One of Liz Kennedy’s  favourite eras to draw inspiration from is the Sixties, a decade which bursts at the seams with creative confidence and energy. A time when fashion and music ran wild together and infected the nation with their free spirited, ‘anything goes’ kind of attitude. So if this is your dream decade too, who can you look to for inspiration? Here, Liz has a list of her favourite beat babes.


Nancy Sinatra

After a frustrating 11 flop singles, Frank’s daughter was on the verge of being dropped by her record label, until a little number called ‘These Boots are made for Walking’ stepped up to save the day. From then on Nancy hit her stride and collaborations with Lee Hazelwood helped establish her as a major music biz player. She also had a hit and miss film career, possibly more on the latter side to be fair, but check out the gorgeous Nancy in Speedway alongside Mr Elvis Presley.

If you fancy being like Nancy, then essential wardrobe items are, of course, boots, preferably in a bright colour like red or blue. She also knew how to navigate the Sixties pattern clash jungle, so mix wide stripes with thin stripes. And if the weather’s up to it, pop on a bright pink bikini, accessorized with an acoustic guitar.


Emma Peel

Few others embody the Sixties, particularly the British Sixties, like Emma Peel does. Her character name was a pun by the Avengers scriptwriters on her attractiveness (M Appeal, geddit?). Diana Rigg was all catsuits and sharp tailoring. Well, a girl wants to look her best while karate-chopping a gang of bad boys. Emma Peel’s style is all about attitude, her character was adventurous, liberated and independent.

To dress like Emma, search eBay for figure hugging catsuits, then team them with a faux fur jacket and a pistol, toy that is, of course.


brigittebardotBrigitte Bardot

When BB appeared on the scene, the guys went crazy for her combination of high glamour and earthy sex appeal. Her bed head hair and pouty features have a timeless magnetism. To dress like Brigit, match Capri pants with flat pumps and a sweater. With BB it’s all about the hair and the stare, so cultivate your broody looking best.


ronettesThe Ronettes

It’s highly likely that Amy Winehouse fell in love with Ronnie Spector and co early on in her career, because she certainly managed to channel the group’ s trademark big eyeliner and even bigger, gravity defying hair. The Ronettes were one of the Sixties most successful girl groups, managed by the notorious Phil Spector.

Pay them tribute by beehiving your hair to infinity.


elvis-presley-biography-37Priscilla Presley

Priscilla was a mere 14 years old when she first met Elvis in Germany, where he was stationed with the army. They went on to later marry, after she graduated high school. Their marriage was a tumultuous one, with Elvis’ stardom and drug problems causing much friction, and after 6 years they divorced. Their union produced a daughter, Lisa Marie, who went on to generate a few headlines of her own.

Priscilla is another example of the Sixties backcombing bonanza and developed her own distinctive eye makeup, heavy on the kohl. Priscilla was a fan of cute dresses with details such as bows and headbands.

The Sixties provided us with plenty of style icons, from Jackie O to Mama Cass. It’s a decade of daring and rebellion. Sixties staples though are without doubt dramatic eyeliner and backcombed (teased) hair. So get hold of a tailcomb and some industrial strength hair spray. To truly channel the Sixties, mix vintage pieces with your own unique twists. Be playful and have fun. Remember this decade had style in spades and an attitude of ” Just go for it!” So do.

Who are your Sixties style icons?

4 Responses

  1. Morgana

    The sixties was a fabulous and creative decade. Having a brother ten years older then I and he was right into music. He brought the Britsh Invasion into our living room. My influences in shaping my style then were Marianne Faithful, Anita Pallenberg, Eddie and the guy sof rock. Granny Takes a Trip… The colours, velvets, new ways of wearing different fabrics. faithful and Pallenberg mixing vintage with new. I will be 51 yr. in Jan. To give you an idea of my age in the sixties.

    This is a great site just full of wonderful info. A wonderful job and alot of hard work.


  2. Kevie

    Emma Peel was the only woman I considered a role model when I was a kid (Ok, maybe Lt. Uhuru on Star Trek a little too). She had a cool job and great clothes, and she could take care of herself–and John Steed on occasion. Their relationship became my ideal, too. Not because Steed was my idea of a ‘boyfriend’–too old for that. I was intrigued by a couple working together and playing together instead of the man going off to have an adventure while the woman waited at home. No one ever had to do dishes or talk to the kids about homework. It all seemed very grownup and sophisticated to me. Still does!

  3. Susan

    Although not strictly a Sixties icon, I remain obsessed with Audrey Hepburn. She was lovely beyond belief.