Friday, February 5, 2010

The Hippie Way Of Dressing

It is strange to talk about the fashion of people that called themselves nonconformists. However, the truth is that while hippies, as a group, were nonconformists and countercultural, hippies, as individuals, had a distinct fashion statement to make – colorful, loose, and as different from the Wall Street preppy style as possible.

How Hippie Fashion Began in the 1960s

While the Second World War saw American patriotism and nationalism come of age, the continued war gaming in Korea and then in Vietnam finally overwhelmed the strained nerves of Americans. People wanted to rebel against a society they increasingly came to realize was a repressive, power hungry empire builder. They wanted to begin living in an alternate lifestyle and go back to nature. The fashion of the 60s reflects this mood.

The basic trend in hippie clothing was to wear loose, wear colorful, and wear fussy. Wear natural, too; cotton and hemp were in, synthetic was out. Men and women both kept long hair, and facial beard was big, too. However, contrary to the widely held belief, hippie style hair did not regularly harbor lice. The hair was well cared for, regularly shampooed and washed in holy water.

One item of great popularity was handmade clothing. Macramé was immensely popular, and tie dyeing one’s cloth in pretty colors was the favorite pastime of youths who in later decades spent their free time bombing Sunday schools.

Basic Looks of 1960s Hippie Fashion

A hippie wardrobe usually had an eclectic collection of rag-tag clothing; but some things were necessary. Everyone wore hip hugging bell-bottom jeans. These usually had fringes at the ankle and anywhere else a fringe could possibly be made, and flower patches were universal. People just loved their flowers and wore them in the hair with ribbons and things. A peace sign of some sort was a must. Skimpy halter tops which left little to imagination, not necessarily drug-induced, was the thing to wear in those days of sexual freedom.

The Skirt That Was A Health Hazard

In those days, breaking boundaries was the thing to do. Receding hemlines started riots, and shortening skirts became fashionable until there wasn’t anywhere more to go. So people took to naturism, the ultimate in 60s fashion. Hundreds of pretty hippie girls, wearing nothing but flowers. What days those were!

The Power Of The Flower

Flowers were worn by everyone in the hippie times. They represented peace, which was important to them; it also represented universal love, which somehow stood for free love as well. Floral designs were also universal, appearing in dresses, skirts, t-shirts and elsewhere. Mostly, they wore flowers in their hair and as garlands around their necks.

Lastly, we need to talk about leather sandals. This was a sort of compromise, because hippie principles only allowed for barefoot walking. But barefoot walking wasn't easy, and you tended to get your feet dirty and ... er ... stuff. So, leather sandals.

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