History of Hippie Fashion – A Case Study

When we’re getting dressed every morning, the last thing we’re thinking about is the broader purpose that our clothes serve. An outfit’s goal is to keep us warm, comfortable, and fashionable. However, if you look at the history of hippie fashion and many more fashion movements, it reminds us of a period when fashion was used as a language for self-expression. The hippie fashion of the 1970s reflected the youth’s culture and response to the conservative values and strict mores of the 1950s. This fashion movement is defined by a laid-back attitude and carefree air about them.

Hippies adopted a leisurely style that came to symbolize equality, peace, and love for you. Top celebrities like the Beatles, Cher, Jimi Hendrix, and even Jefferson Airplane played a significant role in popularizing the hippie fashion trend. This fashion style blended ethnic garments with loose-fitting clothing and colorful patterns. To date, the hippie fashion trend is still the most recognizable. Keep reading about the history of hippie fashion in this article. 

The History of Hippie Fashion in the 1970s

Many designers today take a walk down memory lane to the Hippie fashion era to find inspiration. However, there have been times when fashion went entirely off track, and a revolution was crucial to get it back on course. The 1960s were such a time, and that was the goal of hippie fashion. Designs stagnated, and women no longer wanted to conform to the fashion of their mothers. Since the style they were looking for was not readily available in the store, they decided to start making their own. 

The history of hippie fashion marked the beginning of modern fashion. It went beyond achieving a new look but also help people in the 1960s think more about clothes and what they represented. At the time, designers like Pierre Cardin were already experimenting with new fabrics and shapes. However, the young people of the hippie fashion era decided to challenge themselves and took over their fashion trend. 

Note that the hippies of the 1960s were all about promoting love, peace, and music. As a result, their fashion choice quickly became part of our consciousness as a retro fashion statement. A clear example is the floral prints and bright colors that have remained in style for many years.

What Started the Hippie Fashion in the 1970s?

The 1970s were a time of self-expression, rebellion, and love. According to the history of hippie fashion, the movement was a subculture that successfully changed the world. Hippies were famous for their liberal views, especially concerning political and social issues. They were also easy to identify due to their unique clothes and accessories. 

Additionally, the hippie culture started as an anti-establishment trend and sought to challenge convention and conformity. More and more hippies were putting more thought into their clothing choices and started mixing different styles. This was all in a bit to express themselves more creatively, and they effectively achieved this. 

At the same time, the avant-garde look emerged with unusual cuts, bold patterns, and asymmetrical styling. With this new fashion trend, men wore longer sideburns and mustaches with beards not nearly trimmed around the edges like was common in the previous decade. 

Hippies widely accepted avant-garde fashion because of its connection to hippie fashion and its values. Women also started dressing up in more revealing outfits like the tube top, tights, miniskirts, and many more. People also wore leggings under the miniskirts for added warmth during the colder months. 

How Hippie Fashion Has Inspired 21st Century Designers

It’s quite hard to believe when one takes a walk down the history lane to understand the history of hippie fashion that it influenced the dress sense of today. It’s hard to understand that the hippie movement played a significant role in fashion history and gave fashion designers a fresh perspective. 

The hippie fashion movement took place at a time when people wanted to experiment with their looks. Therefore, the hippie movement legally significantly influences what we wear today. 

In the 1970s, hippies were viewed as rebels. They were anti-establishment figures that wore clothes most people would consider outlandish today. Often, hippies were found wearing bell bottoms, kaftans, or peasant skirts. They usually made these fashion items in the most colorful items they could find and also with macrame patterns. 

Underneath these clothes layers, hippies wore leggings or tights while accessorizing with feathers in their hair or chunky jewelry. Although hippies look different from everyone around them at the time, most of their styles are mainstream today. When discussing how hippie fashion inspired fashion designers, we can’t help but mention the Bohemian style. 

This style is a direct result of the hippie culture. It was based on freedom of expression through accessories and clothing. The history of hippies also inspired top designers like Dolce & Gabbana and Jean Paul Gaultier. These fashion designers recreated some of the hippies’ fashion looks with this inspiration.

Elements of the Hippie Fashion

The hippie fashion is associated with many unique elements and is known for its bright patterns and psychedelic prints. However, there were many trends over the decades. Fashion designers also use the hippie style for inspiration when working on new pieces. Below are some of the leading themes in the history of hippie fashion. 

Go-Go Boots

These flat mid-calf boots were popular amongst flight attendants in the 1960s. They were also a top element of hippie fashion in the 1970s. Women in different colors and styles wore this fashion item. While some of them were round-toed, others were squared and pointed. The Go-go boots were also made using different materials. 

Although some were available in plain leather, other details like fur trimmings and patterned stitching made the Go-go boots stand out. During the decade of hippie fashion, many companies have already produced their version of footwear. Nevertheless, the Go-go boots have remained popular to date.

Maxi Dresses

Another popular fashion element that was significant throughout the history of hippie fashion is maxi dresses. Although this fashion trend started in the 1960s, it emerged in the 1970s. This was when hippies and disco fans adopted the outfit. A maxi dress featured a long flowing skirt that you could wear with a blouse or a sleeveless top. Typically, maxi dresses were made from lightweight fabrics like silk or linen. To date, maxi dresses are still a prominent fashion choice.

Bell Bottoms

These trousers flare out from the knee or the bottom of the cap. Additionally, this feature would form a bell-like shape around the bottom of the leg. Bell bottoms became popular in the 70s and were available in different fabrics and colors. The most popular options were denim, brightly colored polyester, and velvet. You could style bell bottoms with flared sleeve blouses, and men and women wore this fashion piece. The bell bottom helped to create a relaxed, flowing silhouette that justified the hippie movement. To date, bell bottoms and other flared trousers remain famous till date. Some common choices are flared trousers and velvet bell bottoms. 

Granny Dress

The granny dress featured a high neckline and long sleeves. The granny dress was a favorite for hippies throughout the history of hippie fashion. Most hippies would pair it with large, rimless glasses. The granny dress was made in pastel color or floral printed fabric. It was a modest piece of clothing that served as an alternative to mini dresses, which were popular at the time. Wearing one during the hippies’ fashion movement was considered a form of rebellion.


Although crochet is not necessary a type of clothing, crochet became even more popular in the 1960s and 70s. It easily stood out amongst other crafting methods like macrame and tie-dye. As a result, crochet bralettes, jumpers, dresses, cardigans, and even vests soon became popular, and this popularity never faded. As a result, crochet remains immensely popular and is a favored craft for most people. 

The Peasant Dress

This long-flowing dress is available in different prints, fabrics, and colors. The peasant dress is quite similar to the Granny dress because of the long skirt and sleeves. However, since it had its renaissance in the 1960s and 1970s, it is more indicative of the Woodstock era festival. The peasant dress features a tiered skirt and usually puff or flared sleeves. It was the favored look for the summer of love and usually featured floral prints or appeared in white cotton with the embroidered details quite clear.

How the Hippies’ Fashion Elements Remained Relevant till Date

Fashion is a worldwide idea that tends to vary from one part of the world to another. However, it is a part of society and has become even more significant in the cities where people have developed a consciousness about their appearance. When new fashion trends and cultures emerged in urban societies, they would slowly spread to other parts of the world.

The 70s came with many changes in fashion and trends arising from political and social reasons. The history of hippie fashion shows it is a significant fashion era that left its mark on people. Its comfort and ease are one of the reasons this style was popular in the 60s and 70s. However, it also represented a counterculture movement when making societal changes was necessary. That’s why some elements of this fashion movement still exist in contemporary fashion; they have also evolved from these elements to something more.

Final Thoughts

This article explores the history of hippie fashion and the inspiration for their fashion choices at the time. The hippie fashion era was a time when the world witnessed many political, social, and cultural changes. As a result, this era changed how people portrayed themselves to the outside world. At this time, people began to express themselves more through hairstyles, clothes, accessories, and fashion. Based on the history of hippie fashion, it’s clear that it is more of an attitude than a fashion statement.

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History of Hippie Fashion – A Case Study The history of hippie fashion goes back to the 1970s. In this article, we’ll explore hippie fashion, its emergence, and what this fashion movement looked like.
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