Fashion: Go-Going Back to the 60s

As 2021 blooms into a new year, new fashion trends emerge. Many iconic trends of past decades begin to emerge in new, modernized ways. The 1960s have begun to shine through as a guide for the new fashion trends of this year, while popular shows such as Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit shine extra light on fashion from the 1960s as the show’s popularity increases.


Icons such as Audrey Hepburn (known for her performances in A Roman Holiday and as the darling Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), British model Twiggy, First Lady Jackie Kennedy, and Elizabeth Taylor were all influential women of the 1960s who accessorized particularly with headscarves during their everyday lives.  The headscarf has been in and out of fashion in years prior, but this year it is predicted that wearing headscarves will rise in popularity. Vogue called out this revisited trend and said: “We’re calling the effect of the now-signature house accessory ‘haute-homespun’, but should you need convincing to try the carefree summer trend, look back at the queens of holiday headwear from decades gone by.”

Go-go Boots:

Another 60s trend being revisited is a type of boot called the Go-go boot. The Go-go boot was named after the popular Go-go dancers of this period. “Mod Girls”(another term for  young, modern, stylish women) from the 60s could be seen wearing a mini dress with an eye-catching pair of white Go-go boots. The iconic boots were originally low-heeled and at the ankle until they evolved into the well-known size going to the knees. In 1966, Nancy Sinatra, daughter of Frank Sinatra, famously wore large, white Go-go boots in the music video of “These Boots are Made for Walking,” and her choice of these infamous boots increased the popularity immensely. White knee-high boots are thought to be coming back in style as this year progresses.

Margot Robbie rocks go-go boots as she stars in ONCE UPON TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, (Credit: Andrew Cooper of Grazia News)

Statement Jewelry:

Statement jewelry has also come back to accessorize outfits. However, this trend is mostly coming from the late 1960s and the 1970s. Chunky rings, layered necklaces in gold and silver, and costume jewelry will most likely make a large comeback in this decade to add originality to any look.

A-Line Dresses:

Another trend taken from the mod era is the A-line dress.  Master Class explains: “A-line dresses are one of the most popular dress styles because they are flattering on almost any body type.”  In 1955, Christian Dior released the “A-line Collection” and the style was later used by St. Laurent in the 1960s. The popularity of this dress was explained by Master Class: “A-line dresses enjoyed tremendous popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, and after a brief fall from the public eye, resurged in the late 1990s and early 2000s to become one of the most popular dress silhouettes today.”  The A-Line dress’s popularity continues to rise and expand as past trends are modernized; this dress will be making a definite comeback as a classic piece this year.

Graphic Prints:

In 1965, Yves Saint Laurent produced graphic shift dresses for his Mondrian collection. The pattern on these dresses was inspired by modernist artists, one of which being Piet Mondrian. Graphic shift dresses were abundantly popular throughout the 1960s and were a classic 1960s trend. Artistic patterns will influence many clothing designs and trends of 2021. The graphic dress is an example of how art has been pulled into the clothing we wear on an everyday basis.

The Peter Pan Collar:

In addition, the collared look has appeared in many trends throughout the years, but the collar made a huge comeback in late 2020.  As we indulge in 2021, more complex and abstract collars are coming into style, like the Peter Pan collar. The Peter Pan collar was an iconic fashion statement in the 1960s and was worn with and sewn onto mini dresses of that era. Fashion Collars explains the name was referenced to: “Peter Pan, a fictional character who lives in Neverland in the novel of the same name, written by J.M. Barrie in the early 1900s. The story is a fairytale about a little boy who never grows up, and the Peter Pan collar is intended to evoke the same fairytale sense of eternal youthfulness.” You can expect many people to be sporting the Peter Pan Collar as this year progresses.

Mini Dresses and Skirts:

During the 1960s, shorter dresses and skirts were introduced and “shaped” the decade. Mary Quant is thought to have produced and popularized the mini skirt during the “swinging 60s.”  The Herald wrote: “The mini skirt, that great cultural behemoth assigned to Mary Quant…was a symbol of freedom or horror, it was an item of clothing that made its way into the cultural psyche in a way that few have since…” Quant is also believed to be the most iconic fashion designer of the 1960s.  The mini skirt seems to be coming back in style, as well as Quant’s stylish mini dress.

Round Sunglasses:

In the 1960s, sunglasses were very large compared to sunglasses now.  The sunglasses in the era of Mod, freedom, and love were circular and almost always colorful. The Vintage Dancer describes the glasses of the 60s and 70s: “Thick frames, off-shapes, retro round lenses, and mirror lenses can be found everywhere. ‘70s glasses and sunglasses are oversized frames with brown to yellow tints and wireframes.” The 2021 sunglasses trend will flow from the inspiration of the large, bug-eyed 1960s shades and dabble with the similar rectangular pairs of the 70s. 


As the hippie age arose in the late 1960s with ideas of freedom, love, and peace, jeans became increasingly popular. Bell Bottoms (flares) and low-rise hip huggers were two very popular styles for the younger generation and the hippies. Liveabout Dotcom adds: “In this decade of creative expression, personalizing your jeans was considered very groovy. Embroidery, bright colors, stone washing, rhinestones, and patches were just some of the hip jean trends of the time.” As 2010 skinny jeans have gone out of style, more baggy jeans like straight, skater, mom, ‘90s boyfriend, and flares are coming back in style this year.

The trends of these past years and decades have all been derived from different decades’ trends and fashion. Along with many new trends of 2021, old trends will most likely come back and be inspired from the decade of the mod, hippie loving 1960s.


Abigail Lindblad ‘24, Contributing Writer