1960s #VintagePledge Inspiration


Where vintage fashion is concerned I'm not the hugest fan of styles from the late 1960s onwards, but I'm delving in nonetheless, in the name of the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge

I think it's safe to say that the Swinging Sixties was a revolutionary decade after the austerity and reconstruction of the 1950s. In 1960 Yves Saint Laurent designed The ‘Beat Look’ for Christian Dior, and although the collection's leather suits and coats, high pullovers and knitted caps attracted negative press, it sounded the death knell of French haute couture. The world was now looking to London for fashion guidance, and for the first time ever, young people had money to spend and were intent on expressing their identity through fashion. 


These changes didn't quite happen overnight of course and early 1960s sewing patterns were still heavily influenced by 1950s designs. Predictably, these are my favourite! 




As the decade progressed styles and cuts became less fussy and structured, with the A-line skirt becoming much more prominent. For the first time since Coco Chanel's jersey collections in the 1930s, women's clothing became comfortable and easy to wear.



A-line shift dresses that fell in a clean triangular line from the shoulder to mid-thigh became hugely popular. They were designed to wear over a skinny rib sweater and ribbed tights during the day, or on their own with heels in the evening.


[Images from Vintage Fashion]


Other fashion statements of the 1960s were Space Age looks, inspired by the moon landing, as well as geometric prints and graphic lines. Cut-outs where also very popular design features, as were transparent panels of clear plastic, mesh or chainmail.


Perhaps the most exciting development of the 1960s is, of course, the mini skirt. Andre Courreges in Paris and Mary Quant in London can both lay claim to the invention of it. Hemlines started creeping above the knee by 1963, were at mid-thigh by 1965, and gave way to the even shorter micro-mini. By the late 1960s, the only way for hemlines to go was down. Long coats, skirts and dresses became the antidote to the mini with maxi lengths to the ankle and midi lengths to mid-calf. Women often chose to wear different lengths at once by combining midi length cardigans over shorts and mini skirts to show a fleeting glimpse of leg.

So there you have it, a whistle stop tour of the evolution of styles in the 1960s. Are you a fan or do you have a different, favourite style decade?

Don't forget to check out the dedicated #vintagepledge Pinterest Board for inspiration galore! 

32 comments:

  1. Cute patterns - I love the cross backed one that's also in your blog header

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  2. I love the 1960s fashions! It's my favourite decade. I love the space age and cut-out panels. I particularly like the A-line shift dresses. In fact, I am making just such a dress from Simplicity 8381 at the moment, my first vintage pattern. I'll blog about it when it's done:)

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    1. Oooh, looking forward to seeing your dress Linda!

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  3. Your pattern 8060, I think I made that with the big white collar! Lol

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  4. For sixties inspiration, try watching old episodes of That Girl. You will want to recreate every one of Marlo's outfits, promise!

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  5. These are some great patterns. Thanks for sharing. :) The 60's aren't really my thing - but I have to say the last early 60's pattern I made was a perfect fit - so I'm starting to be a bit more open to them than I have been in the past.

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    1. Thanks Liz! I feel the same about 60s patterns, but I hope I can find a 60s style that suits me too!

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  6. I love the 1960's shift, it is my favourite vintage style to make up. It suits me and it is always a clean look. I look like a grown up in them. Gathered skirts on dresses make me look 12 and half! I love the yellow simplicity dress. I have lots of simplicity 60's patterns, i just love 'em. Thanks for linking with my belt tutorial, it really did change my 50's frock into a winner again. Jo x

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    1. Haha, funny what our perception of ourselves in certain styles is! Your belt tutorial is fab :o)

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  7. I love the 60s mod look as that was when I started to explore fashion for myself, and it suits my body type better than the 50s fashion. I have loads of patterns from that era so must revisit.

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    1. You can wear absolutely anything with your great figure, Sue!

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  8. 60's are my favorite since it fits my body type better than 50's...I love the creativity and zany looks as the decade went on, then things got a bit cuckoo in the 70's! (though there's still a lot there to love)

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    1. You lucky thing...really wish I had the shape for 60s styles!

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  9. I think the 60's are harder to wear for curvy types. Fifties is more flattering. For me though, I like 70's patterns.

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    1. Yeah, personally I agree! Though I really dislike most 70s designs...until I see them on fellow bloggers and like them more than I thought I would!

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  10. Thanks for the timely inspiration, I am toying with the idea of making a sixties style dress for when I go to the Goodwood Revival in September if I can get my other projects completed in time.

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    1. You're welcome, I think that's a wonderful idea :o)

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  11. I am no doubt a 50s lover, but I like the 60s a-line dress for a confortable everyday wear, so I have a few plans of 60s sewing.
    And I have to confess... I haven't sewn a vintage pattern yet! I should start now or I will be totally late.

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    1. Oh dear, you best get on with your vintage pattern then ;o)

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  12. I love the 60s styles, they totally suit my boy like body-shape. Really like the space age designs, and the cat suit was 60s too.

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    1. Yes, I can see why Louise...you rock a 60s shape!

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  13. I know there are a million and one variations on the 60's A line shift (and many are re-hashed in new patterns) but I never get bored of looking at styles from that era. It's a lot to do with the little details, button tabs, neckline variations, cool buttons. I also find many translate into modern styles really well if you use classic fabrics like linen and wool, so things don't look too much like a costume.

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    1. Yes, it really is all in the small details!

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  14. I love A-line dresses, and they're really easy to wear. I also think mod fashion is super cool, but because I am pear-shaped it really doesn't suit me. :( That said, the bateau neckline from the early 60s works really well, and is one of my favourite necklines.

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    1. I love mod style too...wish it suited me!

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  15. Ooh er, I didn't realize that Maudella ever went that racy!

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  16. The 60's is definitely my favourite fashion era. So much fun! great round up!

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    1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed it :o)

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