Peace, love and harmony define the hippie mindset, reflected in the non-traditional hippie clothing styles and accessories of the 1960s and '70s. Wire-rimmed glasses inspired by John Lennon, natural fibers such as cotton and hemp, and loose, bohemian cuts and styles were all the rage. Many hippie styles -- low-rise jeans, for example -- have never really gone out of style. You can incorporate hippie-inspired clothing into your wardrobe through a few selected pieces.
Signs of the Times
Dress like a hippie by wearing unconstructed clothing to represent a non-conformist lifestyle. "Out" are straight-legged denim, and "in" are bell-bottom jeans for both sexes. Wear colors and textile patterns that are bright and psychedelic or earthy and natural. Impersonate a flower child by embracing groovy, flower-power prints. These large floral graphics make vivid unisex shirts as well as dresses. Hand-dyed batiks have been around for centuries, but tie-dyed garments -- homemade or purchased -- of swirling, explosive patterns are hippie interpretations of ancient techniques.
For authentic-looking hippie clothing for guys, look for fringe and more fringe: leather jackets, vests and moccasins with layers of fringe, long and short, sometimes with beads. The faded, well-worn look of denim jeans is a symbol of the frugality and non-conformity the hippie movement conveyed. Today's pre-faded jeans offer the look you want. Think calico print shirts to go with beards and long hair. Neckties and suits are not allowed, with the possible exception of a dressy Nehru jacket. Modified keyhole necklines, tunic tops, cuffless sleeves and untucked shirttails also define the rebellious nature of hippie fashions for men. Sleeves make a statement in both men’s and women’s clothing -- flowing bell sleeves or gathered lantern sleeves are a hallmark of hippie style.
Long, natural hair and make-up free faces characterize hippie-style beauty. Choose unconstructed clothes such as prairie skirts and peasant blouses, perhaps with a crocheted or hand-knotted macrame lace shawl. Early feminism meshed with the braless trend of the late '60s, and the soft, loose-fitting clothing styles that resulted are still popular 50 years later. Check at thrift stores or online specialty shops for vintage loose caftans made with bold-print fabrics or mini and maxi skirts from the period. Tube-tops and halters go with anything, and you can find them in ageless styles in fashion-forward shops, along with minis and long, flowing maxi skirts. Women today have the latitude of wearing jeans as well as skirts, partly because hippie women ushered in unisex clothing.
Love Beads and More
Bandanas are common hippie head coverings, as are floppy-brimmed hats made from leather, fabric or straw. A headband is perfect for taming long, flowing hair, and it also provides the perfect place to tuck a flower or feather. Practically mandatory hippie wear, a peace sign might appear on fabric, fashioned in jewelry or perhaps wrought as a belt buckle or hair clasp. Wear natural materials, which reflect the back-to-the-earth movement, in handmade jewelry of beads, leather, earthy stones such as turquoise, or the seeds of the plant Job’s tears. Wear several strands of beads and carry essentials in a shoulder bag. Pierced ears complete the look, especially if you wear big hoops or other large, dangly earrings.