The hippies of the late 1960s forged a style that saw major revival in the early ‘80s, the ‘90s, and today. Aspects of hippie fashion for men can be seen in the collections of many major designers, subcultures, and even in the staple fashions of Americana clothing.
Whether you wear it full time or need a hippie man costume for an event, you’re lucky enough that both vintage and vintage inspired men’s hippie clothes are easy to come by and affordable today. To make things even easier, I decided to write an article giving you 10 unique hippie outfit ideas. Almost every single product in the images was pulled directly from our 1960s shopping pages, so no need to hunt it down.
A historically accurate hippie outfit for men is great for 1960s car shows, Woodstock revival festivals, Moon Landing parties, Summer of Love festivals, Love-Ins, costume parties, and countless 1960s/1970 themed events. While I’ve given each of these an approximate era and mood, don’t feel like you’re limited to what I say! Hippies were extremely unique, discordant, and their “fashion” was explicitly anti-fashion. Take a look or combine multiple. Make it yours!
1. Merry Prankster
The Merry Pranksters were hippies before the word “hippy” existed. Led by author Ken Kesey, their antics in 1964-1966 were immortalized through Tom Wolfe’s novel ‘The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test’ and the documentary ‘Magic Trip.’ A Merry Prankster outfit is not only a unique choice suspended somewhere between beatnik and hippie fashion, but it also has the added benefit of featuring clothes that are far more versatile than most men’s hippie outfits. The accessories are what makes this look stand out.
SHIRTS: Optional. A simple ‘60s cut horizontal stripe shirt or solid colored shirt. Polos, tees, and camp shirts all do well. Avoid complicated patterns and slogans. For cooler climates, pick a chunky cable knit sweater or turtleneck in a natural color. Keep colors warm and use white heavily. Since it’s the earlier part of the ’60s, look at both 1950s and 1960s shirts as well as sweaters.
PANTS: Slim-straight or straight-fit casual drainpipe trousers in white, light grey, light blue, brown, olive, or khaki. Avoid bleached, dyed, or heavyweight blue jeans. Hem to flood length (1”-2” above the shoe) or purchase a shorter inseam than usual.
SHOES: Canvas lace-up shoes are ideal. Roughout chukka boots (desert boots) will work as well.
ACCESSORIES: Use one or two unusual accessories for the Prankster flair. A novelty hat, patterned cape, or unusual shoes such as baby blue rubber rain boots work well. Bandannas or scarves in gaudy prints are great around heads, necks, or on hats. If you want to go the extra mile, purchase some Day-Glo paint and paint your face, hands, and arms. If you’re worried about being unrecognizable, Merry Prankster and Furthur (the bus) pins are available for purchase as an easy identifier.
2. Flower Child
Flowers were used in early student protests, but the 1967 Summer of Love marked a huge breakthrough in flower power. Preceding the popularity of tie dye and fringe jackets, the flower child style is likely the earliest hippie style that is recognizably “hippie” today. Even now, many people use flower child motifs, clothing silhouettes, and peace symbols for political protests.
SHIRTS: Optional. Tee shirts with slub (texture), textured knit shirts/sweaters, or button-up shirts (chambray or floral print – wear unbuttoned). 1950s work shirts, especially plaids and henleys, can also be used. Size up with slim fit shirts. For cooler weather, layer with a field jacket or A-2 bomber jacket. Shawl sweaters and chunky knit pullovers are affordable outerwear supplements. Simple suede or cotton vests in an earthy color are good for medium weather and can be worn instead of a shirt.
PANTS: Straight-leg or bell bottoms in either a light or medium-wash denim, or an earth tone corduroy. Wool trousers with conservative patterns or chinos can also be used – size up and wear with a belt. Hem or roll non-flared pants to flood length (1”-2” above the shoe).
ACCESSORIES: Either a flower crown made of real or fake flowers or a floral- printed headband is essential to the look. Add more wherever possible: a flower behind the ear, flower decorated hat, floral bandanna, painted-on flowers (clothes or face), and/or a flower necklace. Bead necklaces or leather/rope string necklaces make for good jewelry layers. Raise the protester feel with anti-war pins, beading/stitchwork, peace signs, or a musical instrument.
3. The Spiritualist
The Beatles had gone to India in 1968 and brought back with them a resurgence in appreciation for Indian and ethnic clothing, style, and designs. Eastern art and religious influences had always existed among hippies, but Beatlemania gave the fashion industry a chance to catch up. Tunics, capes, and light flowy outerwear makes this look distinct and unmistakably hippie.
SHIRTS: Optional. Linen and other light fabrics. Loose fitting tunic shirts of any kind are preferred, but can be substituted by henley shirts (go 1-2 sizes up) in a pinch. Keep to white, off-white, a pale stone-washed color, or an ethnic print. Pair with a beaded or embroidered vest for cooler weather (fringe vests work, too). For long robes and tunics, look at Indian or Chinese styles (frog buttons, loose silhouette, undefined waist). Shawls, ponchos, and certain capes are hard to find but can achieve the same desired effect. Unless wearing a print, color palette should be simple with only 1-2 rich colors. Patterns do not have to be Indian – they can be prairie, folk, patchwork, Native American, or any other ethnic style.
PANTS: Flared trousers in a cool color such as grey, smoke blue, violet, or vertical stripes. Beach pants and other loose-fitting linen trousers add character and make it more unique.
SHOES: Ideally none. Sandals with a thick sole are OK.
ACCESSORIES: Donkey beads or other basic beaded necklaces and bracelets can be worn for all looks. Add a headband of flowers or an Eastern print to complete the look. This outfit works best on men with long hair. For men in long or more traditional robes, wear an emblem necklace or paisley/tie dye bandanna so you don’t look like Jesus.
4. Bohemian Cowboy
It’s often forgotten just how much hippies took from men’s workwear in particular. Take for instance this: before hippies popularized them, men’s blue collar work shirts (like plaids and chambray shirts) were cut very large and not seen as particularly trendy. Not only is the Hippie Cowboy a recognizable nod to the history of Americana in hippie culture, but it stands out in a sea of tie dye and florals.
SHIRTS: Chambray workshirt or simple non-novelty Western shirt. Wear oversized with the top 2-3 buttons undone. Many were thrifted or hand-me-downs, so look at ’40s shirts and ’50s shirts, too. If desired, a white tee shirt can be worn underneath the shirt for coverage. For Western shirts pick indigo/denim, white, or any shade of blue. Avoid patterns except for plaid. For cooler weather, add a denim jacket or fringe leather jacket. Wearing a Type II denim jacket will give you a more “country” look than the newer Type III trucker jacket. Do not be afraid to layer denim on denim (on denim, on denim, on denim, etc…..).
PANTS: Denim only. Bell bottom blue jeans are best. Washes can contrast (dark shirt, light jeans) or match (light on light). Black or grey flared denim will work with a light blue shirt. Overalls also do well and can be worn without a shirt.
SHOES: Cowboy boots in brown with a square or pointed toe. Can be substituted with campus boots, harness boots, or generic roper boots if necessary.
ACCESSORIES: Paisley or tie dye bandanna (worn around the forehead without a hat, or around the neck/at the thigh when wearing a hat) or a cowboy hat decorated with flowers. Leather necklaces and bracelets with beads do well. Round sunglasses or tinted glasses add extra hippie touch. Consider decorating your clothes or bare skin with paint.
5. Tie Dye is Groovy
Seen on countless festivalgoers and hippie citizens throughout the later history of the movement – and beyond. This outfit has been immortalized by hippies and parodies of hippies for over fifty years. No matter where you are or how you wear it, it’s the most recognizable look there is — and it deserves mention.
SHIRTS: A tie dyed tee shirt. Add some variety with a tie dyed henley or tunic shirt instead. Add a brown suede/cloth vest with fringe or decorative beading. In cooler climates, layer with an acid washed Type III trucker jacket or brown fringe jacket.
PANTS: Acid washed bell bottom jeans. Change it up with a vertical stripe pattern or some decoration, like embroidery. Flared corduroy trousers in brown, electric blue, or burgundy are a great option.
ACCESSORIES: Bead necklaces, bracelets and a paisley bandanna headband. Round sunglasses or tinted glasses. Add pins or an emblem necklace if you want the full classic look.
6. Jimi Hendrix Fan
Legend Jimi Hendrix was a rock musician whose impeccable guitar skills and flashy wardrobe have been immortalized by history. Clashing patterns, unique fabrics, and dandy-esque 19th century accent pieces made up his wardrobe. Hendrix and his iconic outfits remain associated with hippies and counterculture of the 1960s even today. Why not take advantage of that for a more stage-worthy end-of-the-decade hippie look?
SHIRTS: Long sleeve button ups with bold, saturated patterns, worn unbutton or popped. Layer with a cropped marching band jacket, velvet/sueded fringe jacket in a bright color, metallic jacket, or find a jacket with a clashing pattern to make a statement. Keep your colors bold and rich. Costume sets are the easiest and most affordable way to get several bright and “out there” pieces for a good price. You can also look at Victorian or Steampunk shirts and jackets.
PANTS: Vertical stripes or paisley, slim-straight “drainpipe” leg or with a wide flare. Pants should be hemmed to flood length if straight leg (1”-2” above the shoe) and should not drag on the ground if flared. Velvet pants are ideal, however corduroy flare pants are worth considering. If denim, consider different colors or painting/customizing them for more effect.
SHOES: Beatle boots/chelsea boots, winklepickers, monk straps, or loafers. Heels are good. Brown, grey, roughout, navy, embroidered, and any other rich unusual color make great options. Try to avoid plain shiny black shoes!
ACCESSORIES: Even with the shirt unbuttoned, wear an ascot or large scarf around the neck in lieu of necklaces. Bangle bracelets and beads can be worn on the wrists and a bandanna at the forehead. Consider an elaborate belt or multiple belts at the waist. Geometrically shaped sunglasses or tinted glasses complete the look.
7. Dapper Hippie
Perhaps your event calls for a slightly more formal outfit. Or maybe you just want something a little more refined. Fortunately, this isn’t incompatible with hippie clothing. Formalwear did make an appearance in hippie circles through suits, shirts, and blazers in bold patterns. It often adopted elements from 1960s mod and “dandy” fashion of the time.
SHIRTS: A bright solid, floral, tie dye, or paisley pattern button-up shirt. Pair patterned shirts with a solid velvet, corduroy, or chambray blazer. Solid shirts can be accompanied with flora, paisley, or striped blazer. Smoking jackets and bright tailcoats add a fun twist and are still relatively dressy by today’s standards. Keep colors bright and patterns busy. If possible, wear the jacket unstructured/oversized and the shirt unbuttoned.
PANTS: If a suit, pair with blazer. For jackets, pair with a pair of corduroy trousers, nondistressed jeans, or patterned pants. When possible, wear a bell bottom/flare. Plaid may be very ’60s, but more mod than hippie.
ACCESSORIES: Round sunglasses/tinted glasses and an ascot or bandanna at the neck. A decorated silk top hat, captain’s hat, or novelty hat adorned with flowers adds eccentricity. A headband (if no hat), beaded necklaces, and bracelets will help keep your look in hippie territory.
8. Hippie Biker
Motorcycles have been an item of counterculture since the 1950s, and the 1960s-1970s marked the golden age of motorcycle technology advancements. Many are surprised to learn that in the early years, hippies and Hell’s Angels were on relatively friendly terms. While that may have tapered off as hippies grew in popularity, the Hell’s Angels still showed up to the 1969 Woodstock festival. With a touch of café racer, the hippie biker look is excellent for people who are showing a vintage bike (ride it with proper gear!) or simply want something a little different.
SHIRTS: Optional. Keep to either a workshirt or a white or tie dyed tee shirt as a base. Layer with an acid washed denim jacket, leather/washed denim vest, or cafe racer jacket. (I’d avoid fringe unless you were looking for something a little more ’70s.) You can also find or make a psychedelic motorcycle gang patch to put on the back of your outerwear, or just decorate with studs and beading. Painting your own logos and designs is just as easy and allows for more creativity as well as color.
PANTS: Straight leg or flared denim, washed or unwashed, with a belt matching the shoe color and a large belt buckle. Corduroys, prints, or milsurp khakis are also options – cool or earthy tones for the more rugged bikers, and bright pops for the more lighthearted. Whatever it is, make sure you have room in the legs.
SHOES: Worn lace-up military boots or harness boots in black or brown. Avoid shiny shoes.
ACCESSORIES: Your choice of patches and pins will either make this look seem meaner or add some flower power. You won’t need a helmet unless you ride, but consider shoving a pair of gloves in your back pocket for realism. Tie a bandanna to your forehead or thigh (or both) and wear aviators or round sunglasses. Avoid long dangling necklaces or accessories.
9. Organic Mechanic
Military surplus and Vietnam veterans themselves both had a heavy influence on hippie fashion. Even in the early years, veterans made up a considerable part of the hippie body. From this came clothing not otherwise seen in the mainstream and also, arguably, the influence of durable clothing in hippie fashion as well. Even now, milsurp is durable, inexpensive, easy to come by, and timeless. Here’s a way to turn surplus or workwear into a unique hippie look.
SHIRTS: Tee shirt or henley in white or tie dye as an optional base layer. Mechanic’s coveralls are what I would go with, but most mid-century style workwear gives the same effect. Sleeves can be rolled up if hot. In cooler weather, an A-2 bomber jacket or field jacket can act as an outermost layer. Field jackets with patches add a veteran protester touch, especially if you add a few handmade hippie patches of your own.
PANTS: Coveralls include pants. Alternatively, wear acid-washed jeans or khaki pants.
ACCESSORIES: Tie dye or ethnic print bandanna at the forehead. Paint, embroider, or add pins your coveralls to really hone the look in. Acid washing it is another option for customization. Beads, emblem necklaces, and flower garlands can be worn to excess atop your garb.
10. Hippie Inspired Fashion
Going into the 1970s, hippie fashion became a marketable commodity that blended with both ’60s mod and the emerging disco scene. What hippies wore kickstarted the fashion scene of the ’70s — and the popularity of patterns and bell-bottoms in men’s clothing. This “hippie chic” style is more toned down and takes inspiration from the fashion trends of the ’60s and early 1970s. Not only does it require less customization and effort to pull off, but it is great for those seeking something more casual or everyday.
SHIRTS: Patterned button up shirt. If you’d prefer a solid, consider a unique fabric. A velvet or sueded cotton sportshirt in a bright solid color was popular. Slim Western style or peasant style shirts both do well. In cooler weather, wear an acid washed trucker jacket with pockets or a shawl sweater. Plain vests are OK for medium weather. Save for some outerwear, let your clothes fit slim on your body.
PANTS: Bright, slim at the thigh, and flared. Can be solid, striped, or patterned. The bottom hem of your pants should not drag on the ground. Wear at your normal inseam.
SHOES: Loafers, Beatle boots, chukka boots, or canvas shoes. Birkenstocks debuted in 1971 and became explosively popular in 1973.
Need non hippie outfits? Look at these 1960s men’s outfit ideas.