Authentic Homemade Hippie Costumes for Halloween - What Hippies REALLY Wore!
What Hippies Wore
I was a hippie back in the sixties and want to tell you about what hippies really wore in the Haight-Ashbury back in the day....
I've seen a lot of sites that sell bogus hippie costumes and clothes. They're absolutely ridiculous. I was a hippie in the sixties in the San Francisco Bay Area and want to tell you what we really wore so if you choose to dress like a hippie you'll at least look authentic instead of silly.
Image: A Hippie Girl in 1967. Check her out. You can buy this photographic print at AllPosters.com
The lady above is a great example of how real hippies dressed. She's wearing a rather conventional sixties shirt/sweater on top, along with a long flowered skirt. Over the skirt she's draped what looks like a flimsy lace curtain or tablecloth. Next she's got a theatrical white cape - hard to tell what it is made of but it could be velvet. This photo looks like it was taken at Woodstock so she probably dressed up for the occasion. There are multiple flowers in her hair and a campy set of beads and sandals finish her look for the day.
The skirt and cape were probably homemade. It looks like she's got a sheer white scarf dangling from the side of her cape. As you can see there's nothing symmetrical about this image. It looks tossed together and artist-inspired.
San Francisco Hippie Music and Videos
Check out the clothing on hippies in the videos on this page - to see what hippies really wore.
You can enjoy some of my favorite hippie music on these videos... Scott McKenzie singing "Are You Going to San Francisco," then some Grateful Dead music, "Walk Me Out in the Morning Dew" ... and at the bottom of the page there are three full length documentaries about hippies in the sixties - a good place to research period dress styles.
You will notice the hippies are wearing mainly conventional clothing in these videos, with the notable exception of a few of the musicians.
If You're Going to San Francisco...
Skirts and shawls for the ladies - ...look for authentic hippie wear, not silly costumes. (please?)
Absolutely gorgeous! This really looks like something a creative Haight-Ashbury clothing artist might piece together. A lot of us made our own clothes... and long skirts were worn most of the time, rather than short skirts.
Grateful Dead - Morning Dew
Really, home-crocheted shawls were more common, but any hippie girl would have loved to wear this.
Hippie hair issues
...your hippie costume doesn't need to include long hair.
Again, referring to the photo above....
Note also the young men in the photo. Do you see any long hair? I don't. FYI there were thousands of hippie-guys that didn't have the long hair. Many of them had to work for a living and were not total bums, while at the same time embracing hippie idealism and enjoying the hippie scene in their spare time. Not having long hair was not an issue for the hippies. The whole movement was about 'doing your own thing' and 'accepting everyone's preferences and quirks' and 'being who you are without having to be self-conscious about it.' How about that?
I'm just saying this to let you know that if you don't have long hair you really don't have to put on a wig to pass as a hippie.
Janis Joplin popularized the ostrich feather look. Yes, they were popular with theatrical style hippie girls.
Hippies usually wore practical clothing - ...nothing silly like the commercial hippie costumes you see these days.
Hippies in Audience at Woodstock Music Festival, by Bill Eppridge - Buy print at AllPosters.Com
What do you see here? These hippies are all dressed in plain old clothes... ordinary shirts, ordinary pants. Nothing wacky. That's how real hippies dressed, most of the time.
A hippie costume with blue jeans, a shirt, a bandana perhaps, and love beads - that's the basics of what you might need to create an authentic hippie clothing ensemble. Think casual. Plaid flannel shirts for the guys. Maybe a little lace on the ladies and girls. Think gypsy.
Hippie wear for guys - ...to mix and match an authentic hippie costume look.
Forget Nero shirts, bell bottoms, and ribbon-lined vests. Those things don't say 'hippie' like these suggested items do. Sure they were popular in the sixties - for people with money to buy them - but the hippies - the real hippies you'd meet in the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco - weren't into wearing 'sixties hippie gear' or a modern designer's idea of what guys in the sixties should wear. Real hippies were much more practical.
Jeans were usually faded and old - because people couldn't afford to buy new jeans.
Tie-dye... okay, if you want to. Original tie-dye started with pouring bleach in the washing machine while washing jeans. A big mistake that caught on and became popular.
Faded old overalls were found in clothing bins. These were worn by both men and women. Guys can use either old overalls or old faded-look jeans ... and don't worry about getting hold of bell-bottoms as most guys in the Haight didn't wear them.
How Hippie Are You?
How hippie do you feel today?
Pre-Made Hippie Costume
I prefer to see people dressed more authentically... like the original hippies of the sixties.
Okay, what I really don't like about hippie costumes is that they attempt to make hippies look silly.
Hippies, for the most part, had no money to spend on trendy clothing in the sixties.
Hippies were non-materialistic.
Yes, colorful clothes similar to these were made but they were worn by high school students who wanted to look like hippies, or wannabes with money who didn't really know what it was like to be a hippie.
The rest of us wore hand-me-downs, clothing tossed away that ended up in free clothing bins, or just rags... whatever we could come up with.
Most pre-made hippie costumes are totally unrealistic. They're just not anything like what the real hippies of the sixties wore.
Learn the hippie lingo and attitude of love - ...don't just look the part... ACT the part too!
If you want to look like an authentic hippie, why not follow through by acting and talking like one too? Remember to be AUTHENTIC not SILLY. This isn't a joke; hippies were all about being NATURAL and REAL. Remember to say 'far out' and 'out'a sight' regularly, and be totally loving and cool.
I mean, be REALLY loving. You might get some clues from this lens: Love, a Work-Force Energy Booster or this one: Messenger from the Summer of Love.
Where did hippies get their clothes?
...free clothing bins, of course!
On Haight Street in San Francisco, and in some other locations, there were free clothing bins. People donated clothing and the bins were usually over-flowing. A lot of the clothing was old and campy looking by sixties standards.
Old black orthopedic shoes worn by our grandmothers were very popular in those days. Old bowler hats and 1930s style suit coats were worn too. Red bandana headbands were seen on both men and women. For women, scarves on the head and around the neck were fine. Shawls were seen often - usually homemade crochet shawls.
I'm sure a lot of hippies got things out of second hand stores, as I did. Not only was old clothing used to create the authentic hippie style, but antique jewelry was popular too.
Hats and hippie headgear - ...use your imagination like the hippies did!
A good point to remember is to dress creatively. Don't do what everyone else is doing. You should not even care what other people are doing! Everyone does their own thing - with hippie clothes, art, music, and any other aspect of life.
Be creative. Be original. Be cool.
Okay, this is a pretty nice looking pair of shoes similar to what hippie girls wore. Not exactly what I was looking for - but this will do.
All the shoes shown below were popular too. Men and women wore the high-top moccasins. Men wore work boots.
I would have chosen the Mary Jane shoe in black, but it is also available in white. Same thing. Great for a hippie costume or your own daily brand of hippie clothing.
The Hippie Revolution
This type of high-top moccasin boot was uber-popular back in the sixties.
How to be yourself - Hippies and non-conformist clothing and attitudes go together, understand?
Another example... plain, no fancy uppers. We're talking SIXTIES....
Full Length Hippie Documentary
Summer of Love Documentary
Hippie jewelery - ...you need the love beads!
These seed beads are what we made love beads out of.
Monterey Pop Festival - 1967
I liked to string my love beads with an ankh as a pendant... or a brass bell.