Wedding Fashion in the 1960s


Oh, geez, sorry to wake you up so early, Amy.
As you know, the time machine's been acting up lately so the  temporal length adviser of your existence in the 1960's is  off just a touch.

But I have to say that the bedroom you're staying in looks pretty cozy. 

You're staying with the family of a girl you met on the road? Yes, I can see by the epoch domicile display on the time machine that you're currently in Calgary, Alberta.

The brother of the girl you've been hitchhiking with is getting married?
Okay, well it looks like he's ... uh ... good with it. Thumbs up!

I'm not surprised that they invited you to the wedding.

The people who live in Calgary are very friendly.

Thumbs up again!

In the early 1960s, many brides adopted the traditional wedding style of their parents' generation. Wide full dresses with the swing look of the fifties was still popular.


But from the early 1960s to the end of the decade, the fashion style of brides changed in a major way. Dresses tapered to a  streamlined silhouette with  narrowed skirts and higher waistlines.

By the end of the 1960s many brides will choose the bohemian look, shifting fashion once again. 

Oh my gosh, Amy.


I just re-configured the coordinates on the time machine to see how the bride of the wedding you're going to in 1960-something is doing.

Don't think she's doing well at all.

Please tell a family member to give her a call because it sure looks like she needs some cheering up.

Just don't tell anyone how you got this information.

And by the way, here's a list of the most popular first dance songs of the 1960s:
When a Man Loves a Woman - Percy Sledge
Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Frankie Valli
Can't Help Falling In Love - Elvis Presley
God Only Knows - The Beach Boys 
Everybody Loves Somebody - Dean Martin
At Last - Etta James

Bride Doll in the 1960s

Bride Doll in the 1960s

Bell Bottoms in the 1960s


Yeah, peace to you too, man.

I just need to talk to Amy for a second, so if you wouldn't mind telling her to stop playing the guitar so she can communicate with me that would be great.

Excuse me? Just who am I? 

Well, if you must know, I'm a writer who happens to be the purveyor of a time machine.

Don't believe me, huh? How about I show you both what you're going to look like in 2018, and then you tell Amy to get her butt over here right now.


I just need a minute to recalibrate the fluxator axiom against the system override zanpendant thingy and we'll be good to go ...


... and here you are in 2018!


Oh, hey Amy. That was fast.

What did I say to the hippie couple? They're freaking out?

Uh, nothing they'll believe, so don't worry about it. 

Just checking in to see how it's going in 1960-something - looks like you forgot to communicate with me ... again.

You're loving all the vintage bell bottoms? Uh, yeah, they're not vintage in 1960-something. They're a modern fashion statement for the counterculture youth.


Wide-legged trousers were originally created for sailors in the 19th century.

Comfortable and easy to roll up when swabbing decks in bare feet or pulling off for an unexpected swim, they're still a part of various uniforms of the navy, although designed now with a straighter leg.

In the 1960s, bell bottoms are becoming a sought after fashion statement in Canada, the U.S. and Europe as the antiwar sentiment spreads..

Youth are rejecting uncomfortable and more formal attire ... and they're landing on the doorsteps of surplus military stores in search of leftover and unused navy bell bottoms.

For the nonconformists who aren't able to get to an army surplus store, fabric is being sown into straight-leg jeans with a "triangle" piece to widen the pants from the knee down.


This is only the beginning for bell bottoms as they become a symbol of the culture of hippies and those into the trend.

Clothing firms are realizing an opportunity when they see one, and will soon be designing and manufacturing bell bottoms of their own.


Just checking in to see how things are going, Amy.


A bit bummed out about Woodstock being over? Still, it looks like you're managing quite well in 1960-something. Nice place you're living in.

You keep imagining yourself back in the 21st century?

Yes, of course I'm still working on the time machine.

And the repairs are  going ...

... really well.

But since you're stuck in 1960-something for now, how about focusing on the groovy zeitgeist of the time.

The spirit of the time, Amy. The spirit of the time.


Take mini skirts for example.

In the 1960s, Mary Quant is a central figure in the London-based fashion culture. She is one of the designers credited with the creation of the miniskirt.

Mary decided to name her design not after the length of the skirt (or lack of) but after her favourite British car - The Mini.

After the prissy and conservative expectations and restrictive social norms of the 1950s, the 1960s is a time for young women to change the old ways and create a culture all their own.

The 1960s is also a time when young women are seeing the start of sexual freedom.


         And the invention of the birth control pill.

Well, that certainly cheered up you and your friends, Amy.

Makeup in the 1950s

Hi, Amy. Just wondering how this past week in 1950-something has been going for --

Please tell me you're getting ready to celebrate halloween, Amy.
Let's just say that your makeup might be a touch over the top for the 1950s.


In the 1950s cosmetic companies are aware of the growing number of women entering the workforce, and are beginning to promote cosmetics any and every way possible.

Classes are offered to teach women the benefits of the many new products reaching the shelves of department stores:


Max Factor - started in the early 1900s
Revlon - founded by two brothers in the 1930s
Estee Lauder - began in 1946. First to offer a gift with purchase
Elizabeth Arden - began in Manhattan in the early 1900s

These cosmetic icons are expanding their beauty businesses and are bringing femininity to the forefront in the 1950s. They dictate the colours of the fresh new version of facial enhancement.

Corals, pinks and reds are all popular for lips. Light rouge highlights cheekbones. Dark brows present themselves as dark and distinct against popular pale skin. Powder and liquid foundation create the soft feminine look of the time.

The  makeup of the fifties is elegant and classic.

Audrey Hepburn has famously stated. "I believe in pink."


Marilyn Monroe creates her famous wing-tipped eyes in this time period using black eyeliner and false lashes glued only at the outer edges of her eyes.


You greaser boyfriend, Tony,  doesn't want to hear anything about makeup?

He says you're beautiful without it?


I think  I'm starting to like this guy.

Clothing in the 1950s

Oh hey, Amy. Just checking in to see how you're managing in 1950-something. I'm not quite sure what year the time machine plunked you into, so you'll have to ask someone around there what year it is.

  Or ... maybe just look at a calendar. 

Okay. Well it looks like you've spent the last week decorating the bedroom you've been staying in.

Looks much better! The wallpaper's very um, retro.

Huh? How long is it going to be before I  get you back to the 21st century?

Why ... soon, of course.

But hey. In the meantime, how about you tell me what you like about the 1950s. There must be something.

You like all the "vintage" clothing?
Huh. That's funny because  "vintage" is the ONLY type of clothing you're going to find in the 1950s when you're from the future.
Yeah. Just sayin'.

In the 1950s, dresses are worn almost every day, by girls and women although pants have entered some clothing lines.

Leisurewear is a shirtwaist dress or skirt and blouse, and a staple for all stay-at-home moms.

Full skirted dresses are popular at this time, and a cinched waist is expected. 

Now that World War II is in the past and the economy is booming, all types of fabrics are readily available in bright colours and patterns. 
Sleeves are any length, with cap or elbow lengths very common. 

At the opposite end of the fashion spectrum, you will find slim-fitting pencil skirts attached to tailored, or less structured bodices.

So as you can see, there are lots of choices ... as long as the choice is a dress.

The ultimate figure silhouette for women in the 1950s is shapely, defined by a thin waist and full bust.

To achieve this look, uncomfortable girdles are worn along with padded, cone-shaped bras.

You were given some clothes to wear by the mother of the household? Oh yeah? Let's see what you're wearing.

Nice. Don't you agree that it's a great look? I thought you loved vintage.

Okay, let's communicate again when you're in a better mood.

In the meantime, try to remember ...

Jeez, Amy. Just go with it, will you?