Wednesday, April 19, 2006

1960s Hippie Era Fashions - Flares, Afghan Coats, Minis and Maxis...

A glimpse of the fashions of 1969...

One of the best ways to research fashion trends is by looking through your local newspaper archives. Some libraries have "local studies" sections, with local newspapers on microfilm. If you look at, in this case, 1969, you will know that flares and space hoppers were on sale in everyday shops - despite the BBC telling you on their "I Love 1970s" website and programmes that both didn't arrive until the 1970s!!

The BBC tells us that flares were 70s, bell bottoms were 60s, which is ridiculous. The 1969 advertisements featured here reveal the lie and flares and bell bottoms were actually popularised by the mid-to-late-60s hippie movement.

The BBC has a bizarre 1970s fixation, and is not to be trusted when it comes to pop culture history relating to that decade.

In the 70s, we struck a recession and fashion got rather stuck. On many housing estates across the land, flares were part of a grim teen uniform - and you had to wear them. Where I lived, to differ from the norm was to risk a bloody nose - or worse.

"Big trousers" had been around before, like most fashions, but in the mid-to-late 60s, flares and bell bottoms were considered new and very groovy!

Note the Americanism - flared pants - not trousers. Very groovy.

Cor - wot whoppers, missis!!

More 1969 newspaper advertisements.

Remember maxi macks? ("mack" = short for mackintosh, a type of coat). And what about Afghan coats? Didn't some of them pong? A really yucky, high sweet smell. One of my mum's friends had one that made me want to throw up whenever she cuddled me (I was about four at the time!!).

And wouldn't you just know it - she was the cuddly type, never happier than when enveloping some poor innocent kid in Afghan coat odour...
Look at those flares! The maxi had arrived, but the mini was still far more popular!

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