Girls of the Swinging 60s – Vintage Fashion Photographs

Marea Harris
Featured image
Getty Images

The 1960s was an exciting time to be a young woman in the Western World. The shockwaves of a cultural revolution were starting to rumble through the once modest and subdued societies of American and Western Europe.

The fast-growing feminist movement rejected typical “women’s clothes,” for more edgy garments, ranging from fashionable pantsuits to “no such thing as too short,” skirts and shorts. An explosion of new styles, such as the babydoll dress, became popular and women like Brigitte Bardot, Mary Quant, and even Jackie Kennedy became the fashion icons of the era.

These photos are a classic example of what the “cool girls” of the 1960s looked like, donning styles which are still popular today.

Hairdressing Competition in Ljubljana, Slovenia, 1961.

 

May Day parade, 1961.

 

1960s

 

Photo by FORTEPAN – Nagy Gyula CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Budapest. Photo by FORTEPAN CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Two teenage girls getting ready in a bathroom c. 1960. Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images

 

Highschoolers relaxing during lunch break.

 

Highschooler in ‘Hippy’ fashion

 

Priscilla Beaulieu playing an Elvis Presley record

 

Indonesian film actress Indriati Iskak in a promotional still, c. 1960.

 

Photo taken in Eugene, Oregon (USA) in 1966 or 1967. The automobile is a 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite. Photo by John Atherton CC BY SA 2.0

 

Promotional poster for Filipinki Boys Are Liars Tour (January – June 1970)

 

Têtes Noires, Minneapolis’ first all-female rock band, backstage at First Avenue. Photo by Catherine Settanni CC BY 2.0

 

The Beat Girls, 1966

 

The Dandy Girls. Photo by Rigmor Dahl Delphin CC BY-SA 4.0

 

They longed for the independence they had enjoyed, or heard about, during the 1940s. This gave rise to the “bra-burning” generation of 1960s feminists. Many women pursued higher education, with more 26,000 attending University in the year 1962.

Read another story from us: Who’s Got Short Shorts? The Fashion Craze of the 70s Which Showed a Lot of Legs

The decade brought on a flood of new fashion trends, many of which were considered “extreme” for their time.