Friday, 14 Jun 2024

Hippie Clothing and Its Origins

People often wonder about the appeal of hippie clothing. They don’t understand why so many people choose to purchase peasant tops, items with peace signs, and gypsy skirts or why these items are all the rage. Several reasons account for the popularity of this clothing style. The following serve as only a few of these reasons.

Not a Chosen Name

When people use the term hippie to describe a person, they must know that this is not how those individuals described themselves originally. Back when the movement first took hold in Seattle, these individuals preferred the term fringies, as they lived on the fringe of society rather than in the mainstream. Some individuals described themselves as heads, a reference to their love for the music of the Grateful Dead. They would then refer to friends who didn’t follow this musical group as straights. They begin wearing clothing, such as the hippie clothing from Jayli, as a means of expressing themselves using creative and inexpensive items.

The Hippie Dress

Clothing was seen as a means of rebellion by fringies. They didn’t all wear patchwork, tie-dye, and peace signs. They looked for items that will allow them to share their disdain for laws that made no sense but people were expected to follow blindly. For instance, men could be sent to Viet Nam to fight but couldn’t vote. Their dress was used to express their opposition to laws such as this and the establishment that created them.

The Peace Sign

The peace sign signified opposition to the draft. People often assume this means men, women, and kids wearing the symbol were peaceful and spent their days in a drug haze. Nothing was further from the truth. These individuals recognized the war in Viet Nam served no purpose for the United States and therefore made no sense, but young men from America were being sent there to die.

The Draft

Any male between the ages of 18 and 26 during the 1960s was forced to enter the draft unless they were in college or excused for another reason. If their number was called, they were sent to a foreign country to fight a war that countless Americans did not believe in. Wearing the peace sign allowed the fringies to oppose this practice and show their disdain for a war that considered to be nothing more than a hoax.


Clothes preferred by fringies were inexpensive, which was important to those who were made to abandon conventional society. By taking a job to purchase clothing and other items, a male put himself at risk of being found by the government and drafted. This avoidance of society led to young men and women forming their own hidden culture. They didn’t have the funds to purchase necessities such as clothing, food, and shelter, so the inexpensive clothing was of great help to them.

While these young men and women didn’t set out to create a trend that would last for decades, that’s exactly what happened. They were focused on protesting a war they considered unjust and an establishment they felt didn’t represent them. Today, individuals benefit from their actions, as the draft no longer exists and yet cheap fashion remains popular today. Remember them the next time you purchase or wear hippie clothing. They deserve to be recognized.