1960s wedding dresses are a throwback to the days of Marylin Monroe and Grace Kelly, but with their own flair for modernity. During this decade, designers explored new materials and innovative techniques that would forever change the fashion world. These ideas also made their way into wedding dresses, which continue to be timeless in their form and style.
Still, today in the 2020’s, many brides look back at the 1960s for its bold design choices and flair of femininity for their wedding dress — whether vintage or a recreation.
Throughout this guide, we will discuss why the 1960s were such a pivotal moment in the bridal design industry, the styles that are common in this area, how to accessorize these dresses and where you can find your 1960’s inspired wedding dress today!
The Shapes of 1960s Wedding Dresses
The 1960s marked the beginning of a new fashion era, with designers such as Christian Dior reinventing women’s silhouettes. Full skirts and cinched waists had characterized the 1950s, but in the ’60s, it was all about slimming down to show off your hourglass figure.
An ultra-high waistline meant that this decade’s wedding dresses were very fitted at the bodice and showed off your legs (think Jackie Kennedy), while some styles remained the traditional floor length.
The silhouette became even more fitted when you added a full circle skirt — which means that these dresses wouldn’t have been suitable for curvy women who wanted to hide their curves under yards of fabric! They were short, too — usually hitting just above or below knee length — so if you have longer legs than average, go ahead and show them off!
The most popular silhouette for 1960s wedding dresses was the A-line. This understated yet flattering style has a full skirt that flares from the waist. The A-line works well on many body types and can be dressed up or down depending on your wedding style.
To achieve this look, you will need to find a dress with some flare in the skirt (it should have a slight tent shape under your bust). If you prefer more structure in your dress, try looking for one with princess seams instead of an A-line cut.
Popular Colors of ’60s Wedding Dresses
The most popular colors for wedding dresses in the 1960s were white, ivory and pastel. White is still the most commonly used color for brides today, but back then, brides almost exclusively wore white. Only 1% of women chose something other than white for their wedding gown!
Ivory was also a popular choice for bridesmaids’ dresses because it complemented their skin tone and the bride’s dress.
Wedding dresses in pastel colors were very popular with flower girls who wanted to stand out on such an important day.
Fabrics Commonly Used for ’60s Wedding Dresses
The dresses of the 1960s were made from a wide variety of fabrics. You could choose from lace, chiffon, organza, tulle and silk, to name a few.
Silk was popular for bridal gowns, while satin was used more often on bridesmaids’ dresses because it was less expensive. Organza is one of the most common fabrics used in ’60s wedding gowns because it is light and sheer yet elegant enough to wear to an event as special as your wedding day!
These fabric choices gave 1960’s wedding dresses a subtle, elegant look without going over the top.
Popular Patterns for ’60s Wedding Dresses
The most common pattern for a 1960s wedding dress was lace. Lace is a delicate fabric with a very feminine feel and can make any gown look classy and sophisticated.
The second most popular pattern for ’60s wedding dresses is flowers, which were in abundance during this decade of flower power. Flowers also were used to decorate the venue, as well as bouquets and boutonnieres for guests to wear.
Other popular patterns or textures for ’60s wedding dresses include:
- Diamonds – These are not just for engagement rings anymore! In the 1960s, diamonds were often incorporated into some aspects of bridal jewelry, like headpieces or hairpins.
- Polka dots – These dots were all over fashion during this decade, so it’s no surprise they also made their way onto bridesmaid dresses and bridal gowns! They can be fun, flattering, playful and casual all at once, depending on how they’re used, so don’t be afraid to experiment with them if you feel like going against tradition (or maybe even starting one). This style looks especially good when mixed with other patterns, such as stripes or paisley prints.
Accessories for ’60s Wedding Dresses
To finish the look, you’ll want to know what kind of accessories were popular in the 1960s. These would include:
- A headpiece
- A veil (sometimes)
- Gloves (sometimes)
- A bouquet and corsage (you can even make your bouquet at home with flowers and greenery found around your home or yard! This is a great way to add an extra special touch to your wedding day.)
Where to Find 1960’s Wedding Dresses
If you want to buy a 1960’s wedding dress, there are many places you can look. You can shop online or in person at vintage boutiques and secondhand shops.
Popular online shops you can find a 1960 wedding dress include:
- Etsy: If you’re a fan of vintage products, then Etsy shouldn’t sound strange to you. But if you’re not already aware, Etsy is the promised land of anything vintage; it is the treasure of antique enthusiasts. From 1960 wedding dresses to accessories, you can find them by searching the website’s keywords.
- EBay: This is another popular platform that sells anything vintage. It is very similar to Etsy, and you can get whatever you want on the site just by searching the keywords. They have various collections of wedding dresses from the 60s. However, you must pay attention to the product description and check to be sure it’s what you want before you proceed with payment.
- Social Media: Yes, you can utilize the power of social and harness it to whatever you want, including shopping for vintage 1960 wedding dresses. All you have to do is follow a few vintage stores or simply search for 1960 wedding dresses on the Facebook marketplace or Instagram, and you will have what you’re looking for staring at you from your screen.
- Other Online Vintage Retailers: selling vintage products is not restricted to Etsy and eBay. Some so many other vintage retailers specialize in vintage dresses, and this includes wedding dresses. You find websites like RubyLane, Beyond Retro, Alamy, and many others useful in searching for a touch of the past on your wedding day.
You may even find one at an antique flea market! Be sure to do your research first; this is important so the dress will fit well and look like it was made for your body type.
Furthermore, some various physical vintage stores and boutiques delight in curating vintage pieces. These stores can be a hidden gem in your quest for vintage wedding dresses. Now this one has some advantages over the previous options. First, you get to physically try the dress and see where it fits and where you need to mend; it helps you get a perfect size. Also, the shop has expert knowledge of vintage wedding themes and can be of help with some exciting ideas as you shop.
Tips for a 1960-Inspired Wedding Theme
It may stem from nostalgia or mere fascination, but whatever is stirring you up, a vintage wedding is one that takes your love story on a trip to the past. You can incorporate many things to make your day memorable, from vintage colors to anything like guest dressings.
So if you want to take this trip, here are some tips you try in order to make sure you’re on the right track.
An A-Line or Mod Wedding Dress
You cannot have a 1960-inspired wedding without an A-Line or mod wedding dress. They used to be what was in-vogue back then, so they form a vital part of any 60s-inspired wedding.
Other accessories include a shoulder-length veil, vintage shoes, pinks, mod eye makeup, and statement earrings. To crown it all and make the day special, you can ask your guest to appear in the 60s fashion.
Hairpins and Tulip Legs
Some hairpins and tulip legs may seem minor, but they bring the 60s to the present day when they’re added to your decor.
1960s Wedding Dress — the Epitome of Style
The 1960s were a time of significant change in the fashion world. New ideas and concepts were introduced, but many popular styles today are rooted in this decade. 1960s wedding dresses can give you a glamorous look while still being unique to you as an individual or couple.
The epitome of vintage style, 1960s wedding dresses are characterized by feminine silhouettes with chic details and a touch of whimsy — perfect for brides who want to express their personality through their attire. From lace trims to ruffles, there’s something for every bride here!
1960s wedding dresses have been an enduring style since their debut in the fashion world. The combination of vintage details with modern silhouettes makes them a timeless choice for brides looking to capture the essence of this era. If you’re interested in finding one, keep your eyes peeled at vintage clothing stores and online shops like Etsy!
Other wedding dresses that may fit your style:
- Exquisite Red Wedding Dresses Plus Size
- Ethical Wedding Dresses for Eco-Friendly Brides
- Elegant and Classy Bridal Dresses Ideas
As a multi-passionate creative and a self-proclaimed frequent flyer of weddings, Kiara combines her love for the wedding industry and experience as a professional wedding photographer with her writing abilities to share tips, tricks, and helpful information with couples. She is the owner of Switech Studios a popular wedding photography business. With tons of insider information from behind her camera lens on how to have the best wedding possible, Kiara’s in-depth knowledge is sure to put you on the road to wedding planning success.