Dress Code History

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Fashion and dress code can represent a major political and social statement. The countercultural movement of the late 1960s was a major turning point in western values and its impact is still powerful today. As a movement it was most prevalent in the United States and latterly to parts of Britain and Europe. The United States of America in the mid 1960’s was a time of confusion. President John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 and succeeded by Lyndon B. Johnson. Beatlemania reinvented the music scene which lead to the rising popularity of rock music. People were thinking about social change and equality in a way that hadn’t been publicly debated before. People were becoming increasingly distrusting of the establishment The ‘hippie’ movement…show more content…
The baby boomers (1940’s generation) who were born during and after the Second World War were rebelling against their parents. They didn’t want to fight for their country and a short back and side’s military style haircut represented everything ‘wrong’ with American society. Growing your hair long was a statement against conforming to societies expectations. It is this ethos that was the underlying reason for each aspect of the hippie dress code. Hippies were heavily influenced by Eastern culture including religion and styles of dress. Most notably by Indian styles of traditional dress and music. Eastern philosophy such as that of the Hare Krishna and Buddhists were also a strong influence because of their teachings of love and empathy. Bright colours were embraced and were symbolic of your creative spirit. Many hippies got their clothes in thrift shops and bohemian boutiques that sprang up to cater for the flower power generation. Being free and creative in your style of dress without care for ‘fashion’ or branding was the hippie form of…show more content…
Wearing flowers as adornment was also symbolic of your sensuality which may explain the term ‘flower child’ or ‘flower power’. Denim jeans and cord trousers were trendy and affordable. Often there were flared in the leg or fringed in a style reminiscent of the Native American. The native Americans being an oppressed people were an inspiration to the hippy sensibility and fashion. Perhaps the most pivotal event of this time is what was called ‘the summer of love’ in San Francisco in 1967. Youths from across America flocked to Haight- Ashbury to become part of a social phenomenon. The Scott Makenzie song "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" became the soundtrack to the movement after John Phillips of the mamas and the papas penned it to promote the upcoming Monterey pop

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