In an early episode of the TV show Mad Men, someone said every woman in the 60's was either a Marilyn or a Jackie, a bombshell in a wiggle dress or a prim lady in white gloves and a circle skirt. There were also go go girls, teenage dance craze fanatics, hippies and beatniks.
Alongside the lingering styles of the 50s were two fashion waves that rejected that feminine, full-skirted look - Mod and hippie. The Mod style - inspired by British Invasion stars like the Beatles, Twiggy and the new-to-the-big-screen character James Bond - favored fitted pedal pushers and ballet flats (think Audrey Hepburn), or mini skirts and short A-line go go dresses, color block patterns, false eyelashes, pale lipstick, go go boots, and short hair for women. Their male counterparts were either buttoned-down fellows in skinny ties, slim cut pants, and horn-rimmed glasses; Beatnik poets in round sunglasses and turtlenecks; or shaggy-haired boys trying to ride the wave of the British Invasion bands' popularity.
On the other side of the dial was the hippie counter-culture, intentionally casual and relaxed to reflect their "peace and love" mantra. The flower children at Woodstock and on college campuses across the country wore bell bottom blue jeans, fringed vests, psychedelic prints, and love beads. They rejected the hairsprayed bouffant in favor of long, straight hair parted in the middle and adorned with braids, beads or feathers.
Dressing up for a 60's or 70's party offers so many fun possibilities. See some ideas below inspired by the famous people and characters from music, movies and TV shows of the 60s!
Flintstones Costumes (The Flintstones aired from 1960 to 1966)
Elvis and Priscilla Costumes (married from 1967 to 1973. Elvis wore his famous jumpsuits on stage beginning in 1970.)
Marilyn Monroe Costumes (the peak of her career was between her first leading role in 1952 and her death in 1962.)
The Brady Bunch - Mike, Carol, Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Peter, Cindy and Alice (show originally aired from 1969 to 1974)
Roy Orbison (singer-songwriter known for his trademark sunglasses, who had his biggest hits between 1960 and 1964, including "Oh, Pretty Woman")
Scooby Doo Costumes (Scooby-Doo, Where are You debuted in 1969)
Diana Ross and The Supremes (Motown singing group, the most successful American group in history, The Supreme first became widely popular in the mid-1960s with hits like "Where Did Our Love Go")
The Temptations (popular and influential Motwon singing group, who wore colorful matching suits and were most popular in the 1960s and 70s with hits like "My Girl" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg")
I Dream of Jeannie and Major Nelson (show originally aired from 1965 to 1970)
Audrey Costumes (Breakfast at Tiffany's was released in 1964.)
Sonny and Cher Costumes (pop music duo popular from 1965 to 1975)
President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie (presidency 1961-1963)
Janis Joplin Costumes (Rose to fame in 1967 and died in 1970. See our blog post "How to Dress Up Like Janis Joplin")
Jimi Hendrix Costumes (rocketed to stardom in 1967 before his death in 1970)
Mary Poppins and Chimney Sweep Costumes (movie released in 1964)
Tracy Turnblad and Link Larkin from Hairspray
Gumby and Pokey (the show's heyday was between 1957 and 1968)
Gilligan's Island (the show originally aired from 1964 to 1967)