That (60s) Girl

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm not a heterosexual man or a lesbian, but I do know this: I think that of all the decades, women of the 60s were the most beautiful. Over and over again, guys usually have something positive to say on video clips featuring Rachel Welch, Jane Fonda, Shirley Bassey and anyone else who was somebody during the 60s. That is not to say that the 50s, 70s and 80s didn't have attractive, sexy humans of the female persuasion, but when it comes to choosing a classic look that would still be right at home even in 2011, I think the 60s women have it nailed (for her debut this week on CBS This Morning, Gayle King looked very 60s in a yellow and black colorblock dress and heavy eye makeup.) I tried to dissect what made 60s women so appealing, and I came up with these reasons:

For both men and women, hair got longer and more finger friendly (meaning it could actually move because it was free of sticky/greasy styling products more often) during the 60s. While some gals opted for pixie cuts (a la Mia Farrow and Twiggy), a mod bob designed by Vidal Sassoon, hairspray coated bouffants and beehives or afros (all of which looked marvelous), the classic look that immediately comes to mind when I think of the 60s decade is hair that falls to or past the shoulders with heavy, eye framing bangs. I could be wrong, but I tend to think that most men still prefer long hair on women, and the 60s certainly provided them with plenty of that.

In the 60s, makeup was all about the eyes, and I greatly admire anyone who could artfully apply the mod looking/cats eye makeup in the 60s--because I've been attempting it myself (sans the fake lashes) with varying results! In my opinion, it's still a classic makeup look, especially when paired with pale lips. On the other end of the makeup spectrum were the ladies who preferred to go au natural--like Joan Baez--and still looked beautiful.

"Sexy, Not Slutty"
I've seen this comment left plenty of times on YouTube by guys when reminiscing about sexy starlets and singers of the 60s. Sure, this decade gave us the miniskirt, hot pants, and bikini, but most gals knew the meaning of modesty--if they were going to show off their legs in a short skirt, they usually revealed little else. Today, it's all about showing too much skin and leaving very little to the imagination. Sixties women knew how dress sexy and look classy, not trashy. 

On that related note, I love women's fashion from the 60s the best compared to other decades. From Mad Men-esque curvy suits and dresses to colorful space age inspired clothes to the maxi dresses in the age of Aquarius, there was something for everyone in the era, and it all looked groovy. By contrast, many fashion trends of the 70s and 80s leave us scratching our heads and saying, "What were we thinking?"

Did I miss anything?


  1. There was so much more care and time taken then. I'm waaaay to lazy to be a babe of the 60s.

  2. I agree 100%.
    The women weren't afraid to be women back then, and as you say, sexy, but not slutty.

  3. There's nothing like watching a fun movie from the 60's. Love seeing that clean cut image. In the early 60's boys would wear jackets and ties to go on a date and they looked great doing it. Check out the early Gidget movies or Elvis pictures circa 1962. It was a time I remember fondly and perhaps that's why Pan Am is one of my favorite new shows. Very nostalgic. Even the first Austin Powers was alot of fun capturing those "Mod" days of the mid 60's when things started to change!

  4. Men do like long hair on women, or at least this one does. There is a difference between sexy and slutty, and Pam has done an excellent job of showing that. One longs for the days of Julie Newmar, Jane Berkin and Julie Christie...(wistful sigh)...

  5. Minakitty (Mary)January 11, 2012 5:56 PM

    That eye makeup will never go out of style for me. I've been wearing it that way for over 20 years. :)

  6. I'm more a fan of 70s women (I think you knew that), but 60s goes right up there. I do love the eye makeup. Gawd, it was fab.

    I watch a lot of Italian horror and if you are ever so inclined, check out some stuff like Blood and Black Lace and I think you'll see a lot of awesome fashion/makeup/women from that period... Although I have to say Italian women didn't catch on to the softer hair for another few years!

    Great post and photos! :)

  7. Where did you find that eye makeup photo? I had to put it on Pinterest right away. Incredible. I wear those mod makeup looks from time to time.

  8. Desiree--I think I stole it from another blog, after doing a search for 60s cats eyes. BTW I just joined Pinterest (haven't started any boards yet) but you and anyone else who is interested can find me under GoRetroPam.

  9. Wow I'm "late" on this one but just saw it. A few more decidedly impact Sixties beauties (I think Raquel Welch was mentioned), but didn't see Barbara Eden: the first crush of millions of Boomers (including this one). Also Barbara Parkins ("Betty" on Peyton Place), and Michele Carey. These were WOMEN who possessed true beauty that would stand out in any era.


Powered by Blogger.