Woodstock and Hippie Inspired Fashion: Reasons to love it all!

November 28, 2019 4 min read

In the year 1969, the 3-day Woodstock music festival was held at Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm, near the hamlet of White Lake in the town of Bethel, New York. This festival which took place August 15th - 18th left an essential mark on 60’s and 70’s fashion. What makes the 60-70’s trends some of the most relevant ones of the century are largely the political and social ideology behind them. The youth of the time wanted to separate themselves from their strict parents by wearing more revealing and loose clothes…. create a counter-presence to the war-torn time and express themselves in their own way. We've always looked to the past for inspiration, especially in terms of fashion and the Woodstock look made it possible to naturally integrate the vintage into your style without looking like a cheap copy or a pantomime of this revolutionary culture.

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Being a ‘hippy’ was the coolest thing to be and it was all about an aesthetic that’s defined by what you’re carrying, what you’re wearing, the food you’re cooking... and of course, your politics. Fabulous flares, free love and the sound of Jimi Hendrix waking up a crowd with his electric guitar: if there’s one moment in history that makes every hippie soul’s nostalgic heart sing, it’s the Woodstock Festival. This spectacular event, which remains iconic to date, saw the likes of Hendrix, Janis Joplin and The Who perform to around half a million people. Since then, an annual Woodstock festival takes place, but the original Woodstock of 1969 was so much more than just a music festival. It was a cultural phenomenon that brought hippie fashion to the surface and introduced it to mainstream style, influencing the way we dress today through the evolution of the modern-day bohemian style. The festival focused on a peaceful existence, and in true hippie fashion, offered a free-spirited peace and love aesthetic. This style came in the form of free-flowing dresses, knee high boots, Indian-ethnic-print tunics, and African dashikis; bikini tops with peekaboo holes-- paired with bell-bottoms, classic blue denim, tie-dye everything, and gender-blurring styles that broke from the norm.

In 2019, we are now celebrating the 50th anniversary of Woodstock! Let’s explore which sartorial trends of the legendary festival have endured the test of time.

Flowy fabrics

Needless to say, flowy fabrics were a huge festival trend. With a modern-day twist, we love versions that are retro-style jumpsuits and summer dresses that are flattering on almost everyone. The '60s were a time of spiritual awakening…. exotic ethnic clothing pieces were often mixed to create interesting juxtapositions. For example, buckskin and beadwork in a Native American style might be worn with a flowing Jamaican skirt...or an African dashiki could be seen under a South American poncho...or wide-legged Middle Eastern pants might be paired with an Indian tunic. Mixing patterns and cultures - ah, what a time it must have been to be alive!

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Tie-dye

Groovy, colorful and abstract, it is obvious that this print was inspired by the psychedelic  vibes and music of acts like the Grateful Dead. Tie-dye was a main staple in 1969, and has continued to be a big trend throughout the years-- and here, 50 years later in 2019. Interestingly, in the Woodstock era folks didn’t buy tie-dye clothes-- they made them themselves. A little fabric dye, some rubber bands, and a plain t-shirt was all you needed to make a colorful fashion statement. If you were/are looking to break the conventional mold, wild tie-dyes definitely fit the bill!

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Wide-leg pants

Bell bottoms are synonymous with 1960s fashion and thus Woodstock as well.  Today we see many fashion trends, such as high-waisted wide-leg pants that continue to draw inspiration from the iconic style of the 60’s.

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Blue jeans

The ever-popular blue jeans were once viewed as a form of rebellion. Believe it or not, during the 1960’s in many places such as schools, movie theatres and restaurants, people were banned from wearing blue jeans because the denim pants were a slap in the face to proper attire. Of course, the norm-breakers, the free souls and hippies embraced this and adopted the blue jeans as their signature fashion piece. At Woodstock, men and women alike could be seen “flipping the bird” at polite society and proudly wearing their blue jeans for all to see.

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Hats On

Woodstock fashion was also about go-big-or-go-home hats and maximalist headbands. In 2019, for authentic hippie-luxe, play around with leftover ribbon or adorn your hats with flowers from your garden. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

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Fringe-ing cool

Lots of fringe was included in Cher’s 60s and 70s bohemian style as well as everybody else’s. Fringe has steadily become an all-time favorite in modern day trends. From jackets to dresses to shoes, fringe and tassels are now everywhere. For the meek they can be a bit difficult to style... but when done right, they can add a lot of pizzazz to your look. The best way to add tassels or fringes in your outfit is to focus on one statement piece of clothing...or hell...why not just wear all the fringe at once! Jacket, pants, boots….go get ‘em cowboy!!

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Shop some woodstock sunglasses here: https://www.giantvintage.com/pages/search-results-page?q=hippie+sunglasses

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