We are starting a new series of murder mysteries taking place in the1960s. To make the story real we must research what life was like in that decade. After all we do have to dress our characters!

The 1960s fashions for women showed a major change from the 1950s strait-laced, conservative styles to the relaxed, youthful, even unisex styles of the 1960s. In other words, wardrobes had a major overhaul in just one decade.

Skirts changed from the swing skirt in the early 60s to straight (pencil) to A line shape by the end of the decade. And the hemlines were raised drastically as the decade continued.

Casual dress became more and more popular. Women were more comfortable wearing Capri’s, bell bottoms and shorts even at social events.

Couples wore matching clothes or unisex clothes which sprang up in the mid to late 60s. Teenagers to young adults jumped on the unisex look.

The little black dress came into fashion for cocktail parties while the evening/ball gowns started with a layer of lace ending the decade with classy one-layer dresses with stylish decoration.

Bell-bottoms became fashionable for both men and women in Europe and North America. They flared out from the bottom of the calf and had slightly curved hems and a circumference of 18 inches (46 cm) at the bottom of each leg opening. They were usually worn with Cuban-heeled shoes, clogs, or Chelsea boots. 

The Empire waist style dress became very popular, reflecting the less strict social mores of dress from the 1950s (cinched waist). The 1960s women’s fashions considered women’s comfort and individual style as opposed to the earlier decades.

An interesting note: Capris’ acceptance in the United States was influenced by the 1960s television series The Dick Van Dyke Show. The character Laura Petrie, the young housewife played by Mary Tyler Moore, caused a fashion sensation by wearing snug-fitting capri pants. 

Author Details
Author Details
Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.
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Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.
  • Erica Fay says:

    I was able to make most of my clothes in the 1960s. There was an exhibit at the MFA in Boston of Richard Avedon fashion photos from that era. It made it quite clear that silhouette or the overall shape of the garments was the main characteristic. They were sculptural and very beautiful.

    • I made most of my clothes as well. I’m pretty sure that orange dress above labeled Mod Look 1967 is one of the patterns I used.

    • Janet E Lynn says:

      I too made most of my clothes starting 1963 and on. Researching Women’s Fashions brought back so many memories of the styles especially the mod look. I searched and searched for pictures of me in the mod look clothes…couldn’t find a thing.

  • I love the fashion of the 60s. The series sounds intriguing!

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