The 1960's is an interesting decade. It has a lot of personalities. In this month's Fashion History installment we are continuing with our Lingerie By Decade mini-series and have landed on a pivotal decade that will leap us into a look that is more familiar to our own everyday underpinnings. Let's have a look! (If you need to catch up click here.)
I always think of the 1960's as having two halves. The first half is part of the Classic Era- which runs from about 1955-1965. I love this era in fashion and hone in on that time frame when I am vintage hunting. It is classic- still stylish today! In the second half of the 1960's, the political landscape changes. It is a time of change, for change and with those changes a change in fashion bubbles up. (Can I say change one more time?) Youth culture is in, hemlines rise, and as always undergarments need to reflect what is worn over them.
Bras in the 1960s are still pointy as they were in the 1950's. Not as exaggerated, but the shaping is still important. Slips are still worn and girdle like pettipants are popular replacing the lace-up type corset or merry-widows.
Options. And options that match! Nylon is the fabric of choice and comes in an array of colors. Stretch fabrics, like spandex, are more common and give lingerie less rigidity like these girl's mothers and grandmothers wore in the 1940s. Panties are also becoming more and more popular. Briefs like the girl in the back is holding up come up to the waist. Towards the end of the decade, that waist-line will drop and hip huggers will be in style.
Later 60's. The ads are trying to appeal to those that want briefs (lady in front) and a hip-hugger (lady in back) option. While adding in a flower child vibe.
I have to include this because The Graduate is one of my favorite films. It's full of fashion inspiration and includes some great lingerie looks. It also shows us that prints are now available and leopard may be one of the finest!
Nightgowns and peignoir sets are still common. In the 1960's they become a bit brighter and more frilly then their predecessors.
Named after the 1956 film, Baby Doll, the baby doll continues on in popularity in the 1960's. It takes on an even more innocent youthful look as manufacturers appeal to youth culture.
One of the biggest advancements in undergarments in the 1960s is the invention of pantyhose or tights. Seams are no longer required in hosiery as they can now be made "in the round" and garter belts are no longer needed! This is revolutionary, signals freedom, and means shorter skirts can be worn!
Raquel Welch pictured above in textured and crochet tights which become popular.
Youth MOD culture, mini skirts, Mary Quant, Twiggy....colored tights are everywhere. They even put Twiggy on the package!
There is a lot happening in the 1960s and it's reflected in its fashion. Misogynistic (like the one above) ads run alongside women's empowerment (one below) ads as the industry tries to keep up with the changes that are happening in this decade. Are men buying the lingerie or are women? Who is their customer? The Classic era lady still wearing garter belts or the young adult that wishes she was in Swinging London?