{Style Expert} Retro not ridiculous: How to achieve a “hippie chic” look

Two FOF style experts, Gail Garramone and Marilyn Kirschner, share secrets to looking hippie chic–not hippie dippy.

“The 60s had some great looks,” says Gail. “But it is important to know how to bring them back without looking like Joan-Baez-Gone-Bad or like you should be carrying around a lava lamp.”

Both experts agree that FOFs shouldn’t be limited to cliche fashion rules (“I am a firm believer that one can basically wear anything if one knows how to do it,” says Marilyn.) They offer these ideas–not commandments–for working Woodstock into your wardrobe.

6 Fab Hippie Chic Pieces and How to Wear Them

Examples:  Laguna Cuff by Soft Surroundings (left), $94.95 and Turquoise Buckle Leather Belt (right), $599 from Ralph Lauren

“Turquoise jewelry, whether in the form of a statement necklace or a cuff, makes for beautiful accessories.” says Gail. “Cinch a white button-down blouse with a turquoise belt. A big piece of jewelry slung low on the waist can make an unexpected statement–and hide a pooch!”

Foolproof pairings: A monochrome palette; shirt and pants or a dress in either brown, white or black.

Examples: Autumin in Philadelphia Tie Dye Silk  Fringed Scarf from Etsy seller, WarmFlashes (left), $29, Nepal Bag by Flora Bella from the FabOverFifty Shop, $412

“Tie-dyed accessories are fabulous because one piece can incorporate so many colors. A brightly tie-dyed pashmina shawl becomes a neutral that you can wear with just about anything,” says Gail.

Foolproof pairings:  Dark jeans and a dark-colored top.

Example: Declarative Peasant Blouse from Anthropologie (left), $58. Julietta Blouse by Trina Turk (right), $73.99

“Peasant blouses are great way to show a little skin without having to show your arms,” says Gail.

“What you don’t want is for it to resemble a maternity top, worn loose and unbelted,” says Marilyn.

Foolproof pairings: Wrist jewelry or slightly dangling earrings. Sophisticated high-waisted trousers or skirt.

Example:  Suede Tassel Boots in Brown from Soft Surroundings, (left) $159.95, Tessa Fringed Boot by House of Harlow (right), $350

“Hippie-style, over-the-knee boots in brown are just a fabulous essential,” says Gail. “They can have a hint of fringe but don’t overdo it.”

Foolproof pairings: A skirt that just skims the top of the boots or pants such as cords in brown or black or dark jeans. A slouchy leather or suede bag.

Example: “Karelia Coat” from Anthropologie, $248

“If you are FOF-fearless, a patterned coat is the ultimate,” says Gail.

“If you opt to wear a statement-making patterned coat, make that the one thing that is special,” says Marilyn. “Keep everything else solid, lean, clean and simplified.”

Foolproof pairings: A neutral monochromatic palette; off-white pants or narrow cords, army green cargos or indigo jeans. A knitted cap or fur or faux fur hat, suede boots (either flat or low wedge), and a timeless tote, satchel or shoulder bag (that are more sporty or casual than dressy).

Example: Faux Fur Vest from Eddie Bauer, (left) $99, Fur vest from Ebay, (right) from $20

“Fur vests may be a bit funky but are also classic enough so that it’s easily workable into a wardrobe,” says Marilyn. “It could easily add pizazz to basic separates. While they are always in style, they are even more so this season.”

Foolproof pairings: Neutral-toned (off white, ivory, cream, camel, brown) underpinnings such as a chunky turtleneck and narrow jeans or chino-type pants. Tall, brown, flat- or low-heeled boots.

Marilyn Kirschner has been Editor-in-Chief of the Internet Magazine Look-on-Line since 1995. She has appeared multiple times in Bill Cunningham’s ‘On the Street’ columns in The New York Times, and in February 2000, she was the subject of an 18 picture profile. Marilyn started her career at Seventeen magazine before landing at Harper’s Bazaar, where she remained for 21 years. She collects vintage fashion and is a personal shopper and wardrobe consultant. For more information, contact her at marilyn.kirschner@yahoo.com.

Gail Garramone has 15+ years experience in the fashion industry. She is a veteran V.P. at Liz Claiborne Inc. where she traveled around the country with Tim Gunn producing fashion events and fashion workshops.

Image of Ali MacGraw via I’m the It Girl

0 Responses to “{Style Expert} Retro not ridiculous: How to achieve a “hippie chic” look”

  1. naraah says:

    girl shut up you do not know fashion so just please shut up

  2. Karen says:

    I love the look it make me think of the past when I was 15 years of age.

  3. Jeffrey Brier says:

    Hey Gail ! Wow, this is impressive. Good luck ! From what I hear you look, as always, hot, hot. You should be modeling your wears on here.


  4. Barbara-b says:

    I loved the blue jeans, white shirt and faux fur vest! Maybe because I own the first two and know where there is an Eddie Bauer store! I just love it when a plan comes together. 🙂



  5. ronnie says:

    I am and have always been the “Ultimate” hippie. My sons ages 28 & 29 have always poked fun at my style as have their friends and quite a few of mine. First of all I believe we should all have our own “style” and add trendy accessories here & there, but my personal style is a hippie chic! Thanks for the validation and the opportunity, Most of all thanks for your awesome website!

  6. sherie says:

    hey groovy man! what beautiful styles we have here! brings back a lot of memories. i still have my bell bottoms and my suede purse from back then! i see it is time to drag them out of storage! what fun i will have using them again! thanks for the beautiful suggestions.

  7. Moonchime says:

    I totally love every hippie chic fashion idea. They are all gorgeous!!

  8. Robyn says:

    Wow ! Thanks for bringing back those memories.
    And they thought we were all nuts ! We are among
    a generation of long lasting collectibles !

  9. Geri Brin says:

    Hi Susan

    and we love you for loving FOF. we REALLY do.


  10. Nat says:

    I love the Karelia Coat

  11. kat says:

    love hippie chic clothes,always have..

  12. Susan Frank says:

    absolutely groovy suggestions! thanks girls! love fof!


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