The Beatniks of the late Fifties that populated cafes in New York, the bars in Paris and roamed the streets of Soho were a hipper version of Jack Kerouac’s anti-conformist, unwashed, post-war Beat generation.

Their look of turtleneck jumpers, capri pants, ballet flats and long, wild hair has long become a stereotype but at the same times remains a striking style that continues to influence contemporary fashion.  Here are five key pieces for creating a Beatnik-inspired look.

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Beatnik Top – Freddies Of Pinewood, £30

London repro brand Freddies  has designed this crew neck batwing top made from 100% cotton jersey. The collar has a zip in the back for extra comfort. The top was copied from an original design, inspired by those worn in the Fifties Soho Coffee bars “Heaven and Hell” and “Le Macabre”.

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Striped eco-cotton top – Gudrun Sjoden, $75
Skandi brand Gudrun Sjoden is brilliant for colourful basics. This blue and white top is perfect for a beatnik or Sixties inspired look. Check out the gorgeous Jeni who writes blog Yesterday Girl for her take on how to style this top in a beatnik way.

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Rounded sunglasses – Polaroid, £50
These retro sunglasses look the part with their half tortoiseshell, half amber frames. With 100% UV400 protection, they also do a good job of shielding your eyes.

pedal pushers

Pedal pushers – Vivien of Holloway, £36
With their high-waist, a rivet button and side zip, and with a delicate side slit at the ankle, these slimline pants are wonderfully flattering and very Fifties.

ballet flats

 

Penelope Ballet  Flats – French Sole, £64
French Sole is one of the best brands for ballet flats, and their Penelope model, which has a very Fifties pointed- toe, comes in a whole range of colours. In black they are perfect for a Beatnik look.

 

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