Men and women of the 1960s wanted to reform the society and put an end to social injustices that they had witnessed prevailing during the previous age. Along with social changes, changes in clothing were also seen. It became casual, full of bright colours and varied patterns. Usually, men dressed in slim-fit trousers, a polo shirt or a buttoned-down one, and a patterned sport jacket or coat. This style popularly known as the Ivy League look was quickly adopted by teenagers and aristocratic men of the age. This style later was replaced by hippies, bringing the vintage look into fashion during the latter half of the 1960s.
With that being said, we would look into the detailed description of each of the men’s wear during the 1960s.
1960s Men’s Daily Wear Suits
As daily wear, men wore patterned sportcoats to their office places or business meetings. The coats were of contrasting shades, which was heavily influenced by the style of the Ivy League style. Mostly, coats were found in red and yellow colour and the vest worn underneath was either grey, blue, or tan shaded. Men paired the dark coloured vest with lighter coloured coats and vice versa. As the decade advanced, patterns and colours became more varied and bolder. The muted and subtle patterns prevalent during the initial years of the decade gave way to broad stripes, white and black checks or large plaids, windowpane, etc. The last few years of the decade whitened the availability of vibrant pastel shades like baby pink, sunshine yellow, sky blue, and whatnot.
1960s Men’s Dress Shirts and Coats
Men’s shirts were light coloured like white, pinstriped, or pastel shaded. These were dull coloured, usually allowing the outerwear to become the center of focus. Neckties worn with shirts were broad striped, solid, or patterned but men maintained a balance between every component of their dressing. One major characteristic of the 1960s was the availability of rich colours, flashy gold cufflinks, and minutely patterned ties. The width of neckties began to widen as suit lapels started to become broader. The neckerchief was a replacement of the early 1960s tie. It was folded like a cravat around one’s neck. Then, it had to be puffed out from beneath an unbuttoned shirt. This outlook was suave against the vibrant coloured coats and shirts.
Men’s casual shirts
Casual shirts recreated the country or golf club look- skinny belts, polo shirts, flat-front trousers, or single pleat trousers. Polos were also available in contrasting shades. A few men wore shirts with zip-up collars instead of buttons. We could get a glimpse of the classic fishermen shirts from the horizontally striped polo shirts. Besides polo shirts, buttoned-down shirts in stripes, plaids, prints were also extremely popular. They remained a go-to option for men for almost every casual occasion. Camp shirts were popular summer shirts. The mod look which developed in the later years of the decade influenced this casual look of ken men to some extent. Shirts were found to have bold colour combinations, multi-colored plaids, and stand out stripes. Some of them had contracting white buttons which rendered a modern look.
Similar to men’s shirts, even sweaters were available in similar shades, stripes, patterns. The jumper popularly called the pullover sweaters during that age and a cardigan was considered to be a new definition of fashion. Sweaters were paired with jeans for styling while some wore them as a replacement of sport coats. Mainly, sweaters in broad stripe blocks, large Chevron blocks, or geometric tile designs, new textures were preferred.
Men’s jackets and overcoats
Overcoats continued to be similar to the previous decade throughout the first half of the 1960s. Knee breakers or knee-length car coats topped men’s business coats. British warm costs, short guard coats, plaid carcoats, camel hair overcoats, etc. were in fashion. The style was sleek and slim with double-breasted trench coats leading the fashion trend. If men wanted to go for even more casual wear, they wore the sherpa lined suede hip-length coats or puffer quilted jackets which were lightweight but warm. During spring, both young and old preferred to wear the Harington jacket. Another popular style of jacket that was popular during the 1960s was the bush jacket, having four pleated pockets and worn with a belt.
The mod look was a characteristic trend of the 1960s. The mod clothing was extremely short-lived. It got replaced the moment new designs and trends became popular. Some accepted the mod men look and dressed accordingly, while others chose to continue wearing casuals and dress shirts. Mod men wore short length, double-breasted jackets, sharkskin suits, long suit jackets, oversized collar jackets, and collarless jackets as well. Some jackets had velvet collars while most jackets had 3 to 4 buttons and narrow lapels. Blazers were available in shades of olive green, solid blue, powdered blue, sometimes striped having buttons.
We would now look into some of the mod clothing styles popular during the 1960s.
- Mod men’s shirts
Mainly mod shirts featured flower prints, colour blocking, small polka dots, etc. Some had white collars and cuffs. They came in bright colours like green, orange, yellow, and black and white. Some had vertical stripes on them. Mod shirts always had high necks. Even t-shirts had a high neck and slim, body-hugging style.
- Mod men’s pants
Mod pants or trousers were worn with a 3-inch broad belt. Trousers had a hemline that continued till the ankle. Hence, men’s shoes or boots could be seen. Mostly they were a tight fit, making the muscles prominent. Pants were manufactured from stretch knit synthetics. They featured plaid checks, vertical stripes, angled pinstripes, and corduroy. In the latter half of the decade, designers tried to blend mod and psychedelic hippie styles. Consequently, they manufactured pants having tribal designs, flower prints, paisley, and vertical stripes.
- Mod men’s jackets and coats
Mods preferred Crombie overcoats of the past, having plain colours, big plaids, velvet textures, and shiny tanned leathers. Some of them had small collars with little or no lapels. Cuffs, collars, and edges were sometimes found to be decorated and trimmed. One variation of the classic suits and coats was the L shaped or the cloverleaf lapels. To the variation of the mod clothing, were added the Ball collar, collarless jackets, and mandarin collar. Soon after these styles were made a service uniform for waiters, bellhops, and clerks, it went out of fashion.
We have listed the major 1960s styles of men’s clothing. Dressing like a 1960s man is easy. With the revival of the mod and hippie look, you have got even more options to choose from. You will get plenty of online stores or local stores that showcase the 1960s varieties of clothing. Going through their collection, you can choose to wear any look you feel comfortable in. However, before you buy, be sure to check the quality of the product and its fit.