Hippie Clothes: How Did Hippie Fashion Start?
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Tie-Dyed T Shirts and Other Hippie Clothing
Wearing tie-dyed clothing or ethnic clothing was a way for us to have cool clothes with little money. Our self-decorated clothing was a statement of rebellion against corporate advertising and consumerism. (It was similar to being anti-Walmart, today.)
In the '60s, all T-shirts were white. Tie dying was a way to make plain T-shirts look cool. So, hippies made tie-dyed tees and sold them so they could have money (for food, rent, gas, etc.). They got into other handmade crafts, like candles, macrame, jewelry, and pottery. But, this was not just for fun, this was also a way to survive.
Why did hippie chicks wear peasant blouses? The reasons were probably because these peasant tops:
- Were cheap.
- Were beautiful.
- Were handmade and hand embroidered.
- Were hip and different.
- Were brought back from Mexico to the states by some enterprising hippies who sold the blouses cheaply to other hippies.
It was bad karma to make a lot of money by charging too much, especially when selling something to a fellow rebel. We were all trying to survive on very little money. And, peasant-styled clothing was not sold in stores at that time.
Hippie Chicks often wore bellbottom jeans or inexpensive, bohemian gypsy skirts. These gypsy skirts were cotton and came from Southern Europe, India, or Latin America. Hippies rebelled against corporate big business and liked to wear anything that was made by people’s hands (not mass-produced).
We were rebellious and wanted clothing that was unique or could be combined in new and unique ways. Our clothing was a symbol of what we stood for.
Boho Chic Clothing
- Caftan tunics from Morocco – over denim jeans or gypsy skirts.
- Indian cotton skirts, made for themselves from lightweight tapestry bedspreads from India.
- Suede moccasins to represent the Native American culture. Or, they went barefoot.
- Cheap jewelry from India, Nepal, Tibet, Morocco, and Mexico.
- Shisha embroidered bags (embellished with little mirrors) from India or Pakistan.
Hippie patchwork clothing was also common. My guess is that this style was started by some girl from Kansas or Montana, who knew how to hand quilt, and needed to come up with an idea to make some money. Patchwork was a good way to recycle old clothes and make "something out of nothing."
Hippies also found old clothing at thrift stores, and some chicks tried to make similar clothes in their own personalized, trippy styles. A big score might include an old mink coat or a funky granny dress from the 40's.
Natural Bohemian Style
Girls used to wear their hair long and left it to do whatever it wanted to do. No blow dryers, curling irons, or straighteners. Hippie Chicks wore no makeup. Most hippies wanted to be “natural” and lead a simplified life.
And, it was very liberating not to have to put on makeup every day. Maybe it worked so well because there were only a few TV channels and people on TV looked fuzzy, therefore, women were not compared to celebrities as much as they are today.
We Were All in it Together
Somehow, everyone helped each other and the hippie subculture survived on very little cash. Neo hippies appear to have the same love of individualism and rebelliousness that earlier hippies had. Older hippies and younger hippies seem to have a lot in common.
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