Hippie style never goes out of fashion for very long. Developed in the 1960s, it saw a huge revival in the ’80s, ’90s, and has come back again today. Bohemian fashion, flower power, West Coast fashion, and denim-heavy styles all tend to take their inspiration from what hippie women wore.
Whether you wear it full time or simply need ideas for a hippie women’s costume for an event, both vintage and vintage inspired women’s hippie clothes are easy to come by and pretty affordable. To make things even easier for you and in celebration of summer, I decided to write an article with 10 unique hippie outfit ideas. Almost every single product in the images was pulled directly from our 1960s and 1970s shopping pages, so no need to hunt it down.
A historically accurate hippie outfit for women 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. The following looks all have an approximate era or mood around them, but feel free to combine several looks together or create your own. Hippies were not rule followers and when they wore what they wore, it wasn’t part of a trend. Don’t be afraid to make your outfit 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 women’s hippie costumes. The accessories are what makes this look stand out.
TOPS: I chose a thick men’s turtleneck sweater to nod to the beatnik roots of hippies. A ‘60s cut solid or horizontal stripe shirt (white and red/blue) is great for cooler weather. Shift dresses also work if the color or pattern is basic enough (try not to look too mod). Women’s rompers fall in the same category.
BOTTOMS: If not a dress, wear flat-front shorts or drainpipe trousers, depending on the weather. White or khaki trousers are ideal, however light grey, light blue, brown, and olive are acceptable (stay away from plaid). Blue jeans can work, but don’t touch flares. Both 1950s and 1960s women’s pants have potential options.
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 shoulders, necks, or holding back hair. If you want to go the extra mile, purchase some Day-Glo paint and paint your face, hands, arms, and clothes (check out these boots!). Look around at what you have at home, but if you’re worried about being unrecognizable, Merry Prankster and Furthur (the bus) pins are available for purchase as an easy identifier.
FACE: Avoid makeup and wear hair unstyled. Hair can be short or long.
2. Flower Child Hippie Outfit
Flowers were used in early student protests, but the 1967 Summer of Love marked a breakthrough in flower symbolism as well the popularity of flowers in hippie outfits for women. Flower children dressed minimally or maximally with heavy flower motifs, especially daisies, throughout their outfit. This look combines the flower children of the later years with the flower-using protesters of the mid 1960s.
TOPS: I used a loose flower shirt under a cutout shawl to give it a Summer of Love/festival feel. Any bloused peasant shirts will do so long as the color isn’t too neon and the pattern is minimal (unless it’s flowers). Ramp up the war protest vibes with a field jacket or bomber jacket. In cold weather, an oversized cable knit sweater does well in a pinch. Check both 1960s and 1970s women’s tops.
ACCESSORIES: A flower crown made of real or fake flowers is ideal. Can be paired or substituted with a flower behind the ear, flower decorated hat, floral bandanna, and/or a flower necklace. Raise the protester feel with pins, beading/stitchwork, or painted-on flowers, peace signs, and anti-war slogans.
FACE: Avoid makeup. Hair can be lightly styled or braided.
3. Blast from the Past
As the mainstream ’60s silhouette got tight, tight, tight, the hippie women’s dresses only got looser, longer, and flowier. Hippies pulled early 20th century dresses from antique stores, combining them with Eastern style and aesthetic influences to create a look that is now heavily associated with the “Earth Mother” environmentalist. It was — literally — old school before it was cool. In addition to being a plainer look, this style can be adjusted to be more formal or dressy for higher end events.
TOPS: A flowing maxi-length column or peasant/Renaissance-style dress. I personally suggest looking at Edwardian style dresses or Victorian style nightgowns for a great DIY base more accurate to the time, but 1970s boho-inspired dresses work just as well. Sleeve length does not matter but large, flowing sleeves are best. Stick to white, a smooth off-white, florals, or a basic ethnic print. Earthy colors can be used to substitute so long as they aren’t too intense.
BOTTOMS: N/A – but if you don’t do dresses, try wide leg linen pants with a tunic top.
ACCESSORIES: A bandanna, headband, or garland worn at the forehead. Donkey bead, feather, and emblem necklaces can be worn as desired. A floppy hat is great for keeping your hair out of the sun, especially if you add a braided brim, cloth band, or flowers to it as decoration.
FACE: Avoid makeup. This look works best on women with long hair and minimal styling such as braids, feather clips, etc.
4. Bohemian Pirate
Janis Joplin is the poster child of the hippie pirate look, which took off right alongside her in the late 1960s. Combining many influences that affected women’s hippie fashion into a unique, rugged style, the Bohemian Pirate is recognizable and curiously underused. In addition to being far more elaborate and theatrical, you’re sure stand out among a sea of tie dye. Go crazy with the accessories on this one!
TOPS: Take a tie-dyed or stone-washed men’s shirt, or any sort of loose blouse. Neckline, sleeves, and color don’t quite matter so long as the silhouette is boxy. Wear under a vest of any sort over it — the more ethnic style, the better. Fringe, crochet, suede vests and kimono top are the most popular layers.
BOTTOMS: Vertical striped, acid washed denim, or lightly patterned flare pants. Avoid drainpipe trousers or extreme bell bottoms.
SHOES: Optional. Kitten heels, sandals, or square-toed boots are best. Avoid shiny shoes.
ACCESSORIES: A highly decorated, bright, large, and flashy belt works best. Can be doubled up with other belts at the waist. Necklaces and bracelets of twine, leather, and cloth add more business to the look. Consider tying a bandanna around your thigh or adding patches for a pop of color with plainer pants. For glasses, wear oversized round sunglasses or tinted glasses.
FACE: Avoid makeup and let your hair be wild!
5. Tie Dye is Groovy Hippie Outfit
Seen on countless festivalgoers and hippie citizens throughout the later history of the movement – and beyond. This outfit has been immortalized through its use on hippies and parodies of hippies for over fifty years.
TOPS: A tie dyed t-shirt or shift dress. For festivals or extremely casual events, cutting/twisting it into a bikini does just as well. Add a brown suede/cloth vest with fringe or decorative beading. In cooler climates, layer with an acid washed trucker jacket or brown fringe jacket.
BOTTOMS: Acid washed bell bottom jeans. Change it up with a vertical stripe pattern or some decoration, like painting or embroidery. Flared corduroy trousers in brown or blue are also an option.
SHOES: Brown harness boots or rope sandals. Clogs work as well.
FACE: Makeup can be worn minimally if desired.
6. The Boyfriend Shirt
Necessity breeds ingenuity. This is all the more true when you’re limited in your choices of clothing. Men’s clothing was not only more accessible for hippie women, but it was also often cheaper and more versatile to use.
TOPS: Nothing beats wearing an oversized men’s long sleeve shirt or jacket, zipped/buttoned up, as a dress. Chambray work shirts and field jackets are best as they have a longer hem. A shirt or undershirt can be worn underneath for coverage or comfort. You can also find many minidresses and shirt-dresses made to emulate the look (order 1-2 sizes larger than you usually get). Cinch it at the hips or waist with a strip of non-matching cloth or rope. For an outfit with pants, consider an oversized boyfriend-style (or men’s) work-shirt, T-shirt, or jacket.
BOTTOMS: If desired, shorts can be worn beneath the dress. If opting for simply a shirt, pick relaxed trousers to match it with. Cinch them at the waist or at the hip with a belt and roll up the bottom hem.
ACCESSORIES: A floppy hat in a rich color, decorated with flowers. Oversized plastic sunglasses, bracelets, and necklaces all pair well. In warmer weather, consider cutting the shirt/jacket sleeves and slitting them for a more flared sleeve silhouette. A belt cinched at the waist helps shape your figure.
FACE: Avoid makeup. Like most looks, hair should be unstyled.
7. Beatlemaniac / Psychedelic Hippie
By the mid-1960s, The Beatles were everything. Not only did they change the music scene forever, but they also set many hippie trends into motion in mainstream fashion. Their explosive popularity was only expounded by the British domination of the 1960s and the emerging Mod culture within the US and internationally. The hippie Beatlemaniac blurred the line between mod and hippie, typically using mod silhouettes with hippie accessorizing, patterns, and influences — all of which seeped into mainstream fashion as well by the 1970s. Pattie Boyd is a great example of the look done well.
TOPS: A brightly colored shift dress in a psychedelic or floral print. Keep the neckline high for realism and sleeves are ideal. Warm colors are best. You can also go for pure white, but keep the silhouette rather on-trend for the era.
BOTTOMS: N/A. You can wear patterned/brightly colored tights if desired.
8. Treehugger Hippie Outfit
Yoga and boho style are founded on the loose silhouettes and organic fabrics that hippie fashion revived. At the time, flowing cotton skirts and linen blouses were a political statement against the tight synthetic garments of the mainstream fashion. Taking rustic Americana silhouettes and adding ethnic vibes, fabrics, and patterns, the treehugger look is as distinct as it is very comfortable. Wear everything a size or so larger than you normally would for the best look.
TOPS: Men’s henley shirts and tees or loose bloused shirts. Keep it boxy and unfitted. An undershirt can be worn beneath for a multilayered look that will allow you to wear your shirt oversized enough to slip off a shoulder — go for it! Add a fringe vest for an additional layer, if desired.
BOTTOMS: Long, formless, and flared skirt. Tie dye, natural solid, or ethnic print is ideal. I recommend going for a complex and patterned bottom with a solid top.
SHOES: Optional. Stick to sandals, clogs, or granny boots.
FACE: Natural face. Style hair however desired, but keep it “wild.”
9. Hippie Western
Let’s add some more Americana to the hippie look… Rugged workwear, thick loose pants, and boxy shoes were very accessible and thus ideal for young hippies looking for a way to make themselves visually distinct. Hippie Western pays homage to the Californian roots of the movement.
BOTTOMS: Bell bottom jeans or jeans with a flare. Light or dark wash doesn’t matter. I’d recommend something with a bit of decoration. Consider adding your own patches to it for character.
SHOES: Granny boots or harness boots.
FACE: Minimal to no makeup. Wear hair naturally.
10. Hippie Chic Outfit
Going into the 1970s, hippie anti-fashion became the primary contributor to mainstream fashion. Silhouettes blew out again, flares became popular at the office, and overall the hippie touch was the driving force until the disco scene reintroduced shiny colors and synthetics. The hippie chic look serves as a casual and more office-friendly nod to the Haight-Ashbury district of old.
BOTTOMS: Colored pants in bright patterns, high waisted shorts, and lots of “fashion” flares and corduroy. Rompers also make a huge resurgence in looser fits. Dresses do not need anything underneath them.
SHOES: Granny boots, sandals, or wedges.
FACE: Go natural or follow the 1970s makeup look.
Sometimes a cheap-ish hippie costume is the perfect solution to a Halloween or theme costume party. The tend to either be bright psychedelic ’60s mini dresses or 70s bell bottom hippie outfits. Neither is historically accurate, but they’re still fun nonetheless!