Updated: Nov 15
By Hayden Larkin
Over the past couple of years, fashion from the 1960s has become a new trend in modern street fashion. People are trading out their Jordans for loafers and becoming more comfortable in a “sophisticated” way of presenting themselves – attempting to put themselves out there in a more expressive or unique way. Casting aside the streetwear uniform that has been fed to us over and over and over again and crafting a more distinct identity for their wardrobe.
The ‘60s as a decade is known for its counterculture and its appeal to the youth, as well as its rejection of what is considered to be “OK.” So it’s no surprise that young people have begun to adopt it into their own wardrobes as more and more young kids are getting sick of the bloated streetwear and fast fashion trends. The effects that people such as Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, or Jimi Hendrix had on fashion are being felt more today than ever before. When you look at just the few names that I’ve thrown out you can automatically picture the flamboyancy and rejection of the conservative cultures that came before them. A more brash and unrelenting attitude that stood out and made a lot of people upset. They were unafraid to show off skin, blur gender norms and dabble in color clashing and crazy patterns – things artists such as Tyler, the Creator, A$AP Rocky, or Harry Styles are doing today.
Even if you look at high fashion, the aesthetic has only become more beloved and replicated from designer to designer. Thom Browne, Hedi Slimane, Raf Simons, and Rei Kawakubo with Comme des Garcons Homme, are just some people that have perfected the slim, classy, school-boy style that informs a lot of young people today and that young designers continue to replicate in their stead – or the rough and rugged Americana aesthetic that informs the guy on TikTok right now buying $120 vintage pieces on Grailed.
Even if you look away from all of that and look exclusively at what kids are wearing out on the street today, you will see those same Doc Marten loafers and warm fuzzy cardigans with some nice straight-fit trousers, the uniform of a bygone era – nothing you wouldn’t have seen walking around a college campus 60 years ago. Just watch one frame of “The Graduate,” and you can pretty much plaster that on the Instagram explore page, and everyone will save it to their Fall/Winter Pinterest board with no questions asked.
Why it’s coming back is a whole other discussion. Personally, I believe rejection of the status quo has become what people want, and what better time to pull your style inspiration from than the time of the most social rejection. But one thing is true, and that is that those counterculture figureheads made us. Obviously, cardigans and loafers weren’t just worn in the ‘60s. But, the way they’re being put together is pretty indicative of the time. Camp collar shirts under sweaters, a new love for the odd form of dress wear at the time with flare and boots being combined with blazers, oxford shirts, and ties rather than just derbies and loose cut pants.
This new trend will become the new norm. In today’s trend-based culture, it will more likely become a fad and die out, but for the time it’s around it will leave a lasting impact and many will stick with it. It’s classy, it’s cozy, and it gets those sweet sweet Instagram likes.