The Pants

The Beatles
The Beatles | Source

Bell bottoms were already starting in the sixties, but note that they are not the full-fledged bell bottoms of the seventies. Limit the funk to interesting solids and stripes.

The Mod Dress/Mini Skirt

Megan Draper from Mad Men
Megan Draper from Mad Men | Source

In the sixties, things got short. Super minis and mod shift dresses will complete your costume. This style has come back around a bit with block prints, so you can feasibly find something in your closet or buy something you will wear again.

The Boots

Brigette Bardot
Brigette Bardot | Source

Now while the men wore boots as well, they are nowhere as valuable for a man's '60s costume as they are for a woman's.

Super long boots balanced out those short skirts and dresses. Low block heels were also considered mod.

Let me know what makes or breaks your '60s costume in the comments below.


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    • biggirloakland profile image

      biggirloakland 3 years ago from Oakland, Bay Area, California, USA

      I love to see Afros nowadays, I always liked them.