Fashion has always been an evanescent aspect of society. It is never consistent, and what may be popular one day may be out of style the next. However, there are certain iconic styles that will never become exhausted. Despite being in the 2010s, many fashion trends from the past have been resurrected and revamped for today. The '60s and '70s were two of the greatest decades for fashion and self-expression. With the British Invasion in the '60s, rock and pop music definitely permeated the fashion world -- and everyone looked good doing it, too. After the '60s jumpstarted a new era of pop culture, the '70s continued this legacy with funky, soulful and psychedelic flair.
Since I was born decades after this era, I knew I would need some expert advice to truly grasp how I might update these looks for today. Therefore, I decided to talk to someone who lived it: my grandmother. During the '60s and '70s, she witnessed the radical changes that occurred in society, particularly in San Francisco around Haight and Ashbury. She described the influence that bands, such as the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, had among youngsters in this era. Additionally, she explained the fashion trends and attitudes that people adopted based on major world events, such as the Vietnam War, and what she deems the "love" generation.
It was the mid-'60s and into the '70s that exhibited the biggest changes in fashion. For example, women began wearing long dresses, such as muumuus and empire waistline dresses. Luckily, this look can be easily updated today with the maxi dress. Even in the winter, these dresses can work perfectly when layered properly. Wearing leggings, tights or even jeans underneath this dress will keep you warm, and the long dress will make it appear as though you are only wearing a single item.
When women weren't wearing dresses, they were almost always wearing hip-hugging bellbottom jeans. For those gals who aren't too keen on wearing dresses in the winter, you can never go wrong with a pair of jeans. Once again, this look is completely attainable in today's time. Despite the reemergence of bellbottoms in department stores, most have a high-waist fit instead of the hip-hugger fit. These bottoms are perfect for the fall because they can be dressed up with a pair of heels or given a casual look with a nice pair of boots. If you're feeling adventurous and would still like to show off the bellbottoms style -- one-piece jumpers have become extremely popular. They are very similar to maxi dresses in their long length, but have the wide leg that mimics bellbottoms.
Although men wore bell-bottoms as well, the look that is simplest to update for today is based upon the Beatles' influence on men's fashion. There were high-collared Nehru-style tops, mock turtlenecks, blazers, sport coats and slim-fit pants. Like women, these looks are definitely feasible today. Specifically during the winter months, men can capture the slim-fit look with a good pair of skinny jeans. However, if tight skinny jeans are not your style, then opt for the slim-fit for a little more wiggle room.
In addition to this sophisticated put-together look, the Vietnam War provoked a new era of fashion for men through camouflage gear. My grandmother explained that protests opposing the draft and war inspired men to start wearing army and camouflaged clothing to make a statement about the current world affairs. Therefore, if you want a look that displays rich history and politics in the U.S., an army jacket or pair of army pants is always a great go-to. This fashion item can be found in a variety of forms (shirt, jacket, pants), but the way you want to wear this camouflage gear is entirely up to you.
Lastly, anything floral, multicolored, tie-dye or vibrant will definitely represent the '60s and '70s appeal -- groovy!
Although the '60s and '70s have passed, the influence these eras had on fashion, even today, has remained. If you're looking for some retro appeal this winter and fall, you surely won't have to look too far. Thrift shopping at your local Salvation Army or Goodwill is a great source to find the vintage items you're seeking. However, these items can be found at almost any place that sells clothing. I would suggest a few places such as H&M, Forever 21, Old Navy and Kohl's.
I hope that now you will be inspired to channel your inner flower child, hippie or John Lennon style this fall and winter. And don't forget, "peace, love, and spare change, my brothers and sisters!"