In 1963, the young look swept through the fashion world like a great tsunami. This look included knee-high skirts, sleeveless dresses, lower heels and close-cropped, natural hair.
Although first shown in 1962, Saint Laurent’s fisherman’s shirt jacket was most popular in 1963.
Any type of artificial look was abandoned quickly. Large amounts of makeup and high heels were too contrived for the fashionable woman of 1963.
Tweeds, mohair, leather and furs were the rage. Boots ranged from ankle to thigh-high.
Vests, kerchiefs, textured cotton stockings, turtlenecks and paisley ascot scarves all came together to create a “sportive look.” The phrase became the motto of 1963 fashion.
Fur-trimmed suits and coats were the most prevalent items in fall fashions. Two preferred furs were lynx and kit fox — long haired furs were back in style. Leopard, however, was the leading fur of all of them.
The most drastic change in men’s fashion in 1963 was the widespread acceptance of pleatless pants. Stripes were seen on sports jackets, sweaters, shirts and ties. The three-button suit was the most popular, but the two-button suit was gaining fast. Men of means liked a soft Italian-style shoe.
Norman Norell and Cristobal Balenciaga were responsible for the reappearance of capes, while Yves Saint Laurent’s fisherman shirtjackets became world-wide fashion. In 1963, we get to see the first Geoffrey Beene collection.
Fashion in 1964
Fashion in 1964 was hit by a shock wave of nudity that extended around the globe and caused world-wide controversy. First came the deeply plunging necklines introduced in Paris spring collections. Then came the American versions, attributed to the movie, Tom Jones. The wave reached its crest with the creation of a topless bathing suit by designer Rudi Gernreich.
Dress manufacturers quickly jumped on the bandwagon, creating sheer-topped evening dresses with only the flimsiest layer of flesh-colored net used for a bodice.
Coco Chanel wearing a hair bow
The topless bathing suit created all kinds of problems. A woman in Chicago was arrested for wearing it in public. Throughout the summer, comments concerning the controversial design were published around the globe.
“Feminine” was perhaps the most overworked word in 1964′s fashion vernacular. It referred to swinging, knee-high skirts, fitted bodices, ruffles, pleats, a lace revival and the return of the hair bow as the coiffure accessory for women of all ages. “Coco” Chanel was responsible for the hair bow revival.
The cosmetics industry reflected the fragile, feminine look that had come into fashion. Pale lipsticks and nail polish replaced the vivid shades for the sought after natural look. Hair was no longer curly, but merely waved to follow the contour of the head. Eyebrow brushing bangs became the trademark of the young, along with hair bows work front, rear and off-center. Girls with hair too curly besieged hairdressers known for the straightening techniques — a chemical session that cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $40.
Textured stockings were very popular in 1964. Winter also saw the revival of fuller skirts, smaller coiffed heads under close-fitting hats and the return of the ball gown.
For men, the accent was on youthful appearance. Suit colors were lighter and brighter. Suit coats and sport jackets were shorter, with wider lapels. Trousers were often uncuffed. A wider stripe appeared on shirts and striped were popular in sweaters.
Fashion in 1965
The mood of fashion was young in 1965. Andre Courreges, the young French designer of the bar knee, the square cut white dress and flat white boots, offered the freshest and boldest look. He borrowed the cowboy hat — chin strap and all — to top the geometric looks of his clothes. White textured stockings epitomized the trend. His ideas influenced nearly every facet of fashion.
A fashion revolution broke out in London, and for the the first time a British fashion invasion stormed NYC.
Vintage Poor Boy Sweater Ad
In the US, Pop Art popped into style. Then along came Op Art, which opened up a whole new world. Women dressed to match Op Art paintings, with their stripes, checks and wavy line prints. Dressed were divided geometrically by intersecting bands and brightened by contrasting blocks of color.
The Mondrian style was a hit.
Rounded toed shoes became more prominent. Straps were evident, heels were open, sides were pared down to add to the look of leggy young elegance. Heels continued in the low to medium height range.
We cant forget about the “Poor Boy Look.” Women continued to wear low hipster pants in combination with the “poor boy” sweater (see picture).
Another fad caught on in the dressing gown space. Cristobal Balenciaga designed a gown with one bare shoulder and it caught on like crazy. Even Jackie O got into the mix.
The Saint Laurent Mondrian dress was a huge hit in 1965.