1960s Groovy, Not So Groovy Trends and Fads

Decades later and even generations who were born long after the sixties have an appreciation for the era and its plethora of wacky trends and fads. Whether you still think they are groovy or not, we’ll leave that for you to decide.

Hair Ironing
Iron your pants, iron your shirts, iron your hair. Before the flat iron came out, girls in the sixties were using a run-of-the-mill household iron to get their locks perfectly straight.

Granny Glasses
Circular wire frames as seen on Benjamin Franklin, John Lennon and Harry Potter was all the rage back n’ the day. Everyone was wearing them.

Banana Seat Bicycles
No need to sit on the handlebars when there’s extra room on the seat. Bikes made with a long, wide seat and a “sissy bar” in the back were designed to be shared with a passenger. The person in the back held onto the “sissy bar” while the person up front held onto the handlebars and pedaled.

Go-Go Boots

“These boots are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.”

Don’t cut the rug without them. Integral to fashionable nightclub attire, women across the United States wore go-go boots when they went out for a night of dancing. Nancy Sinatra helped popularize and establish the boots as symbols of female power with her song “These Boots Are Made for Walkin.”

Troll Dolls
Yes, the plastic troll doll with crazy, colorful up-combed hair came out in the 60s. Like Barbie, but perhaps not as cool if we are to go by its longevity, the troll doll was one of the biggest toy fads in the 1960s. However, with DreamWorks releasing an animated feature film based on the dolls this November, the trolls may see a come back.

What list about 1960s trends and fads would be complete without bellbottoms? Previously a type of trouser worn by sailors, bellbottoms became a fashion staple in the hippie counterculture movement along with tie-dye and love beads.

Sea Monkeys
Some kids grew up with ant farms, others had “sea monkey” kits. Advertised extensively in comic books, brine shrimp colonies could be bought for $0.49. The kit contained packets with eggs and various nutrients and chemicals in dry form. Just add a lot of water and watch your sea monkeys come to life.

Does your neck get cold? Garments with close-fitting, high collars that fold over and cover the neck have been around since the 15th century but in the 1960s were worn in rebellion against the necktie.


If you haven’t already, check out our Jimi Hendrix episode on Remarkable Lives. Tragic Deaths, a Parcast Network podcast series. Hendrix was one of the most influential electric guitarists of the 1960s.

Remarkable Lives. Tragic Deaths examines the lives and tragic deaths of people who changed history and influenced pop culture.