There’s a well-known quote, attributed variously to Dennis Hopper, George Harrison, and Robin Williams: “If you remember the ’60s, you weren’t there.” Relating to menswear, nonetheless, plainly the legacy of the 1960s is tough to overlook.
The kinds that got here to prominence in that storied decade, from mod-inspired sharp tailoring to the dandy plaids and crushed-velvet loucheness of its latter, extra decadent half, are nonetheless very a lot with us. Our primer on the legacy of ’60s model covers its movers and shakers, and appears on the items nonetheless main the best way at this time.
What Is 1960s Type?
In the future in 1965, Michael Caine turned up at David Bailey’s studio to have his image taken. The ensuing picture was so emblematic of its time that it’d as properly have had “The ’60s” emblazoned throughout it.
Caine faces Bailey’s digicam, the characteristically punchy monochrome silhouette enhanced by his chunkily-framed glasses and the unlit cigarette dangling from his mouth (Caine had wished to mild it, however Bailey had assured him that “if you just leave it, it’ll look cooler”).
The darkish swimsuit, white shirt, and slim darkish tie are, in fact, impeccable; nevertheless it’s Caine’s angle that also smoulders, over half a century later.
“Post-war London was dismal and full of smog,” mentioned Caine, “and then we had the shadow of the atom bomb hanging over us. So we looked around and thought, well, we might as well have a bit of fun then. And that’s when the ’60s started. It was no longer a case of the working-class knowing our place; we said, fuck it.”
No consideration of menswear within the 60s can afford to underestimate the ability of these final two phrases. Sure, the good loosening-up had begun within the 1950s, with the beginning of rock ‘n’ roll and the Beat Era main the countercultural cost; however what Bailey known as “the Big Bang of the ’60s” modified all the pieces.
The prime look, for Caine and his working-class-made-good friends, was haute-mod; Italian-cut fits, tab-collar shirts, whip-cord slacks and Chelsea boots, and an off-duty preppy uniform – navy blazers, Oxford shirts, woven polos, knit ties – that had seemed so good on the ill-fated JFK on his downtime in Nantucket.
As the last decade progressed, the outfits bought extra outre together with the medicine, whether or not it was the downtown-boho uniform of Breton tops and denims sported by Andy Warhol and his cohorts at The Manufacturing unit, or the dayglo colors, navy tunics, and moustaches-and-mutton chops of the Sergeant Pepper period. Nevertheless it was the dapper insouciance embodied by Caine that set all the pieces rolling.
What Does 1960s Vogue Imply At this time?
Whereas different notions that gained widespread forex within the ’60s – free love, turning on and dropping out, circle chain belts – now look considerably creaky and ill-advised, the menswear “Big Bang” it unleashed remains to be reverberating at this time.
Why? In keeping with the actor and perennial mod Martin Freeman, it’s as a result of “the beauty of the mod look that came to prominence then is that you can nick bits from here, there and everywhere – it’s a very broad church.”
And its parishioners stretch from everybody who appreciates the minimize of a well-tailored, slim-fit swimsuit, whether or not bespoke from Savile Row – Michael Caine’s fits have been made by Doug Hayward, one other working class boy made good – or from high-street variations at Reiss or Suitsupply.
To those that go for the extra flamboyant late-60s dandy seems of the likes of Terence Stamp, Justin de Villeneuve and Lord Lichfield – the crushed velvet jackets, the white fits, the lace ruffs – now taking place a storm at Alessandro Michele’s Gucci, the place outsized lapels, eye-popping sample, and Pierrot collars come as normal (and fly off the cabinets).
Scott Fraser Assortment
As for the preppy look, its variations are in all places – as gown codes proceed to interrupt down, it makes an ideal midway home between formal and casual – from the reverent homages by Japanese Ivy League fan-boy manufacturers like Beams Plus and Camoshita United Arrows to the all-conquering polo shirts and varsity cardigans of Polo Ralph Lauren (and Mr Lauren, don’t overlook, began his enterprise again in 1967).
In truth, one of many largest tendencies for spring/summer time 2020 is what we would name avant-prep – outsized Oxford shirts at Prada, pixelated rugby shirts at Dolce & Gabbana – confirming that the spirit of ’60s experimentalism could be very a lot alive and properly.
Key 1960s Items
The Mad Males-Type Go well with
The way to be extra Don Draper? Just a few gnomic utterances like “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation” would assist; a stack of an identical, crisp white shirts in your workplace drawer will make sure you’re at all times ready.
However the swimsuit is the important thing; Mad Males’s visionary costume designer Janie Bryant dressed Draper in a fetishistic model of the traditional ’60s company uniform – gray or blue fits, striped ties, geometric pocket squares – and kick-started the style for smarter, extra minimalist tailoring.
Attempt J Crew’s slim-cut Ludlow swimsuit or Thom Browne’s ankle-flashing schoolboy tackle the two-piece to emulate the look.
The ’60s was the last decade when the cardigan shook off the shackles of pipe-and-slippers complacency and have become hip, whether or not it was the mods frequenting Soho espresso homes and jazz golf equipment in streamlined suede-panelled variations, the preppies appropriating Ivy League varsity iterations, or an off-duty Steve McQueen rocking a shawl-collar cable-knit-white tee-Lee denims combo.
At this time’s equivalents are simply as multifarious, from Gucci’s ebulliently-panelled varsity updates to Anderson & Sheppard’s lambswool shawl-collar cardigans in eye-catching colors. Even streetwear manufacturers like Aries are getting in on the act with their just-this-side-of-Austin-Powers mohair paisley numbers.
The Lengthy-Sleeved Polo Shirt
The long-sleeved knitted polo was essential to the unique ’60s mod aesthetic, in that it was a still-smart different to a shirt and tie; it was sharp and streamlined with a collar that hung just-so whether or not buttoned or unbuttoned, and – crucially – it was logo-less.
That it seemed the enterprise again then below a three-button mohair jacket was a testomony to its delicate smarts; that it seems equally efficacious at this time below a cashmere blazer makes it a timeless traditional. John Smedley is undoubtedly the premier model for the long-sleeved polo, now as then – attempt the merino wool or Sea Island cotton variations in all the pieces from khaki to indigo.
The Harrington Jacket
The sporty, waist-length, zippered, tartan-lined, elastic-cuffed mainstay had been round for the reason that 30s – because the Baracuta light-weight jacket – however was re-christened within the 60s in honour of Rodney Harrington, Ryan O’Neal’s proto-Mod character within the US cleaning soap Peyton Place. John Simons, an early Ivy League adopter, offered the jacket to the Mod fraternity at his legendary London retailer, which opened in 1955.
The unique Baracuta G9 remains to be a best choice for Harrington purists, however luxe options embrace merino wool variations from Timothy Everest’s new label MbE, and a light-weight model in a tech cloth from Dunhill.
The Chelsea Boot
They’ve truly been round since 1851 (Queen Victoria wished a laceless boot that wouldn’t get tousled in her stirrups as she descended from her horse), however they modified from paddock boots to Chelsea boots within the ’60s after their adoption by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones (John Lennon and Paul McCartney requested Cuban heel be added to the design), and their ubiquity on the King’s Highway.
At this time’s city warriors can take to that august thoroughfare in all the pieces from Prada’s hardcore variations (with chunky caterpillar treads) to Widespread Tasks’ extra refined providing in a soothing shade of sand.